The game was tense for longer than it was comfortable, but the Yankees opened the floodgates late on the Red Sox and secured their first victory in the ALDS. Gary Sanchez was the MVP of tonight’s performance, driving four runs in on two massive home runs that proved to be the difference.
The big blow came in the seventh inning, with the Yankees holding onto a tight 3-1 lead. The Yankees had just loaded the bases on what appeared to be a throwing error by Eduardo Nunez, but a replay ruled the runner at second out. Sanchez stepped up to the plate and crushed a 2-1 offering from Eduardo Rodriguez to center, good for 479 feet.
The blast put the Yankees up for good, but they still had to maneuver through three innings to secure the win. Dellin Betances worked his second inning out of the bullpen in the bottom half of the inning, and allowed a run on a double from Ian Kinsler off of the Monster to make it 6-2. Zach Britton and Aroldis Chapman worked the eighth and ninth respectively, and both worked around a walk to close out the game.
The Yankees earned their lead by beating up on their old friend, David Price. Price has just been unable to get it going in the postseason as a starter, and he’s also had a bad stretch against the Yankees this year, and both problems resurfaced tonight. Aaron Judge took Price deep to center in the first inning, a bullet shot to put the Yankees on the scoreboard first. Sanchez followed suit in the second, drilling a solo shot over the Monster to make it 2-0. Price wouldn’t escape the inning, allowing an RBI-double to Andrew McCutchen in his last at-bat and left to a chorus of boos from his home crowd.
His counterpart on the evening, Masahiro Tanaka, managed to work his way around the Red Sox lineup and deliver five strong innings. His one mistake was a fastball to Xander Bogaerts, who crushed it to the deepest part of the park for a solo home run. Otherwise he avoided trouble and kept the Sox from mounting a comeback. Tanaka has continued to deliver in the postseason, going 3-2 with a 1.50 ERA in his career in October.
Stealing Game Two was a big pickup for the Bombers, as the series shifts to New York. The Yankees have gone 7-0 in the past two postseasons in the Bronx, and could be poised to take full control of the series. Game Three is on Monday, and Luis Severino will make his second start of the postseason following an effective four innings in the Wild Card Game.