Chris Sale is a great pitcher who will almost certainly be the American League’s Cy Young winner this offseason. The Yankees have sort of had his number in their last few meetings, however. They’ve beaten him twice and New York was two outs away from beating Sale again last weekend in Yankee Stadium, but this time they were able to finish the job.
A lot of the credit goes to Tyler Austin. He rejoined the team after Garrett Cooper went down with an injury and proceeded to have a monster night. His first hit, which was incredibly instrumental in the team’s win, cleared the Green Monster seats to give the Yankees an early 3-0 lead.
Unfortunately, no lead is safe in Fenway. CC Sabathia was absolutely cruising through the Red Sox lineup until the fifth inning when Boston was able to push two runs across and shorten the Yankees’ lead to just one run. Todd Frazier gave his team a little breathing room with a solo shot in the sixth, also off sale.
On a night when the Yankees’ old ace was facing the Red Sox current ace, with the former just returning from what he believed might be a career-ending knee injury, Sabathia got the upper hand. He finished his night after six innings having allowed just two runs on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
Adam Warren came on in relief of Sabathia and allowed a solo home run to Devers that hit off the wall and bounced into the seats. That’s Fenway’s idea of a home run, apparently. That run brought Boston back to within one run of the Yankees in the seventh inning.
Tense moments followed, as New York allowed dropped third strikes to result in runners reaching in each of the last two innings. Fortunately, nothing came of that in the end. David Robertson and Dellin Betances teamed up to close out the game after Joe Girardi announced he’d be playing the matchups for closer going forward.
Austin added a double to his home run, and very nearly added another home run that was caught just in front of the wall in the deepest part of the park. Didi Gregorius also starred on offense with three hits of his own. Brett Gardner also had two hits of his own.
The Yankees now sit four games back of the Red Sox in the division and four games up for the first Wild Card spot. Tomorrow’s game now feels all the more important as a rubber game instead of one in which the Yankees are looking to avoid the sweep. With Sonny Gray making the start, New York should go to bed feeling pretty good.
You can catch tomorrow’s game at 1:05 pm on YES and TBS.