In their final game at Yankee Stadium in 2020, the Red Sox fell to the first-place Yankees by a final score of 6-3 on Monday, which extended their losing streak to a season-worst eight consecutive games.
Martin Perez made his fifth start of the season for Boston in this one, and he came into the week having made just one career start in the Bronx prior to Monday.
Only able to work the first three innings due to a 1 hour and 22 minute rain delay, the left-hander yielded three runs, all of which were earned, on two hits, three walks, and one hit batsman to go along with one lone strikeout on the night.
All three of those New York tallies came in the bottom half of the second, when after plunking Tyler Wade, the Yanks’ No. 9 hitter, with two outs, Perez served up an RBI double to Aaron Hicks and followed that by serving up a 428-foot two-run to Luke Voit on a 2-2, 83 mph changeup right down the chute moments later.
Those three consecutive mistakes put Perez’s side in an early three-run hole, and his evening would unknowingly come to a close after a scoreless third inning due to that aforementioned inclement weather.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 58 (30 strikes), the 29-year-old hurler turned to his cutter and changeup a combined 58% of the time he was on the mound Monday, inducing three swings-and-misses with the combination of pitches while also topping out at 93 mph with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 10 times.
Hit with his third losing decision of the year while also raising his ERA to 4.07, Perez will look to rebound in his next time out, which should come against the Orioles in Baltimore on Saturday.
In relief of Perez, left-hander Josh Osich got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen following that 83-minute rain delay, and he surrendered a pair of leadoff homers to Thairo Estrada and Voit in the bottom halves of the fourth and fifth innings.
From there, fellow southpaw Josh Taylor made his 2020 debut after getting activated from the injured list and needed just nine pitches to toss a scoreless bottom of the sixth, while Austin Brice gave up another solo shot to Aaron Hicks in the seventh and Heath Hembree fanned a pair in a perfect eighth inning.
Hembree’s impressive work kept Boston’s deficit at three runs, but it would prove to not be enough in the end.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a fairly familiar foe in Yankees left-hander Jordan Montgomery, whose 2020 debut came against Boston back on July 31.
The 27-year-old had a no-hitter going through his first 3 2/3 innings on Monday, but a string of three straight two-out hits in the fourth from J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, and Christian Vazquez broke that up, with Vazquez plating Martinez on an RBI single that was just out of the reach of Gleyber Torres.
As it would almost immediately turn out, Vazquez’s 12th RBI of the season came at just the right time as the Yankees ground crew began to roll the tarp onto the field almost as soon as Vazquez had reached first base safely.
The Red Sox headed into a lengthy weather delay with two outs and runners on the corners in the fourth, but they could not do anything with that opportunity once the rain lifted.
That being the case because after Michael Chavis drew a five-pitch walk to load the bases, Alex Verdugo was the victim of a swinging strikeout at the hands of Luis Avilan to extinguish the threat and end the inning.
Verdugo did redeem himself in the top of the sixth, though, when with two outs and Vazquez at second, the outfielder drove the catcher in on a run-scoring double off reliever Michael King. 5-2 New York.
Fast forward all the way to the ninth, with the Yankees up 6-2, vaunted fireballer Aroldis Chapman made his first appearance of the season out of the New York bullpen. Perhaps taking advantage of some of Chapman’s expected rustiness, the Sox made somewhat of a comeback attempt with Jose Peraza ripping a one-out triple and Jonathan Arauz scoring him on an RBI double down the left field line.
That pushed the Red Sox’ deficit to three runs at 6-3, but alas, that would go on to be Monday’s final score after Kevin Pillar and Rafael Devers struck out back-to-back to end the game.
Some notes and observations from this loss:
The Red Sox have lost their last 11 games at Yankee Stadium.
From The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:
From The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:
From MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo:
Next up for the Red Sox, they will return to Fenway Park and open up a two-game interleague series against the Phillies beginning on Monday night.
Right-hander Zack Godley will get the start for Boston, while fellow righty Zach Eflin will do the same for Philadelphia.
In four career appearances (two starts) against the Phillies, the 30-year-old Godley owns a lifetime 1.53 ERA and .528 OPS against over 17 2/3 total innings pitched.
Eflin, meanwhile, will be making his first career start against the Red Sox and his first career start at Fenway Park.
First pitch Monday is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. eastern time on NESN and WEEI. Red Sox looking to finally to put an end to this dreadful skid, maybe?