Yankees takeaways from Sunday’s 6-3 win over Red Sox, including Aaron Judge’s second chance in eighth inning

Aaron Judge go-ahead RBI double 9/26 cropped

Aaron Judge go-ahead RBI double 9/26 cropped

The Yankees overcame little-league mistakes at Fenway Park in Boston with an eighth-inning rally, stealing a critical 6-3 win over the Red Sox and sweeping a pivotal three-game series for the top AL Wild Card spot.

Five things to know from Sunday’s game

1. There was drama, but RF Aaron Judge and DH Giancarlo Stanton ultimately rose to the occasion in a wild eighth, which the Yankees entered down 3-2 after a sloppy seventh surrendered the 2-1 New York lead. SS Gio Urshela walked but PR Tyler Wade got caught stealing, not sliding into 2B and running right into SS Xander Bogaerts‘ tag.

What would have seemed like the Yankees running themselves out of an inning — literally — rebuilt subsequently when 3B DJ LeMahieu walked and 1B Anthony Rizzo hustled for a right-center double after lining one off the right-center wall. With runners in scoring position, Judge — facing RHP Adam Ottavino — took advantage of 1B Bobby Dalbec’s missed foul-territory pop up by the netting and C Christian Vazquez‘s dropped foul tip, which appeared to come on the transfer at first glance, of a would-be third strike.

Judge subsequently laced a two-run double to center, putting the Yankees back ahead 4-3. Stanton stepped up to the plate and roped a first-pitch Ottavino hanger over the Green Monster and into the Boston night for a commanding 6-3 advantage.

2. Before Judge and Stanton stepped up, the Yankees were in line for an embarrassing loss. RHP Clay Holmes struck out the side with an 11-pitch sixth inning, but manager Aaron Boone turned to LHP Joely Rodriguez in the seventh, which turned out to be a poor decision. After Jose Iglesias‘ leadoff single to left and Alex Verdugo‘s bunt into the middle of the right side, a wild pitch put runners in scoring position with none out.

Vazquez lofted a sacrifice fly to Judge in right and the throw home was not in time, evening the score at a 2-2 tie. RHP Chad Green relieved Rodriguez and struck out Enrique Hernandez, but neither LeMahieu (in foul territory) nor LF Joey Gallo could catch Kyle Schwarber‘s consecutive pop ups. Gallo botched a routine fly ball and the Yankees got Schwarber out on an attempted to stretch the hit out into a double, but not before the Red Sox scored the go-ahead run and went up 4-3.

3. Earlier in the game, the Yankees broke through with a two-run fifth inning. 2B Gleyber Torres walked and, after back-to-back singles by C Gary Sanchez and CF Brett Gardner, the Yankees loaded the bases. Urshela grounded into a double-play, but the Yankees scratched across Torres for a 1-1 tie. They took their 2-1 lead on the ensuing at-bat, when LeMahieu punched a single to right and scored Sanchez.

4. LHP Jordan Montgomery was solid, surrendering just one run — a fourth-inning sacrifice fly to left by J.D. Martinez. Montgomery (6-6, 3.49 ERA) scattered seven hits, striking out four while walking none on 71 pitches (46 strikes).

5. Aside from a two-out walk, LHP Aroldis Chapman kept the drama at a minimum in the ninth inning. Chapman (3.50 ERA) earned his 30th save of the 2021 season after a 20-pitch, 11-strike frame in which he fanned two.


What’s next

The Yankees (89-67), after gaining ground on and overtaking Boston (88-68), have a direct chance to stay ahead of another AL Wild Card contender Tuesday when a three-game series with the Blue Jays (87-69) begins at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. RHP Jameson Taillon (8-6, 4.41 ERA) and LHP Hyun Jin-Ryu (13-9, 4.34 ERA) are Tuesday’s projected starters.

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