RECAP: Andrew Benintendi Comes up Clutch with Walk-Off Single in Extras as #RedSox Finish off Sweep of Yankees.

In a game that started on Sunday night and ended early Monday morning, it was the Red Sox who came out on top in ten innings of play for their fourth-straight win over the Yankees, opening up a 9.5 game lead atop the American League East.

Started by David Price, who was surprisingly outstanding against a team he owned a 24.92 ERA against in two outings prior to Sunday, the Red Sox managed to fight their way back on a night it looked like they could have settled for taking three out of four from their division rival.

Pitching into the seventh inning of this one, Price surrendered two earned runs, both of which were scored with him out of the game, on four hits, three free passes, and one HBP to go along with five punch outs on the night.

The lefty found himself dealing with traffic on the base paths right away in the first, as he allowed three of the first five hitters to reach, loading the bases with two outs in the frame. Fortunately, a 1-3 put out on a softly hit ground ball from Luke Voit allowed Price to escape unscathed.

Including the Voit ground out, the 32 year-old hurler retired 16 of the next 19 Yankees batters he faced going into the middle of the sixth inning in a 1-0 game in his team’s favor.

At that point, Price’s pitch count had reached 95, and given the fact he had just completed his sixth scoreless frame against a team he has a bad history with, maybe that was a good time for Alex Cora to call it a night for the big left-hander.

Instead he came back out for the seventh, gave up a leadoff single that was followed by a walk to put runners at first and second with no outs, and that was how Price’s fine night would come to a bit of a disappointing end.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 108, the second most he has thrown all season, 85 of which went for strikes, the Tennessee native relied heavily on his changeup Sunday night, as he went to it more than 31% of the time he was on the mound. He also topped out at 94.1 MPH with his two-seam fastball in the third inning. Although nothing has been announced by the team yet, I would expect Price’s next start, which would be his 23rd of the year, to come next weekend in Baltimore.

In relief of Price, Heath Hembree, who has turned into one of the best relievers with runners on base, got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen to try and get out of a seventh inning jam.

Instead, with runners on first and second, Hembree refused to give up a sacrifice bunt to Yankees right fielder Shane Robinson, as he threw up and near his head on three consecutive occasions, which eventually led to a seven pitch walk to load the bases.

From there, New York tacked on all four of their runs in a rather lengthy sequence. Gardner and Austin Romine scored on an E6 committed by Xander Bogaerts to close the book on David Price’s start and Robinson came around to cross the plate on a Giancarlo Stanton single a few minutes later. 3-1 Yankees.

Two batters and one pitching change later, Ryan Brasier, in the game for Boston now, got Gleyber Torres to fly out to center for the second inning, but that allowed Aaron Hicks, who reached base on the E6, to tag up from third and score his team’s fourth and final run of the frame.

Brasier, while escaping the seventh, also tossed a scoreless eighth inning to make way for Tyler Thornburg in the ninth.

Thornburg, who had not gotten any work since July 30th, worked his way around two walks to retire the side and give the Red Sox one last chance in their half of the ninth trailing by three runs.

After a crazy ninth that eventually saw these teams tied up again, Matt Barnes, who was also making his first appearance of August, retired all three Yankees he faced in order to send this thing to the bottom of the tenth, where he would eventually collect his fourth win of the season thanks to the heroics of Andrew Benintendi.

Speaking of Andrew Benintendi, the Red Sox lineup really saved their best for last on Sunday night/Monday morning, because they really could not do anything off of Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka.

Despite pitching less than five innings, Tanaka made just one costly mistake, and that was serving up a solo home run to Mookie Betts in that fifth inning to put the Red Sox on the board. Betts’ 26th long ball of the year traveled 437 feet into the night sky, per Statcast.

Up until this thing reached the ninth inning with their backs against the wall, that home run was the only scoring the Red Sox could manage off the likes of Tanaka, Zach Britton, and Dellin Betances.

With Aroldis Chapman in to close this game out in the ninth with a three-run lead to protect, it was Sandy Leon who got the rally started by drawing a one out walk.

Keep in mind, Chapman hadn’t blown a save since May 4th, yet he always seems to struggle at Fenway Park.

Three walks in the frame, one to Leon, one to Mookie Betts, and one to Steve Pearce, who was replaced by Jackie Bradley Jr., loaded the bases for Boston with two outs and JD Martinez coming to the plate.

On the first pitch he saw from Chapman, the Red Sox’s slugger scorched a 99.1 MPH single into center field to drive in Leon and Betts and cut the Yankees lead to one run.

With Xander Bogaerts at the plate looking to redeem himself for the previous error over at short, a 1-1 85 MPH slider from Chapman resulted in Bogaerts tapping a grounder to third in what appeared to be the final out of the contest.

Instead, a bad throw from Yankees’ third baseman Miguel Andujar over to Greg Bird at first base allowed both Bogaerts to reach first safely and Bradley Jr. to come in to score. Tied game headed into extra innings.

Fortunately for those who had to wake up early in the morning, extras did not take all that long, thanks to old friend Jonathan Holder, who gave up seven earned runs on Thursday, making an appearance out of the Yankees bullpen in the tenth.

It all happened with two outs in the inning, but a Sandy Leon single followed by an intentional walk of Mookie Betts put the go-ahead run for the Red Sox at second base.

Given the difference in speed around the base paths, Leon was replaced by the recently called up Tony Renda to represent the winning run.

Following a brief mound visit, Andrew Benintendi put an end to this marathon game by delivering the clutchest hit of the night, an RBI single to center field to score Renda from second and give the Red Sox the 5-4 win. Sweep completed.

Some notes from this win:

The Red Sox are 79-34. They are now 9.5 games up on the Yankees in the American League East. Also, the Red Sox have not lost a game against New York since Brian Cashman said this:

Against the Yankees in 2018, the Red Sox are 8-5 in head-to-head matchups, including a 6-1 record at Fenway Park.

In his first appearance in a Red Sox uniform, Tony Renda scored the winning run to complete a four-game sweep over the Yankees. That’s pretty cool.

From @RedSoxStats: Since Price’s meltdown on Sunday Night Baseball he’s made 5 starts, pitching into the 7th 4 times, with a 2.84 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 9.1 K/9, and 5.3-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio.

Andrew Benintendi’s career numbers against the Yankees: 39 G, .293/.355/.493 slash line, 6 HR, 27 RBI.

After enjoying the well-deserved off day on Monday, the Red Sox will open up a three-game series in their last trip to Toronto of the season against the 51-60 Blue Jays on Tuesday.

Chris Sale was schedules to start one of these games, but he has been pushed back. Instead, Drew Pomeranz, Brian Johnson, and Rick Porcello will get the ball for Boston in games one, two, and three of this series, and then it’s on to Baltimore for the weekend.

First pitch of the first game north of the border is scheduled for 7:07 PM ET on Tuesday. This team is special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#RedSox Complete Four-Game Sweep of Yankees with Andrew Benintendi’s Walk-Off Single in Extras.

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What a night it was for the 79-34 Boston Red Sox.

Trailing by three runs heading into the bottom half of the ninth, come back to tie at up at four against one of the best closers in all of baseball, and finish it off with an Andrew Benintendi walk-off single in the tenth. David Price was also good.

Full recap of this wild win is coming later in the morning. For now, let’s just enjoy the 9.5 game division lead atop the American League East heading into the off day on Monday.

Best team in baseball and the damage has been done.

RECAP: #RedSox Fall to Yankees Again Thanks to Another Collapse from the Bullpen.

A day after a disappointing loss to the Yankees in the opening game of this series, the Red Sox found themselves in a similar position last night. With the game going in their favor up until the bottom of the eighth, it’s almost inexcusable that they could not come away with the win to even things up at one game at piece. Instead, they’ll look to salvage something from this three-game set later tonight.

Since the news broke that David Price would not be able to make his scheduled start on Wednesday, everyone in the Red Sox rotation moved up a spot. Meaning it would be Rick Porcello on the mound against Masahiro Tanaka. In what was his worst start of the season up to this point, I thought that Porcello was still somewhat effective, as he prevented the Yankees from running away with this one.

The righty out of New Jersey tossed 5.1 innings, surrendered five earned runs on eight hits, three walks, and a HBP, all while fanning just three Yankees. Surprisingly, no one in that menacing lineup managed to go deep off of Porcello. That may not have been the most surprising part of the 2016 Cy Young Award winner’s night though. Nope, that would have to be the three free passes he gave up. In his seven starts prior to this one, Porcello has only walked more than two batters once, and that was back on April 24th in Toronto. In my opinion, those three walks last night were indicative of the fact that Porcello may not have had his best stuff going. After recording the first out of the sixth and giving up a single to Gleyber Torres, the 29-year-old’s night would come to an end with a pitch count of 91, 51 of which went for strikes.

With the Red Sox trailing by one at the time of Porcello’s departure in the sixth, lefty Brian Johnson would be first out of the bullpen. The former Florida Gator came through with two big outs to retire the side, then recorded the first out of the seventh inning as well. Considering this was his first time in a game since the first of May, it was reassuring that Johnson did not show any signs of struggling last night. After getting a fresh lead in the top half of the inning and getting Didi Gregorius to line out to kick off the bottom half, Carson Smith would enter this one and be responsible for ending things in the seventh.

The Texas native needed three batters to record two outs, but no damage was done in the inning, as the Red Sox still had a one run lead to protect going into the bottom of the eighth. That is where things got a bit sticky though, with Matt Barnes on the mound. A leadoff double to Neil Walker certainly did not help, and that was followed by a five pitch walk to Gleyber Torres two batters later. With runners on first and third and just one out in the inning, it was all left up to Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, who had never recorded a five out save in his entire career.

Well, that would not happen last night either, unfortunately. The flame throwing Kimbrel gave up a go-ahead triple to the very first batter he saw in Brett Gardner. That scored the runners from first and third and put the Red Sox down by a run. Even worse, the lead would increase for the Yankees four pitches into the next at bat, as Aaron Judge launched a 97 MPH fastball from Kimbrel into orbit, sending it 429 feet into the night sky.

Judge’s ninth long ball of the season put the Yankees up by three, and that’s all the run support Aroldis Chapman would need a half inning later.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup had a much easier time reaching base last night off of Masahiro Tanaka than they did Tuesday night against Luis Severino. Mitch Moreland got the scoring started in the top half of the second, as he put the Red Sox momentarily on top with his sixth home run of the season. A two-run blast that scored Xander Bogaerts from first as well.

Fast forward all the way to the fifth, Andrew Benintendi got in on the action with a home run of his own. This one a solo shot, mashed 391 feet into the right field bleachers of Yankee Stadium, his second of the season and his sixth career homer in the Bronx.

An inning later,trailing by two, and facing a new pitcher in Chad Green, Eduardo Nunez cut the Red Sox deficit in half with a sacrifice fly to center field. That scored Xander Bogaerts from third after he had ripped a double off of Tanaka to lead off the sixth.

Later in the seventh, still trailing by one, Hanley Ramirez left his mark on this game. It really did not make a difference by the end, but it was huge at the time. After Brock Holt and Mookie Betts both grounded out to start the inning, Andrew Benintendi drew a walk on six pitches. That set up a spot where Hanley Ramirez could go deep for the first time since April 14th and give his team the lead. Well, on the third pitch off his at bat, that’s exactly what Ramirez did.

That 431 foot shot to left put the Red Sox up by one in the seventh. Like I said, it seemed HUGE at the time it was hit, but that warm feeling did not last all that long.

Fast forward another inning, this time up by a run, and the Red Sox had a great chance to tack on some insurance runs. Mitch Moreland and Eduardo Nunez led the inning off against Yankees reliever Chasen Shreve with a walk and a double. That meant with no outs in the inning, the Red Sox had runners in scoring position. Ideal spot to be on, but the bottom half of the lineup could not capitalize on it. Even with two outs and the bases loaded for Andrew Benintendi after an intentional walk to Mookie Betts, nothing. Maybe getting more of a lead going into the ninth would have helped Craig Kimbrel out a little bit more, I don’t know.

Anyway, that did not happen and the Red Sox lost their second game in a row to the hands of the Yankees. It stings, but they have the chance to even the season series up later tonight. At least JD Martinez extended his hitting streak to 10 games, that’s pretty cool. Oh yeah, Eduardo Rodriguez gets the start against veteran lefty CC Sabathia, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM ET. Would be a real shame if someone like Eduardo Nunez laid down a bunt against ol’ CC, a real shame.