The Rivalry has not been particularly close this season, with the Yankees winning all seven games played against the Red Sox entering Friday’s match. Boston got the closest they’ve been to beating New York this year, however, holding a sizeable lead for most of the first nine innings, and closing the gap once in extras.
In the end though, the Yankees prevailed again. They outlasted Boston in 12 grueling innings, lasting nearly five hours, taking 11 straight against their rivals, eight of which came this season. The win also extends their current winning streak to nine straight overall.
DJ LeMahieu came up with the go-ahead hit in the 12th. He smacked a double down the line in right field, scoring Aaron Hicks — who was the runner starting on second after making the last out in the 11th — and moving Gio Urshela to third. The Yankees couldn’t get any more across, but it’d be enough for Jonathan Loaisiga to hold down in his second inning of work. The Red Sox would move their free runner over to third, but chose not to test Hicks’ arm on a flyball second out. Instead, Michael Chavis grounded out to short to end the game.
Loaisiga was left in for the 12th after he entered with a lead in the previous inning and a chance to close things out, but he was unable to convert the save. Luke Voit got the Yankees the lead this time, smashing a single down the line in left field that JD Martinez played slowly enough for Mike Tauchman to score. Loaisiga immediately made things difficult for himself in the bottom half of the inning by firing off a wild pitch, putting the tying run at third. Christian Arroyo sent a single back up the middle to score the runner, and the Sox would threaten with the bases loaded before Loaisiga could settle down.
Extra innings would never have happened in the first place, however, if the Yankees didn’t stage a late comeback. Jordan Montgomery cruised through the first three innings before running into a crooked number in the fourth, serving up a three-run homer to Arroyo. Christian Vasquez added on an RBI double in the fifth that ran Montgomery, and the Sox suddenly had a 4-0 lead. It seemed probable that Boston was finally going to get a victory over the Yankees this season.
The Yankees still stood a shot, mainly because the Sox’ Achilles heel of a bullpen had yet to play a factor in the game. That changed in the seventh, when Martin Perez handed the ball over to Darwinzon Hernandez. Hernandez led off the inning by issuing a walk to Giancarlo Stanton, and then recorded two outs before serving up a single to Hicks and walking Urshela. Marcus Walden was summoned to deal with the bases loaded situation, and Gary Sánchez was at the plate. Sánchez may be going through the worst offensive season of his career, but apparently he still can mash against the Red Sox. The Yankee catcher drilled a ball into right field that one-hopped into the stands, scoring a pair of runners and cutting the deficit in half.
The ground-rule double gave New York new life, and they carried that over into the next inning. This time it was the returning sluggers, Stanton and Aaron Judge, that found the opportunity. Judge slapped a ball in front of Martinez, setting up Stanton for a double into the corner in left. The deficit was down to one, and the Yankees would go down to their last out before erasing it. Sánchez stepped up to the plate against Matt Barnes with two outs in the ninth and took a strike for the first pitch. The next one got deposited into the seats atop the Monster for a solo shot.
The Yankees have two more games to complete the season sweep against the Red Sox, something that has never happened for either side of this historic rivalry, and despite there being fewer games than normal that would still be an incredible accomplishment. Boston is sending out a pair of rookies to mop up the final games of this series, while New York has J.A. Happ and Deivi García in line to start. Whether or not the sweep winds up happening, it certainly seems favorable for the Yankees.