After dropping the first two games of the series in New York against the Yankees, the Boston Red Sox scored 11 runs Thursday night to secure the win and clinch the American League East title.
The game had plenty of drama — Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez lasted just 3 2/3 innings, Giancarlo Stanton hit a grand slam to give New York the lead in the fourth, but the Red Sox rallied back to take the lead and put the division away with an 11-6 win, capped off by Mookie Betts’ three-run bomb in the eighth inning
With the win, the Red Sox climbed to 104-49, while the Yankees slipped to 93-59, and will fight for one of the spots in the Wild Card Game.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD:
The slugger went 4-for-5 on the night, tallying five RBIs and three runs of his own.
ON THE BUMP
— Down 3-0 in the second, the Yankees cut the Red Sox’s lead down to one. Rodriguez walked Gary Sanchez to bring Luke Voit to the plate, and he ripped a two-run home run to center field to make the score 3-2.
Rodriguez ran into some trouble in the third after putting two on with one out, but he escaped unscathed by getting Miguel Andujar to fly out and Sanchez to strike out swinging to end the threat. The southpaw once again found himself in a jam in the fourth, as he walked three consecutive batters with two outs, the last of which ended his night.
— The inning got worse from that point, as Heath Hembree came in to face Stanton, and the Yankees designated hitter smashed a grand slam over the right field wall to give New York its first lead of the night at 6-4.
— Steven Wright pitched a scoreless fifth, sixth and seventh inning with two strikeouts.
— Ryan Brasier pitched a scoreless, hitless eighth with a strikeout.
— Craig Kimbrel gave up a leadoff triple to Andrew McCutchen, but closed out the ninth by getting the next three outs, and ended the game by getting Stanton to strike out swinging.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox struck first when Betts led the game off with a double and moved to third on an Andrew Benintendi ground out. J.D. Martinez drove Betts home with a single for the 1-0 lead.
— Boston put two more on the board in the second after Rafael Devers and Blake Swihart hit back-to-back singles before Betts drove them both home with an opposite-field single, good for a 3-0 advantage.
— After their lead was cut to one, Brock Holt gave the Red Sox some breathing room when he smashed a solo home run to the second deck in right field to give Boston a 4-2 lead.
— The Red Sox got a run back in the fifth when Betts doubled and moved to third on a Benintendi single. Martinez grounded into a double play, but Betts scored to make it 6-5.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. tied the game at six in the seventh when he hit a moon shot to right field.
— Christian Vazquez followed up with a single and moved to third after Benintendi doubled to deep right. An intentional walk to Martinez juiced the bags with one out for Xander Bogaerts. The shortstop hit a sacrifice fly to center to score pinch-runner Tzu-Wei Lin from third to take a 7-6 lead. But a bad throw to third by Aaron Hicks allowed Benintendi to score when the ball skipped past Andujar and into the stands.
— The eighth is when Boston put the game away. Devers singled to begin the frame and Bradley walked. Betts continued his stellar night at the dish when he unloaded a three-run shot to left field off Aroldis Chapman to give the Sox a comfortable 11-6 lead.
— Betts led the way for Boston with four hits, while Benintendi and Devers each had two.
— Martinez, Holt, Swihart, Bradley and Vazquez all chipped in with a hit.
TWEET OF THE GAME
The mood of the AL East champs.
The Red Sox travel to Cleveland to take on Terry Francona and the Indians for their final road series of the regular season. Chris Sale is expected to get the ball for Boston and be opposed by Trevor Bauer. First pitch from Progressive Field is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.
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