The Boston Red Sox lead the American League East division by 9 1/2 games.
The Sox completed a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees on Sunday night at Fenway Park with a thrilling, 5-4 walk-off win in the 10th inning.
“At no point did we think we were going to lose,” Sox outfielder Mookie Betts said after the game, via The Eagle Tribune’s Chris Mason.
New York looked as if it was going to take the final game of the series, but its three-run lead wasn’t enough, as Boston tied the game in the ninth before walking off with its 79th win of the season. Andrew Benintendi, who came to the dish following Betts’ intentional walk, played the role of hero with a game-winning RBI single.
“They play ’til the end,” Sox manager Alex Cora said after the game, via Mason. “They play the game the right way and they don’t quit.”
The Red Sox certainly didn’t show any quit in them — especially in the ninth. They trailed by three runs and were down to their final out, but Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman couldn’t preserve the three-run lead, as Boston scored three runs with two outs to tie the score and set the stage for a walk-off.
Here are some other notes from Sunday’s Red Sox-Yankees game:
— Cora said after the game that starting pitcher Chris Sale won’t pitch in the upcoming Toronto Blue Jays series.
The hard-throwing lefty, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list last Tuesday, likely will return against the Baltimore Orioles this coming weekend, which means he would avoid pitching against the National League’s Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday or Wednesday, where he’d have to hit in the lineup.
“I don?t want him pitching in Philly (after the Baltimore series),” Cora said, via the Boston Herald. “I don?t want him to hit. So, we kind of maneuver the schedule and see Baltimore, most likely. That?s what it?s going to be.”
— The walk-off single was Benintendi’s third of his career, two of which have come against the Yankees.
— The win marks the fourth time the Red Sox have completed a four-game sweep over the Yankees in the divisional era.
— Sox starter David Price was strong the bump, allowing two runs (both inherited) over six innings with five strikeouts. He has struggled against the Yanks this season, most notably a July 1 start against the Bronx Bombers in which he allowed eight earned runs over 3 1/3 innings.
After the loss, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi spoke with Price, and it seemed as if the pitcher knew what he had to do the next time he was on the mound against Boston’s rival.
He certainly pitched well Sunday night, getting into the seventh inning before being pulled after he put the first two batters on with nobody out.
— After getting hit by a pitch in the eighth, J.D. Martinez extended his home on-base streak to 49 games.
— Boston’s 9 1/2 game lead in the AL East is its largest of the season and biggest lead in the division since September 2013.
— Tony Renda, who was called up earlier this week by the Red Sox, scored the game-winning run in the 10th. According to MLB.com’s Ian Browne, he’s the first Sox player ever to score the winning run while debuting as a pinch-runner.