Two nights ago the Yankees coasted from an early lead to victory over the Red Sox. Last night felt much more like a typical Yankees-Red Sox bout, with plenty of runners, opportunities, and a narrow ending. Aroldis Chapman did his best to give the Sox a chance in the ninth, but the Yankees held on for a 5-3 win. The victory came thanks, in large part, to a blast from the Bombers’ superstar catcher.
The go-ahead runs came in the fifth inning, and Rick Porcello nearly escaped with a decent outing. Porcello was tagged for three runs prior, but recorded the first two outs of the inning before Sanchez stepped to the plate with a man on. The catcher fell behind in the count 0-2, but battled back before getting a ball just outside the plate that he managed to lift off the end of his bat, depositing into the stands in right field. Porcello would get chased from the game two batters later, ending his streak of seven straight outings of lasting at least six innings, and his replacement Marcus Walden loaded the bases before finally retiring the Yankees.
The Red Sox had many opportunities to cut the deficit, including right after the damage was done in the sixth. Boston got two aboard against Tommy Kahnle, prompting Aaron Boone to summon Adam Ottavino to escape the jam. Ottavino delivered, striking out J.D. Martinez on a nasty slider to end the threat.
Boston had their final stand in the ninth, working against an erratic Chapman. The closer got ahead 0-1 on the leadoff batter in Mookie Betts before launching six straight balls and setting the Sox up with runners on first and second. Chapman got bailed out with a groundball from Martinez though, inducing a 6-4-3 double play, before getting Rafael Devers to ground out to close the game.
Domingo German had another rocky outing, getting into several jams and exiting the game before the end of the fourth. Boston started the scoring in the second, slapping back-to-back singles to set up a Sandy Leon base knock that briefly put the Sox up 1-0. Boston rallied from behind in the fourth, starting with a leadoff home run from Xander Bogaerts. Leon struck again, punching an RBI single to center that tied the game at three apiece. Thankfully Chad Green managed to strand the runners German left. The Sox wound up leaving 26 men on base tonight, emphasizing the frustrating season they’ve had so far.
The Yankees scored their non-Sanchez runs in the second, answering the Sox quickly. Gleyber Torres and Kendrys Morales lined consecutive singles to start the rally, and Gio Urshela slapped a single to right to bring home the first run. Brett Gardner continued the singles train to load the bases, and DJ LeMahieu completed the circuit with a two-run single up the middle, continuing his staggering success with runners in scoring position.
The Yankees have now won nine straight series in a dominating run, and have an opportunity to bury their rivals even deeper in the standings with a sweep tomorrow. CC Sabathia will come off of the IL to take the ball, going up against David Price on Sunday Night Baseball.