It was a game of incredibly entertaining highs, but one very troubling low.
The Yankees mashed their way to an 11-5 win against the Boston Red Sox, going deep three times, but the victory left a bittersweet taste as hot-hitting second baseman DJ LeMahieu exited the game in the sixth inning with a thumb injury. You could almost hear a chorus of Yankees fans shouting in unison: “Are you kidding me?”
LeMahieu swung through a Nathan Eovaldi fastball in the fourth and immediately winced, releasing the bat awkwardly from his left hand. Manager Aaron Boone and head trainer Tim Lentych came out to check on the infielder, and he stayed in the game, grounding out to shortstop on the next pitch. He remained in the field in the fifth inning, but was replaced by Tyler Wade in the top of the sixth. The Yankees later announced he’d suffered a sprained left thumb and would be undergoing further tests.
After a 2019 season beset by injuries, the Yankees’ struggles to keep their stars on the field have only continued. Sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are currently on the injured list. Now the immediate future of their star second baseman and leadoff hitter, who sports a .411 average and .990 OPS, is in doubt.
But even LeMahieu’s injury couldn’t dampen the Yankees offense on this night. Clint Frazier had another massive performance, going 3-3 with five RBI. His three-run homer to right field off Eovaldi in the sixth inning gave the Yankees a 7-3 lead and effectively put the game out of reach. In his brief time with the big club, Frazier is hitting .636 with a 2.121 OPS and Boone may well find it impossible to remove him from the lineup.
️ BOMB FROM FRAZIER— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 16, 2020
️ BOMB FROM FRAZIER pic.twitter.com/4vuOUSaaA3
Third baseman Gio Urshela got the scoring started, with a two-run homer to right field off Eovaldi in the first, his fourth of the season. And the Kraken was released for the third consecutive game, as catcher Gary Sanchez smashed a two-run shot to left in the fourth inning that put the Bombers ahead 4-3, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Gleyber Torres added two more hits as his bat continues to heat up.
James Paxton battled through five innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk; he struck out just two. The lefty’s fastball sat in the 92-93 mph range, topping out at 95, but he struggled to put hitters away in two-strike counts. All the runs against him came in the third inning – a two-run single by J.D. Martinez and a home run to left by Xander Bogaerts.
It may not have been the step forward the Yankees were hoping for following Paxton’s 11-strikeout performance last Sunday against Tampa Bay, but it got the job done. Later in the game, the Red Sox added two runs in the ninth off reliever Luis Cessa, bringing the score to its final tally.
The 14-6 Yankees have run the table against the 6-15 Red Sox so far this season, winning the first five matchups between the bitter rivals. They’ll play two more games in this home weekend series. Sunday night will feature J.A. Happ starting against Chris Mazza.