Just as they did yesterday, the Yankees got another boost to their lineup before the start of this doubleheader when Jordan Montgomery and Gary Sánchez were activated from the COVID-IL and penciled in to start the matinee. Despite those additions, this one still ended up like so many recent Yankees games: uncomfortably close before the Yankees pull out a win.
Montgomery was solid but unspectacular in his return, allowing three runs on five hits in 4.2 innings. He really only made two mistakes, but both were punished and he left the game with the Yankees trailing, 3-2.
However, this team once again rallied to take the lead and hung on for dear life. The final inning was an absolutely terrifying one, but it eventually ended with the Yankees still in front, giving them a crucial 5-3 win over the Red Sox.
The Yankees have been the benefactors of contributions from unexpected sources lately, and that trend continued to get them on the board in the second inning. With one out in the frame, Luke Voit was hit by a pitch and Rougned Odor singled. After Sánchez was somewhat robbed of a hit in his first at-bat back, Tyler Wade added a single to load the bases. A lot has been made of Andrew Velazquez being born in the Bronx, and whenever his Yankee career ends, he’ll end it with at least one big Yankee Stadium moment. He singled home two runs, giving the Yankees an early lead.
omg pic.twitter.com/bKrSRT7JSy— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) August 17, 2021
However, it didn’t take long for Boston to answer. After retiring the leadoff hitter, Montgomery allowed a single to Bobby Dalbec and a walk to Kiké Hernández. He got a groundout that moved up both runners and then went ahead 0-2 on Xander Bogaerts. However, the 0-2 pitch was a fastball placed in a questionable location, and Bogaerts singled to tie the game.
After missing out on an opportunity in the fourth, the Yankees surrendered the lead in the fifth. Christian Vázquez homered off Montgomery, putting Boston in front for the first time all day. The lefty’s day came to an end a few batters later when he issued a two-out walk. Albert Abreu came in for him and got the final out of the fifth.
Due to the nature of seven-inning games, the Yankees found themselves trailing in the late innings, but they again found a way to rally. After retiring DJ LeMahieu to start the bottom of the fifth, Red Sox relievers Garrett Whitlock and Josh Taylor combined to walk the bases loaded and bring Luke Voit to the plate. Facing Taylor, the Yankees’ first baseman managed to drop a bloop single just in between a couple defenders, scoring two runs to put the Yankees back in front. A pinch-hitting Giancarlo Stanton then added another run with a single, giving the Yankees a little more cushion.
Jonathan Loaisiga came in for the sixth and threw just eight pitches in a 1-2-3 inning. That led to the Yankees bringing him back out for the seventh after the offense missed another chance to add to their lead. However, Loaisiga’s second inning ended up being slightly more nerve-wracking. He loaded the bases with nobody out, but somehow managed to get a Travis Shaw lineout and strikeouts of Hernández and Hunter Renfroe to escape the jam, giving the Yankees the win.
Let's go, Lo. @loaisiga43_ pic.twitter.com/Zhqwhlc0TH— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 17, 2021
This is one of, if not the biggest, series of the season so far, and the Yankees got it off to a great start, even if it did take years off our lives. Luis Gil will try to make it a doubleheader sweep tonight when he faces Nathan Eovaldi at 7:05 pm ET.