Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx
NEW YORK — Facing one of the more powerful arms in the majors, the New York Yankees worked the pitch count up, brought some power of their own and made some progress in their pursuit of the American League East title.
Chase Headley went deep of Sale in the third inning, Matt Holliday and Todd Frazier hit back-to-back homers in the fourth, and the Yankees chased the Boston Red Sox ace early and coasted to a 9-2 victory Sunday night.
New York’s Aaron Judge hit his first homer in more than two weeks in the sixth inning against Boston’s Addison Reed.
The Yankees won three of the four games in the series against the Red Sox, cutting their deficit to 3 1/2 games. New York finished the 19-game season series against Boston with 11 wins.
Four of those New York victories occurred in starts made by Sale. On Sunday, the Yankees constantly fouled balls off as Headley, Holliday and Frazier hit two-strike homers against the left-hander, who was hardly as sharp as in his previous appearance in the Bronx on Aug. 13 when he fanned 12 in seven innings.
“We have a bunch of guys that grind out at-bats,” Holliday said. “That’s what it takes. With a (pitcher) like that, you have to go up there and compete and grind. You know that he’s going to get you. You try to get him and hope that he makes mistakes.”
Sale turned in his second-shortest start of the season, allowing three runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked two, struck out six and fell to 1-3 with a 6.88 ERA in his past four starts.
“They put good at-bats together, fouling some pitches off, taking some good pitches,” Sale said. “It was up to me to make an adjustment. Today I didn’t.”
Once the Yankees got Sale out of the game after 109 pitches, New York pulled away with a six-run sixth against four relievers.
Gary Sanchez reached on a bases-loaded infield single after the Yankees challenged the original call, and Starlin Castro followed with a bases-clearing double down the right field line off Reed.
New York’s big inning concluded with perhaps the club’s most encouraging sign. Judge drove Reed’s 1-1 fastball an estimated 469 feet halfway up the left field bleachers. It was Judge’s league-leading 38th homer but first in a season-high 57 at-bats.
“I told you I thought his at-bats have been better, and it’s kind of hard to evaluate at-bats sometimes against the Corey Klubers and Chris Sales of the world, but I think his at-bats have been better,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
The ball traveled 115.1 mph. It was Judge’s hit his first homer since a fourth-inning, upper-deck shot off New York Mets right-hander Robert Gsellman on Aug. 16 at Citi Field.
“He’s leading the league in homers,” Holliday said. “I don’t think he should be too down on himself.”
While the Yankees brought the power at the plate, Luis Severino delivered a powerful six-inning showing, allowing an unearned run and two hits against the same team that pounded him for 10 runs on Aug. 12.
“He was powerful,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “He’s pitched a couple of good ones. Their entire pitching staff has pitched well against us this whole season, take nothing away from them.”
Sale’s second loss in three outings was hardly the only problem for the Red Sox. Boston’s runs occurred when Eduardo Nunez scored on a passed ball by Sanchez in the sixth and a ninth-inning single by Sandy Leon.
The Red Sox continued to struggle with runners in scoring position against the Yankees. They were 1-for-27 in the series, batted .143 (20-for-140) overall in the season series and .111 (7-for-63) in the games in New York.
“It’s probably historic when you look at it,” Farrell said.
NOTES: The Yankees and Red Sox teamed up to raise money for Hurricane Harvey relief by auctioning off autographed team memorabilia from the game. In a pregame ceremony, Boston manager John Farrell and New York manager Joe Girardi unfurled the Texas state flag in support of the cause. … New York OF Aaron Hicks was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left oblique. … Boston LHP David Price (left elbow inflammation) played catch before the game. He will throw a 30 to 35 pitch bullpen session before Monday’s game. … New York OF Clint Frazier (strained left oblique) will start a rehab assignment Wednesday with Double-A Trenton. … Girardi said he did not hear anything about the results of the appeals for C Gary Sanchez (four-game suspension) and C Austin Romine (two-game suspension). … Red Sox pitching coach Carl Willis was ejected by plate umpire Sam Holbrook in the sixth inning.
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
BRONX – The New York Yankees need a series win this weekend not only to stay in the race in the American League East, but also to maintain their stranglehold on the top AL wild card spot. All the Yankees need to do is beat Chris Sale when they host the Boston Red Sox in the finale of a four-game series on Sunday.
New York cut its deficit to 4 1/2 games in the East with a 5-1 win on Saturday and got a big boost from slugger Matt Holliday, who came off the disabled list on Friday after sitting out a month with a back injury. The veteran slugged a three-run homer in Saturday’s win and could provide the Yankees lineup with some of the thump it’s been missing from Aaron Judge, who went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts on Saturday and is homerless in his last 15 games. The Red Sox are guaranteed to leave New York no worse than 3 1/2 games up in the East but would like to make it more before heading back to Boston for a nine-game homestand beginning Monday. The Yankees will send their best to the mound in Sunday’s finale as Luis Severino gets the call against Sale.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Chris Sale (15-6, 2.77 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Luis Severino (11-6, 3.14)
Sale ended a three-start winless streak with a dominating effort at Toronto on Tuesday, when he struck out 11 without walking a batter and scattered three hits over seven scoreless innings. The Cy Young front runner leads the majors with 264 strikeouts and is 10 away from matching his career high, set with the Chicago White Sox in 2015. Sale owns a 2.12 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings against New York this season but is just 0-2 in four outings due to poor run support.
Severino is fourth in the AL with 192 strikeouts and punched out nine over 6 2/3 innings against Cleveland on Monday but could not come away with a win. The Dominican Republic native was charged with four runs — three earned — on four hits and three walks in that outing after surrendering a total of one earned run in his previous two turns. Severino’s worst start of the season came at home against Boston on Aug. 12, when he was ripped for 10 runs — eight earned — over 4 1/3 frames.
1. Red Sox CF Jackie Bradley Jr. (thumb) came off the DL on Saturday and went 1-for-3.
2. Yankees OF Aaron Hicks (oblique tightness) left Saturday’s game and is day-to-day.
3. Boston SS Xander Bogaerts, who is 2-for-23 with 10 strikeouts in his last six games, has been out of the starting lineup the last two contests.
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx
NEW YORK — Matt Holliday and Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell shrugged off their connection to each other from three decades ago as being a “part of life.”
Their present lives merged Saturday when Holliday hit the tiebreaking three-run homer with nobody out in the bottom of the sixth inning as the New York Yankees beat the Red Sox 5-1.
Holliday’s father was the pitching coach at Oklahoma State when Farrell pitched there from 1981-1984. He was 4 years old when Farrell finished college and, 33 years later, their paths crossed again with two on in a 1-1 game during the penultimate meeting in the season series.
“That’s part of life I guess,” Farrell said.
Said Holliday: “I’ve known him a long time.”
After popping out and flying out in his first two at-bats since Aug. 4, Holliday followed a walk by Didi Gregorius and a single by Chase Headley by driving a first-pitch fastball from Drew Pomeranz (14-5) 443 feet into the left field seats.
It was Holliday’s 17th homer but first since his game-tying shot off Boston closer Craig Kimbrel on July 15 at Fenway Park in New York’s 16-inning victory. It also was his 13th hit in 84 at-bats since the All-Star break, a slump that followed a productive .262 first half.
Playing for the first time after missing 25 games with a back injury and sitting out Friday night, Holliday’s bat looked like the “impact bat” manager Joe Girardi said he heard about during a 10-game minor league rehab stint.
“We’ve missed that,” Girardi said. “He was such a great run producer in the first half.”
Holliday ended a stretch of 75 at-bats without a homer. He entered the game batting .171 with four homers and 13 RBIs in his previous 35 games since June 8, a time that was disrupted by missing 13 games with a viral infection and then the back injury.
“I’m just glad to be part of a team, back on the field,” Holliday said. “I mean, these are big games. I want to be a part of this.”
Holliday’s homer helped Masahiro Tanaka (11-10) win his third straight start following a right shoulder injury. Tanaka allowed the only run on a wild pitch that scored Eduardo Nunez in the sixth and five hits.
He exited to a loud ovation from the sellout crowd after allowing the final hit to start the eighth.
Before Holliday homered, Chase Headley homered off Pomeranz in the second. Nunez, who heard some boos before his first at-bat, opened the sixth with a double and then slid headfirst into the plate on the wild pitch.
Tanaka then had some help from his defense before Holliday came through. Shortly before Holliday’s big swing, shortstop Didi Gregorius made a tumbling catch on a liner by Mitch Moreland with the infield in and center fielder Aaron Hicks made a running catch near the warning track on Hanley Ramirez.
The combination of Holliday’s power and Tanaka’s effectiveness helped the Yankees get back to 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Red Sox in the American League East. New York has never trailed by more than 5 1/2 games this season.
An inning after Holliday homered, the Yankees took a 5-1 lead when Jacoby Ellsbury tripled and scored on an infield hit by Gary Sanchez.
Pomeranz allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings, ending his career-high eight-game winning streak. He lost for the first time since lasting 4 1/3 innings on June 11 against the Detroit Tigers.
“I beat him in there a few times,” Pomeranz said of Holliday’s homer. I think it was a pretty good pitch but I think it was what he was looking for. He put the right swing on it.”
NOTES: Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he did not hear from the league office about the appeals by Cs Gary Sanchez (four games) and Austin Romine (two games) for their suspensions for the Aug. 24 brawl in Detroit. The appeals were heard on Friday but no decision has been made yet. … The Red Sox activated OF Jackie Bradley Jr. off the disabled list and he was 1-for-3. … Girardi said 2B Starlin Castro was not in the lineup because he was at the dentist Saturday morning after losing a front tooth. … Boston LHP David Price (left elbow inflammation) is slated for another bullpen session before Monday’s game at Fenway Park. … Yankees OF Aaron Hicks was lifted after the sixth inning due to a strained left oblique.
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx
BRONX – Doug Fister’s season began late and it required a change of location to really get going.
After spending the first month and a half as a free agent and the next month in the Pacific Coast League, Fister is pitching in big games and looking like the dependable ground ball pitcher from his days with the Detroit Tigers.
And his resurgence is perfectly timed as the Boston Red Sox try to inch closer to a division title.
Fister produced another solid start when he kept the ball on the ground through most of his seven innings as the Red Sox hit three homers in a 4-1 victory over the New York Yankees on Friday night.
The veteran right-hander spent last season with the Houston Astros but went unsigned in the offseason. He signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels on May 20 but opted out June 21.
Two days later, the Red Sox signed him and Fister (4-7) owned a 6.23 ERA after laboring through 4 1/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays July 20. Since then, he is 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA in his last seven outings since returning to the rotation July 31.
“I’ve definitely been blessed,” Fister said. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity that I’ve had throughout my career. To start this season late, to kind of go from where I was to where I am it’s an honor for me to be a part of this club.”
Fister allowed two of his four hits and fell behind 1-0 within his first 11 pitches on doubles by Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge. He allowed a third hit on a single to Jacoby Ellsbury and held the next 16 batters hitless until Chase Headley’s bunt single to the third base side of the mound.
“He pitches with such conviction,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “You see it in his body language, you see it in his attack plan. He’s got a clear understanding at what he’s trying to do on the mound and that’s a testament to the work he puts in, the preparation he goes through.”
The right-hander completed seven innings in a third straight start for the first time since July 27-Aug. 17, 2014. He worked quickly by getting 18 first-pitch strikes and kept his defense active with 11 ground ball outs.
Among those fielders was second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who returned from missing three weeks with left knee inflammation. Pedroia fielded five of those grounders in seven innings, including a diving stop on Ellsbury in the fifth.
“He’s been great,” Pedroia said. “He’s been pounding the zone. His ball’s sinking a lot, getting a lot of ground balls, keeping us on our toes. So, he pitched great.
Addison Reed pitched a scoreless eighth and Craig Kimbrel quickly posted his 32nd save in 36 chances as the Red Sox beat the Yankees for the fifth time in the last seven meetings.
Eduardo Nunez hit a two-run homer off Sonny Gray (8-9) after annoying CC Sabathia with a bunt Thursday as the Red Sox tied a season high by going 5 1/2 games up on the Yankees for the third time.
Andrew Benintendi hit his fifth homer of the season at Yankee Stadium in the fifth and Hanley Ramirez opened the seventh with his 22nd homer.
Being unable to hit Fister sent the Yankees to their fifth loss on a season-high 10-game homestand that ends Sunday with Chris Sale pitching for the Red Sox.
“I think it’s the late movement he has,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Doug Fister really pitches. He doesn’t rely on power and he just kept it off the barrel.”
Gray allowed four runs and five hits in seven innings while getting seven strikeouts. He tied a career worst by allowing three homers for the fourth time in his career and each home run occurred against his fastball to different locations of Yankee Stadium.
“It’s one of those you kind of scratch your head when you look at the line — seven innings, nine strikeouts, one walk, five hits,” Girardi said. “Problem is today they hit three home runs and that’s what killed him.”
NOTES: Both teams began their first round of September callups after rosters were expanded. The Red Sox recalled C Blake Swihart, 1B Sam Travis, RHPs Austin Maddox and Roenis Elias. The Yankees recalled RHPs Ben Heller and Bryan Mitchell along with LHP Jordan Montgomery. … Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he might go with a six-man rotation after Thursday’s day off. … Boston LHP David Price (left elbow inflammation) threw a 29-pitch bullpen session without any difficulties. Manager John Farrell described it as “impressive and powerful” and said Price will throw again Sunday or Monday. … Yankees DH Matt Holliday was activated off the disabled list after missing 25 games with a back injury.
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
BRONX – The New York Yankees acquired Sonny Gray at the non-waiver trade deadline to be a difference-maker, and the right-hander will get a chance to thrive in a big spot on Friday. Gray makes his sixth start overall since the deal and looks to improve to 3-0 at Yankee Stadium this season when New York resumes its huge four-game series against the Boston Red Sox.
New York’s Gary Sanchez will have a hearing on the appeal of his suspension Friday, one day after clubbing his 28th homer – and sixth against the Red Sox – in the series-opening 6-2 win. Greg Bird, who was activated from the 60-day disabled list last week, has recorded seven RBIs in the last two games after going deep for the second day in a row to help pull the wild card-leading Yankees within 4 1/2 games of first-place Boston in the American League East. Andrew Benintendi ran himself into a pair of outs but notched two of the four hits for the Red Sox and reached base five times to boost his numbers to 7-for-15 with three homers and 10 RBIs in his last four games versus the Yankees. Doug Fister, who was picked up off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels in late June and suffered a loss in relief to New York on July 15, will make his second career start at Yankee Stadium.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NESN (Boston), YES (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Doug Fister (3-7, 4.53 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Sonny Gray (8-8, 3.26)
Fister registered his fourth quality start in his last five outings versus Baltimore on Sunday but was saddled with the loss despite permitting only two runs and five hits over seven innings. He tossed his first complete game since 2014 in his previous turn, limiting Cleveland to one run and one hit. Todd Frazier is 5-for-12 lifetime against Fister, who is 2-4 with a 6.38 ERA versus New York.
Despite surrendering a total of nine earned runs in his first five starts since being acquired from Oakland, Gray owns a 2-3 record with New York. He had his best performance with the Yankees on Saturday, holding Seattle to one run and three hits in seven innings. That came after he took the loss at Boston in his previous turn as he gave up two runs in five frames to drop to 1-3 with a 4.88 ERA against the Red Sox.
1. With C Austin Romine also having his suspension appeal hearing on Friday, the Yankees acquired C Erik Kratz from Cleveland on Thursday.
2. Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia, who has played one game since July 28, is expected to come off the disabled list Friday.
3. Yankees RF Aaron Judge, who was dropped to No. 6 in the lineup Thursday, was 2-for-24 with 11 strikeouts versus Boston in August.
Where: Yankee Stadium, The Bronx
BRONX – The Boston Red Sox brought out the broom in their recent series while the New York Yankees were on the receiving end of it in their last set. The Red Sox will look to continue their momentum at the expense of the Yankees on Thursday when the American League East rivals renew acquaintances in the opener of a four-game series in the Bronx.
Hanley Ramirez homered for the second straight outing in Wednesday’s 7-1 rout for Boston, which enjoyed a 16-6 edge in run differential against cellar-dwelling Toronto. The 33-year-old is 6-for-15 with five runs scored during his four-game hitting streak, but is just 2-for-19 in his career versus Thursday starter CC Sabathia. The AL East-leading Red Sox hold a 5 1/2-game lead over the Yankees, who were outscored 17-7 while getting swept by Cleveland. “It’s as frustrating as it gets. Calendar’s going to flip to a new month here pretty soon, and we’re running out of time to catch those guys (the Red Sox),” said Brett Gardner, who is just 3-for-14 against Thursday starter Eduardo Rodriguez.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NESN (Boston), WPIX (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Eduardo Rodriguez (4-4, 4.19 ERA) vs. Yankees LH CC Sabathia (10-5, 3.82)
Rodriguez has struggled since returning from the disabled list, posting an 0-2 mark with a 5.08 ERA in eight starts. The 24-year-old Venezuelan was blitzed for five runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings of a 7-0 setback versus Baltimore on Saturday. Rodriguez has fared well at Yankee Stadium, posting a 2-1 mark with a 1.38 ERA in four career starts while scattering two hits over six scoreless innings in his last trip on Aug. 11.
Sabathia has answered a trio of four-run outings with two strong performances, including a sterling six-inning stint in a 4-3 win at Boston on Aug. 19. The 37-year-old received a no-decision in last trip to the mound, however, despite yielding one run on five hits in seven innings against Seattle. Sabathia’s lone run allowed came on a solo shot, marking the sixth homer he has surrendered in his last five outings after keeping the ball in the park in his previous five.
1. New York SS Didi Gregorius is 3-for-27 in his last seven contests.
2. Boston RF Mookie Betts has hit safely in eight of his last nine games.
3. Yankees 2B Starlin Castro is 0-for-8 in his last three contests after erupting for seven hits in his previous four outings.
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Mass
BOSTON — Here’s the kind of day Jackie Bradley Jr. had Sunday: When a reporter asked him to talk about his big hit, he needed clarification — “Which one?”
The reporter was asking about Bradley’s two-out, two-run triple to center-field in the second inning.
“Oh, that one,” Bradley said with a smile.
“That one” put the Boston Red Sox ahead of the New York Yankees early, and they never looked back en route to a 5-1 victory at Fenway Park.
“I got ahead in the count, a 2-0 fastball that I was able to handle,” said Bradley of the hit that brought Xander Bogaerts and Sandy Leon across the plate for a 2-0 lead. “Put some good barrel on it, and it was really big to get those runs early.”
They were the first two of three runs driven in by Bradley, who added a two-out single in the sixth to score Mitch Moreland.
Bradley’s heroics and a lock-down performance by the Boston bullpen gave the Red Sox the rubber match of the teams’ three-game series, extending their lead over the Yankees in the American League East to five games.
Rick Porcello (8-14) picked up the win, allowing one run on three hits in six innings of work with four strikeouts and three walks. It’s the fourth straight win for Porcello, bringing him to 4-4 since the All-Star break.
“Nothing in particular was really on fire,” Porcello said. “The walks were a little concerning, but we were able to pitch out of it, and I can’t say enough the way our offense battled. They really grinded their starter down, did a hell of a job, and we were able to put those runs across late in the game. To get him up over 100 pitches through five innings was huge.”
Sonny Gray (7-8) went five innings and allowed two runs, both earned, on seven hits with two walks in his fourth start as a Yankee. He departed with the Yankees down 2-1, but the New York bullpen fell flat, allowing four runs on five hits.
The Red Sox stretched Gray early, forcing him to throw 20 pitches in each of the first three innings.
“I think today was just a product of them putting in good at-bats,” Yankee manager Joe Girardi said.
Gray was mostly able to avoid any damage on the scoreboard save for the second inning, when Bradley smoked his two-out triple into the center-field triangle to bring Xander Bogaerts and Sandy Leon home for a 2-0 lead.
“I just continued to battle and battle and obviously it didn’t turn out in my favor,” Gray said. “They had the one big hit — Jackie, I left a 2-0 pitch up.”
Porcello was mostly sharp early, before issuing back-to-back walks in the fourth inning. He escaped that trouble by inducing a fly ball from Todd Frazier and striking out Tyler Austin.
Bradley’s offense gave Porcello a cushion, and he helped his pitcher out in the field as well. Didi Gregorious led off the sixth inning by swinging on the first pitch he saw from Porcello, and he sent it seemingly destined for the gap in right-center. Instead, Bradley tracked it down and made the catch without even having to leave his feet.
“Jackie’s been phenomenal, swinging the bat today and giving us three RBIs, giving us a big double and a big lift defensively,” Porcello said. “That ball that Didi hit into the gap, I mean, I was on the mound and he caught it standing up, he tracked it down, and I thought for sure that ball was going to be down for at least a double. Jackie’s the best I’ve seen in center field. He’s phenomenal.”
The Yankees finally got to Porcello in the fifth when Brett Gardner, using Fenway Park’s unique dimensions, snaked a shot just past the right-field foul pole for a solo home run, cutting the Boston lead to 2-1.
The Yankees’ offense effectively shut down from there, as Boston pitching didn’t allow another baserunner the rest of the way. Red Sox relievers Brandon Workman, Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel retired the final nine Yankee hitters in order.
“We have a lot of really good arms out there,” Workman said. “It seems like everybody’s capable of getting big outs, everybody’s throwing the ball well this year, and everybody’s got big arms out there.”
Gray departed after five innings, which ended his AL-best streak of nine straight starts (including six with Oakland) of at least six innings and two or fewer earned runs allowed.
With Gray gone, Bradley added another RBI to extend the Red Sox lead to 3-1 in the sixth inning, bringing home Mitch Moreland with a two-out single off of Adam Warren.
Aroldis Chapman made his first appearance since surrendering two runs in the eighth inning of Friday’s come-from-behind Red Sox win. Chapman, who was effectively demoted out of the closer’s spot by manager Joe Girardi after Friday’s game, entered in the sixth and retired four batters, walking one and striking out Rafael Devers with Mookie Betts looming at third base to end the seventh inning.
“When you go out there to pitch, you have to have the same mentality,” Chapman said through a translator. “I had the same mentality. The only difference is that I went into the game a little earlier.”
The Red Sox tacked on two more runs in the eighth, when Leon ripped a double off of Tommy Kahnle into the right field corner to score Bogaerts and Moreland.
NOTES: After the game, the Yankees optioned RHP Bryan Mitchell to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. … The Red Sox announced that LHP Drew Pomeranz will throw a bullpen session on Monday and is on track to make his scheduled start Wednesday in Cleveland, after leaving Friday’s game in the fourth inning with back spasms. … Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka had an on-field throwing session before Sunday’s game. Tanaka was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 10 with shoulder inflammation, but is scheduled to start Tuesday’s game in Detroit. He also threw a bullpen session at Fenway Park on Friday. … Red Sox INF Eduardo Nunez did not start Sunday, marking his first non-start since the trade that brought him from San Francisco to Boston on July 26, a span of 19 games. … RF Aaron Judge continued to struggle against the Red Sox, going 0-for-4 and extending his major league record streak to 37 straight games with at least one strikeout. … The Red Sox honored former second baseman and current television color commentator Jerry Remy before the game. Remy, a team broadcaster since 1988 and a member of the Red Sox Hall of Fame, is currently recovering from surgery after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Mass