After coming up short in their comeback attempt earlier in the day, the Red Sox were once again held in check by the Yankees on Tuesday night, as they dropped the seven-inning nightcap of their doubleheader against their division rivals by a final score of 2-0 at Yankee Stadium.
Nathan Eovaldi, making his 24th start of the season for the Sox, did his part in keeping this one close, though it turned out to be not enough in the end.
Over five solid innings of work, Eovaldi allowed just two runs — both of which were earned — on seven hits and six walks to go along with six strikeouts on the night against his former team.
Both runs the veteran right-hander surrendered came by way of the home run ball, and they both proved to be very costly considering the fact that the Boston bats were kept quiet by New York pitching.
After tossing a scoreless first inning and recording the first two outs of the bottom of the second, Eovaldi served up a solo shot to Luke Voit on a first-pitch, 98 mph fastball on the outer half of the plate.
Following a third inning in which he kept the Yankees off the board despite putting two runners on, Eovaldi ran into some more trouble to begin things in the fourth, this time yielding a booming 441-foot solo homer to Giancarlo Stanton.
Stanton’s 19th home run of the season, which came off an 0-2, 80 mph curveball at the bottom of the strike zone, gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
In the moments after getting taken deep a second time, Eovaldi again dealt with traffic on the base paths, but managed to escape the fourth inning and strike out one while stranding a runner in the fifth to end his outing on a more positive note.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 83 (57 strikes), the 31-year-old hurler was ultimately hit with his eighth loss of the season while lowering his ERA on the year down to 3.91.
In relief of Eovaldi, left-hander Martin Perez got the first call out of the Boston bullpen in the sixth and got the first two outs of the inning before issuing a two-out single to Tyler Wade that resulted in Hirokazu Sawamura coming on.
Sawamura recorded the final out of the frame by getting Kyle Higashioka to fly out to right field, thus keeping his side’s deficit at two runs.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a rookie starter in the form of Yankees right-hander Luis Gil.
Gil, facing off against the Sox for the first time in his young career, was effective in what was just his third start of the 2021 season.
The Boston bats certainly had their chances to get to Gil throughout his 4 2/3 innings of work, but were simply unable to do so.
For instance, with no outs in the top of the second inning, the Sox had two runners — J.D. Martinez and Kyle Schwarber — on base following a single and walk, but neither Kevil Plawecki, Jarren Duran, or Travis Shaw made any progress from there since all three struck out to retire the side.
An inning later, Alex Verdugo drew a one-out walk off Gil and promptly took second base on a passed ball, but was left stranded at third base after a Xander Bogaerts ground out and Rafael Devers line out.
Fast forward to the fifth, and Duran led the frame off with a softly-hit single before advancing all the way to third on a one-out base hit off the bat of Enrique Hernandez.
Verdugo then proceeded to lift a fly ball 272 feet that was ultimately caught by Yankees left fielder Joey Gallo, but the speedy Duran opted to remain at third base as opposed to darting towards home plate.
That decision looked like it was going to pay off when Bogaerts drew a four-pitch walk to fill the bases and knock Gil out of this contest, but Yankees reliever Wandy Peralta won the forthcoming left-on-left matchup by getting Devers to hit into an inning-ending force out.
The top of the sixth presented another scoring opportunity when Plawecki reached base with one out and Hunter Renfroe ripped a pinch-hit single to put runners on the corners with two outs.
Bobby Dalbec (who was pinch-hitting for Shaw), however, grounded out to Peralta by lacing a liner that just so happened to deflect off the left-hander, which allowed him to get the out at first base to retire the side.
And in the seventh, recently-named Yankees closer Chad Green retired Boston’s Nos. 1, 2, 3 hitters (Hernandez, Verdugo, Bogaerts) in consecutive order to seal the 2-0 shutout victory for his side and the 2-0 shutout defeat for the Sox.
All in all, Boston hitters went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position while leaving nine runners on base as a team on Tuesday night.
With the loss, not only did the Red Sox manage to get swept by the Yankees in Tuesday’s doubleheader, but they also fell to 69-53 on the season as well as third place in the American League East going off percentage points.
Next up: Pivetta vs. Heaney
The Red Sox will send right-hander Nick Pivetta to the mound as they look to salvage this three-game series with a win in the finale on Wednesday night.
The Yankees will counter with left-hander Andrew Heaney, who they acquired in a trade with the Angels ahead of last month’s trade deadline.
First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN and ESPN.
(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Adam Hunger/Getty Images)