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Yankees 9, Red Sox 6: Another comeback win gives Yanks first in AL East

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17 out of 18!

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

A theme of this recent Yankees’ hot streak has been walk-off and/or come from behind wins. Today wasn’t the former, but it was an especially good version of the latter.

The Yankees led for most of the game, but the Red Sox got enough runs of Masahiro Tanaka to keep them in striking distance. Then in the seventh, they coughed up the lead.

However, the 2018 Yankees seem, at least right now, incapable of being put away. Instead, they put up a four spot in the eight inning, re-taking the lead, and giving them some breathing room. Those runs in the eighth were enough, as they held on for a 9-6 win over Boston. That’s 17 wins out of 18 games, and now first place in the AL East.

After a 21-pitch, but perfect top of the first from Tanaka, it took only four pitches for the Yankees to get on the board. On the third pitch of his at bat, Brett Gardner doubled to center, and scored one pitch later when Aaron Judge singled up the middle.

The lead wasn’t destined to last long, however. With one out in the second, Xander Bogaerts gave the Red Sox their first runner of the game. In the very next at bat, Mitch Moreland took a pitch into the bullpen in right-center, putting Boston in front.

The top of the order did the job again to put the Yankees back in front in the third. Gardner led of the inning with his second double of the game, followed by a Judge walk. After Didi Gregorius grounded out to move up both runners, Giancarlo Stanton laced a double to right to score them both. Stanton would also come around to score following a Gary Sanchez single and a Aaron Hicks sac fly.

The Red Sox cut the lead in half in the fifth when Andrew Benintendi took a Tanaka pitch to right for a home run.

However, the Yankees then got that run right back in the bottom of the fifth. They loaded the bases on a Judge single, Gregorius walk, and a Stanton hit by pitch, bringing Sanchez to the plate. Sanchez made pretty good contact on a Rick Porcello pitch, but hit it right to Mookie Betts in center. It was deep enough for Judge to tag up and score, reinstating the Yankees’ two-run lead.

In the top of the sixth, Tanaka allowed a double to Bogaerts and a Moreland ground out before being removed from the game. Chad Green came in and got a fly out that allowed Bogaerts to tag up and score. That put Tanaka’s final line at four runs on eights hits and two walks in 5.1 innings. Green also got a strikeout to end the sixth and keep the Yankees up one.

Green stayed in for the seventh inning, but things went south there. He got two outs to start the inning, but then issued a walk to Benintendi. That brought up Hanley Ramirez, who then homered off Green. Just like that, the lead was gone.

In the eighth, Chasen Shreve conspired to get the Yankees in trouble before he and Jonathan Holder combined to get them out of it. Holding them off the board would be especially huge considering what would happen in the bottom of the eighth.

Just like he did in the seventh yesterday, Neil Walker started off a rally with a double. A Miguel Andujar ground out then moved Walker over to third. Gleyber Torres walked, putting to go ahead runner on for Gardner, and forcing the Red Sox to bring in Craig Kimbrel.

For the third time in the game, Gardner got a big extra-base hit. He laced a triple into the gap, bringing home both runners to put the Yankees back in front. Then for good measure, Judge launched a home run to straight away center. The Yankees scored four runs off Kimbrel and we’re now suddenly ahead by three runs.

A JD Martinez single just got past Walker at first, but that was close as the Red Sox got to a rally in the ninth. Aroldis Chapman closed out a win, and the Yankees are now in first the division again.

Box score.