The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees were expected to be battling for the American League East title this weekend, but with the Sox clinching their third straight division crown Sept. 20 at Yankee Stadium, the final three games of the season have more of a spring training feel than an early fall vibe.
Friday night’s contest at Fenway Park saw the Yankees pummel whoever the Red Sox trotted out on the mound, six pitchers in total, as New York cruised to an 11-6 win.
The Yankees hit four home runs off Red Sox pitching, and starter J.A. Happ kept Boston’s bats at bay as New York clinched home-field advantage in next Wednesday’s American League Wild Card Game against the Oakland Athletics.
With the loss, the Red Sox fell to 107-53, while the Yankees improved to 99-61.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
The Yankees tormented Boston with the long ball in what effectively was a meaningless game.
ON THE BUMP
— Brian Johnson’s night was short.
The left-hander worked two scoreless innings to begin the game, but the Yankees got on the board in the third when Gary Sanchez hammered a solo home run over the Green Monster to lead off the inning.
After striking out the next two hitters, Johnson walked Aaron Judge and gave up back-to-back singles to Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton, the latter of which plated Judge to make it 2-0.
— William Cuevas entered in the fourth inning and had trouble immediately. Miguel Andujar smoked a one-out double off the Monster and Sanchez followed with a walk to put two runners on. Cuevas then served up a two-run double to Gleyber Torres to extend New York’s lead to 4-0. Things went from bad to worse for the right-hander after that. Andrew McCutchen followed with an RBI single to center to make it 5-0. After Judge ripped a single of his own, Hicks smashed a three-run home run to right field to make it 8-0 Yankees.
Cuevas lasted 1/3 of an inning, giving up six runs on six hits while surrendering one walk.
— Heath Hembree entered and recorded the final two outs of the fourth inning.
— Drew Pomeranz tossed 1-2-3 innings in the fifth and sixth. The left-hander came back out for the seventh and surrendered a solo shot to Luke Voit, making it 9-4.
The left-hander surrendered a single to Didi Gregorius and walked Andujar before leaving the game.
— Joe Kelly came into the game and got Sanchez to hit a ground ball to short, but the ball went under Xander Bogaerts’ glove, allowing Gregorius to score New York’s 10th run.
— Bobby Poyner entered in the eighth and promptly served up a solo home run to Judge. He recorded a scoreless ninth.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox’s offense was held in check until the sixth. Mookie Betts ripped a one-out single to left and moved to third on an Andrew Benintendi double. Two batters later, Bogaerts worked a walk to load the bases with two outs for Steve Pearce. The Red Sox first baseman obliterated a first-pitch fastball into the Green Monster seats to cut the deficit to 8-4.
— Boston picked up a run in the eighth on a Pearce RBI single.
— Yankees closer Zach Britton had a rough ninth inning. After allowing the Red Sox to load the bases via two walks and an error, the left-hander walked Bogaerts with two outs to force in a run. Britton got Pearce to ground out to end the game.
— Benintendi and Pearce had two hits, while Betts and J.D. Martinez each had one.
— All other Red Sox went hitless.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Quite the turnaround.
The Red Sox will continue their three-game series against the Yankees on Saturday. Nathan Eovaldi is scheduled to get the ball for Boston, while New York will counter with Lance Lynn. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images