The Red Sox wrapped up their weekend on a solid note by coming from behind for a second night in a row to ultimately beat and earn a series split the Yankees. After Alex Verdugo walked it off in 10 innings on Saturday, Boston rallied from multiple four-run deficits to defeat the Yankees by a final score of 11-6 at Fenway Park on Sunday.
Nick Pivetta, making his 18th start of the season, was unfortunately the primary reason why the Sox fell behind early on Sunday night. In just 3 1/3 innings of work, the right-hander got rocked for six runs on eight hits, and two walks, to go along with five strikeouts.
All six of those Yankees runs came within the first three innings. In the first, Pivetta served up a blistering two-run home run to Giancarlo Stanton. In the second, he gave up a pair of run-scoring hits to Jose Trevino and Isiah Kiner-Filefa. And in the third, he surrendered another two-run blast to Matt Carpenter.
Franchy Cordero had just crushed a two-run homer of his own in the bottom of the second off Yankees starter Jameson Taillon to briefly cut the Red Sox’ deficit in half, but Carpenter took things into his own hands to give New York a 6-2 lead.
Taillon, however, fell victim to the long ball again in the latter half of the third inning. With two outs and the bases empty, Christian Vazquez clobbered a 380-foot solo shot over the Green Monster to make it a three-run game at 6-3.
Pivetta, meanwhile, came back out for the fourth but gave up base hits to two of the final three batters he faced before getting the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora. The 29-year-old wound up throwing 90 pitches (59 strikes) in the process of raising his ERA on the season to 4.08.
Kaleb Ort took over for Pivetta with two outs to get in the fourth inning. Making his first-ever appearance at Fenway Park, Ort retired the dangerous duo of Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo before getting through a scoreless fifth with the help of an inning-ending 3-6-1 double play.
To lead off the bottom of the fifth, Jackie Bradley Jr. reached base on a line-drive single. He then moved up to second on a Bobby Dalbec groundout and to third on a Jarren Duran groundout before being driven in by Vazquez. Following a Yankees mound visit, J.D. Martinez proceeded to tie things up by clubbing another two-run homer 392 feet into the Red Sox bullpen in right field.
Martinez’s ninth big fly of the season — and his first at Fenway Park since June 14 — knotted things up at six runs apiece going into the sixth. There, former Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman loaded the bases with no outs. Boston was only able to get one run out of it, though, as the pinch-hitting Jeter Downs plated Trevor Story on fly ball that was dropped by D.J. LeMahieu to give the Red Sox their first lead of the night.
After Hirokazu Sawamura tossed a pair of scoreless frames in the sixth and seventh (and Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected for arguing balls and strikes), the Sox struck again in their half of the seventh when Martinez reached base on a Kiner-Filefa throwing error. Like Chapman, Miguel Castro proceeded to load the bases with no outs. Following another mound visit, Story cleared said bases on a 402-foot three-run double that nearly left the yard.
It may not have been a grand slam, but it still plated three. Story then scored from second when Cordero greeted new Yankees reliever Albert Abreu by dropping a sacrifice bunt. Abreu fielded the ball cleanly, but he made an errant throw to first base that deflected off Rizzo and allowed Story to score on a heads-up play.
Taking a commanding 11-6 advantage into the late innings, Matt Strahm stranded one runner in the eighth while Ryan Brasier faced the minimum in the ninth. Downs, for his part, had taken over at third base after pinch-hitting for Duran earlier in the contest. The rookie infielder made a superb barehanded play while charging towards the ball to rob Kiner-Filefa of a potential infield single with an absolute dart to first base . He then showed off his hops to start the game-ending 5-4-3 double play.
With the win, the Red Sox improve to 47-39 on the season and to 11-20 against divisional opponents. This is the first time in tries this year that the Sox have not lost a series to an American League East rival.
Next up: Happy flight to St. Petersburg
It will be a quick turnaround for the Red Sox as they will board a flight to St. Petersburg before opening a four-game series against the reeling Rays on Tuesday night.
In the series opener, rookie right-hander Brayan Bello will be making his second start for Boston while Tampa Bay will roll fellow righty Matt Wisler. First pitch from Tropicana Field is scheduled for 7: 10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Alex Verdugo: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)