Yankee bats come alive in the eighth, rally to defeat Red Sox 5-4

The Yankees and the Red Sox will be seeing an awful lot of each other over the next few weeks, and the first of their ten remaining games against each other was Friday night in the Bronx, as lefties Jaime Garcia and Eduardo Rodriguez faced off in a pivotal division matchup. Instead of coming out with some fire and determination, the Yankees came out completely flat, and were flat out dominated by Rodriguez through six, with the game looking like a lost cause late in the game. Yet, the Yankees rallied in the eighth, scoring five runs and holding on to dear life in the ninth to take the series opener in the Bronx 5-4. 

Photo Credit: AP Frank Franklin II

The first inning saw both pitchers struggling to find the zone, yet only the Red Sox could take advantage and capitalize. After putting Mookie Betts on via the walk, Garcia served up a fastball to Hanley Ramirez on a 3-1 count that wound up over the wall for a two run home run to put Boston ahead. The Yanks would have an opportunity to match Boston in the bottom half of the inning after two walks, yet could not manufacture a run, continuing their cold streak with runners on base.

After a quiet second inning, the Red Sox loaded the bases in the third inning, but like the Yankees, could not get a run across, as Garcia danced out of danger to keep the Yanks deficit at two. The first hit of the game for the Yankees came in the third inning on a double off the bat of Aaron Hicks, his first hit since returning from injury, that got by the outstretched glove of Betts.

Yet, the trend of not hitting with runners in scoring position continued for the Bombers, as Sanchez and Judge both failed to get Hicks home from second, as the score remained 2-0. Boston would add onto their lead in the fifth, as Andrew Benintendi connected on the first pitch he saw for a solo shot, further frustrating Garcia and Yankee fans alike. Simply to pour salt in the wound, the Yanks would once again leave a man in scoring position in the bottom half of the fifth to remain off the board and to extend their scoreless inning streak to 15.

Photo Credit: AP Frank Franklin II

In the seventh, Matt Barnes was the first Red Sox reliever to come out of the pen, which was a welcome sight for the Yankees, as Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez was virtually unhittable over six innings. Barnes walked Todd Frazier on four pitches, but would get the next three Yankee hitters out to keep the score at 3-0. Adam Warren did a great job of eating innings late in the game, finishing innings six through eight without much drama at all. Despite Warren’s performance, the Yanks still found themselves in danger of getting shutout in back-to-back games for the first time all season if they did not rally late.

Brett Gardner pinch hit for Austin Romine to begin the eighth, and was hit by a pitch by recently acquired Boston relief pitcher Addison Reed to put a runner on first with Aaron Hicks coming to the plate. Hicks would finally give the Yanks their first runs since Wednesday night, sending an inside breaking ball just over the right field wall, making it 3-2. Gary kept it going against Reed with a base hit, bringing ice cold Aaron Judge to the plate in a major spot in the game.

Judge did not get anything to hit, and worked his second walk of the game, going to first representing the go ahead run. Addison Reed was pulled from the game without recording an out, as Boston brought in hard throwing setup man Joe Kelly to face Didi and the heart of the Yankees lineup with runners on first and second with nobody out: and Didi would deliver, tying the game with a base hit into the gap, scoring Sanchez and moving Judge to third, with still nobody out. 

Photo Credit: AP Frank Franklin II

With the infield in, Todd Frazier stepped into the box and executed a perfect bloop single just out of Benintendi’s range, and just like that, the Yankees had their first lead of the night. Headley finally ended the streak of Yankees reaching base by striking out to record the first out of the inning, yet Ellsbury picked right back up where Todd left off with a base hit to right to load the bases for Ronald Torreyes.

Photo Credit: AP Frank Franklin II

Torreyes did an outstanding job of hitting with two strikes, sending a high fastball to left field for a sacrifice fly, and a vital insurance run to make it a 5-3 game. After a walk to Gardner, Kelly was taken out for Fernando Abad, marking the third different pitcher Boston used in the eighth. Abad got Hicks to pop out with the bases loaded to keep the Yankees lead at two as the game went to the ninth with Aroldis Chapman ready to take the mound. 
Chapman did everything that he wasn't supposed to out of the bullpen, walking the bases loaded with nobody out. Benetendi was the fourth Boston batter of the inning, and did his job by hitting a fly ball to deep left field, scoring the runner from third easily. Yet, former Yankee Eduardo Nunez was on second, and thought he could beat out a throw from Hicks: he couldn't. Aaron Hicks threw an absolute bullet from deep left, nailing Nunez at third to complete the double play, sending the Stadium into a frenzy. Chapman would get the next hitter to fly out to center to complete the victory and his hectic ninth inning, as the Yanks got a massive win by the score of 5-4. The Yankees will be right back at it tomorrow afternoon, facing their rivals once again as red hot Luis Severino takes the mound looking to move the Yankees even closer to the division lead.

Winning Pitcher: Adam Warren: (2-2, 1.80 ERA): 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Losing Pitcher:  Addison Reed: (0-1, 12.27 ERA): 0.0 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 0 K
Save: Aroldis Chapman: (15)
Aaron Hicks: 2-5, HR (11), 1 R, 2 RBI
Todd Frazier: 1-3, RBI, BB
Didi Gregorius: 1-4, R, RBI
Ronald Torreyes:  1-3, RBI

Article by: Matt Luzzi


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