Red Sox commit 3 costly errors in 5-3 loss to Yankees

The Red Sox committed three errors and were swept by the Yankees on Wednesday night. Boston fell to New York by a final score of 5-3 at Fenway Park to drop to 69-74 on the season and 20-42 against American League East opponents.

Brayan Bello, making his eighth start of the year for the Sox, was the victim of poor defense behind him. The rookie right-hander immersed himself into the rivalry by allowing three unearned runs on six hits and just one walk to go along with six strikeouts over five solid innings of work.

All three of those runs came in the top of the fifth. Bello fanned Jose Trevino to begin the inning, but Aaron Hicks followed by reaching on a fielding error committed by Xander Bogaerts. Hicks moved up to second base on an Aaron Judge single before Giancarlo Stanton struck out swinging.

With two outs and runners on first and second, Gleyber Torres ripped a line drive to Alex Verdugo in right field. Verdugo attempted to gun down Hicks at home plate, but instead made an inaccurate throw that got past cutoff man Christian Arroyo and rolled to catcher Connor Wong.

As Hicks crossed the plate, Wong tried to get Torres caught in a rundown between first and second base. He instead made a poor throw that Arroyo had no chance of getting to and wound up in right field.

While Judge had already scored, Torres was on his horse and scored on a head-first slide to complete a Little League three-run home run that gave the Yankees a 3-0 plate.

Bello got through the rest of the fifth unscathed, but the damage had already been done. The 23-year-old hurler finished with a final pitch count of 98 (59 strikes) and induced 14 swings-and-misses. He was the tough-luck loser on Wednesday, though he did lower his ERA on the season down to 5.10.

Shortly after Bello’s night came to an end, the Red Sox got one of those three runs back in their half of the fifth. Rob Refsnyder led off with a hard-hit single off Yankees starter Nestor Cortes. He then scored all the way from first on a two-out RBI double from Wong.

Trailing by two runs going into the sixth inning, Red Sox manager Alex Cora called upon Zack Kelly out of the Boston bullpen. Kelly issued a leadoff walk to Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who promptly stole second base and scored from second on an RBI double off the bat of Trevino.

Following shutdown innings from Kaleb Ort and Eduard Bazardo, the pinch-hitting Reese McGuire led off the bottom of the eighth with a groundball single off Jonathan Loaisiga. Tommy Pham followed with a single of his own to put runners at first and second for Verdugo.

Verdugo grounded into a force out at third base, but Bogaerts filled the bases by blooping a single to right field. Pham then scored from third on a Rafael Devers groundball that got through the legs of Yankees first baseman Marwin Gonzalez.

The bases were still loaded with one out for J.D. Martinez, who seemingly drove in Verdugo by beating out a 6-4-3 double play. New York challenged the ruling on the field, however, and it turns out Martinez’s left foot missed the first-bag completely. The call on the field was overturned, meaning the inning ended without Boston tacking on additional run.

Ryan Brasier allowed one unearned run in the ninth on an Abraham Almonte fielding error in center field. Almonte, who had pinch-hit for Refsnyder in the seventh, led off the bottom of the inning with a line-drive double. He moved up to third and then scored on an Enrique Hernandez groundout. McGuire struck out against Clay Holmes to end it.

All told, the Red Sox went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday and left six men on base as a team.

Next up: A weekend with the Royals

The Red Sox will have the day off on Thursday before welcoming the Royals into town for a three-game weekend series. Veteran right-hander Michael Wacha will get the start for Boston in Friday’s opener while fellow righty Jonathan Heasley will take the mound for Kansas City.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN

(Picture of Connor Wong: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Trevor Story (sore left heel) not in Red Sox lineup for Tuesday’s series opener against Yankees; Christian Arroyo starting in his place

Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story is not in the starting lineup for Tuesday’s series opener against the Yankees at Fenway Park.

Story has been dealing with soreness in his left heel since Sunday, when he grounded into an inning-ending double play in the seventh inning of a 1-0 win over the Orioles in Baltimore.

Upon making contact with the first-base bag, Story came up gimpy and was removed from the game. He was replaced defensively by Christian Arroyo, who will be starting in his place at second base on Tuesday while batting sixth.

Story, who spent more than six weeks on the injured list earlier this summer because of a small hairline fracture near his right wrist, does not expect to be out too long this time around. The 29-year-old told reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham) that he is day-to-day after banging his left heel. Red Sox manager Alex Cora also said he does not believe Story’s injury is serious and he should be by Wednesday or Friday at the latest.

Since returning from the 60-day injured list on August 27, Story has batted a stout .340/.389/.500 with five doubles, one home run, eight RBIs, four runs scored, three stolen bases, four walks, and 17 strikeouts over his last 13 games (54 plate appearances). He has also provided the Red Sox with superb defense at second base, a position he had never played at the major-league level prior to this year.

Arroyo, meanwhile, has been on a hot streak of his own at the plate. The right-handed hitting 27-year-old is slashing .342/.377/.488 with 10 doubles, one triple, two home runs, 17 RBIs, 15 runs scored, two stolen bases, seven walks, and 23 strikeouts across his last 32 games (131 plate appearances) dating back to July 30.

On the other side of the ball, Arroyo will be making his 26th start of the season at second base on Tuesday. In the process of logging 223 innings at his primary position this year, Arroyo has posted four Defensive Runs Saved and an Ultimate Zone Rating of 1.1., per FanGraphs.

Latest on Yu Chang

Speaking of infielders, the Red Sox claimed Yu Chang off waivers from the Rays on Monday. Chang is already on Boston’s 40-man roster, but the 27-year-old will need to be added to the major-league roster since he is out of minor-league options.

Because of this, the Red Sox will need to remove someone — whether it be by placing them on the injured list, optioning them, or designating them for assignment — from the 28-man roster in order to activate Chang.

MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo reports that Chang is not expected to join the club on Tuesday, so they are not required to make a roster move yet. However, it will be something to monitor in the coming days.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo and Trevor Story: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Michael Wacha tosses 7 scoreless innings in first start since June 28 as Red Sox blank Yankees, 3-0, to earn series victory

The Red Sox won their second straight series against an American League East opponent with a shutout victory over the Yankees on Sunday night. Boston defeated New York by a final score of 3-0 to improve to 57-59 on the season.

Matched up against Jameson Taillon out of the gate, leadoff man Tommy Pham set the tone right away in the first inning. Pham led off by ripping a line-drive double to left-center field. He moved up to third base on a Rafael Devers groundout and scored the game’s first run on an RBI groundout off the bat of Xander Bogaerts.

Michael Wacha took over from there. Making his first start since June 28 after being activated from the 15-day injured list earlier in the afternoon, Wacha showed no signs of rust in his return to the mound. The veteran right-hander kept the Yankees off the scoreboard while scattering two hits and one walk to go along with a season-high nine strikeouts over seven strong innings of work.

After retiring the first 14 batters he faced, Wacha saw his bid for a perfect game come to an end when he gave up a softly-hit two-out single to Miguel Andujar. He then issued his first and only walk of the evening to Isiah Kiner-Filefa before getting Kyle Higashioka to ground out to Devers at third base.

Wacha yielded a one-out single to Andrew Benintendi in the sixth but left him there by fanning Aaron Judge and Josh Donaldson. He ended his night by punching out two more in a scoreless top of the seventh.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 89 (59 strikes), Wacha threw 36 four-seam fastballs, 21 changeups, 19 cutters, eight curveballs, and five sinkers. The 31-year-old hurler induced a game-high 10 swings-and-misses with his changeup and also averaged 93.8 mph with his four-seamer. He picked up his seventh win and lowered his ERA on the season to 2.44.

Moments before Wacha recorded the final out of the seventh, Devers broke out in the latter half of the sixth. After Pham led the inning off with another single, Devers promptly clubbed a 433-foot two-run home run to deep right field off Taillon.

Devers’ 25th homer of the season left his bat at a blistering 110.4 mph. It also gave the Red Sox some breathing room in the form of a 3-0 lead.

In relief of Wacha, Ryan Brasier received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Brasier made quick work of the Yankees in the eighth to pave the way for Garrett Whitlock, who did the same in the ninth to secure the victory and his fourth save of the year.

All told, three Boston pitchers (Wacha, Brasier, and Whitlock) combined to toss nine scoreless innings in which they only gave up two hits and one walk while striking out 11.

Offensively, Pham went 3 for 4 with two runs scored out of the leadoff spot while Devers went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and one run scored. Both of Devers’ hits left his bat at more than 110 mph. They were the two hardest-hits of the game, per Baseball Savant.

Also of note, Sunday’s contest took all of two hours and 15 minutes to complete.

Next up: On to Pittsburgh

The Red Sox will enjoy an off day on Monday before traveling to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates on the road for the first time since September 2014. Nick Pivetta is slated to get the ball for Boston in Tuesday’s series opener while fellow right-hander Mitch Keller is expected to do the same for Pittsburgh.

First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Michael Wacha: Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)

Red Sox squander late scoring chances in 3-2 loss to Yankees; Andrew Benintendi shines on both side of the ball against former team

The Red Sox came up short of another walk-off win over the Yankees at Fenway Park on Saturday night. Boston fell to New York by a final score of 3-2 to drop to 56-59 on the season.

Matched up against newly-acquired Yankees starter Frankie Montas, the Sox drew first blood in the bottom of the fourth inning. Alex Verdugo and Christian Arroyo both drew walks while Eric Hosmer singled to load the bases with one out. Jarren Duran then took a 91 mph cutter off his knee to drive in Verdugo before Reese McGuire plated Hosmer on a sacrifice fly to center field.

Kutter Crawford, meanwhile, was in the midst of making his ninth start of the season for Boston. The rookie right-hander faced the minimum through his first three innings of work. He issued a walk to Anthony Rizzo and a single to Josh Donaldson in the fourth, which put runners at the corners with two outs for Gleyber Torres.

Torres proceeded to rip a 341-foot laser in the direction of Verdugo in right field. Verdugo initially took a step inward, but corrected himself in time to make a fantastic catch on the run to strand Rizzo and Donaldson and end the inning there.

The Yankees finally got to Crawford in the fifth, however. After issuing a leadoff walk to old friend Andrew Benintendi, the righty served up a game-tying, two-run home run to Isiah Kiner-Falefa. It was a 372-foot blast over the Green Monster that was good for Kiner-Falefa’s first long ball of the season.

While that did prove to be costly, Crawford did end his night on a solid note by retiring five of the final six hitters he faced through the middle of the sixth. The 26-year-old hurler wound up surrendering the two runs on two hits, four walks, and five strikeouts over six innings. Fifty-nine of the 94 pitches he threw went for strikes and his ERA on the season now sits at 4.18.

In relief of Crawford, Hirokazu Sawamure received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Sawamura struck out two in a scoreless top of the seventh. In the latter half of the frame, the Red Sox lineup now found themselves opposed by Yankees reliever Lou Trivino.

Xander Bogaerts ripped a two-out double to left field, which prompted Yankees manager Aaron Boone to turn to Aroldis Chapman with the left-handed hitting Verdugo due to hit next for the Sox. Chapman plunked Verdugo to bring J.D. Martinez to the plate in a prime run-scoring spot. But the bat was taken out of Martinez’s hands when Chapman caught Bogaerts trying to steal third base and picked him off to extinguish the threat.

John Schreiber took over for Sawamura and put up another zero in the eighth. In the ninth, he gave up a one-out double to Beintendi that was immediately followed by a Jose Trevino infield single to put runners on the corners.

Following a mound visit from pitching coach Dave Bush, Schreiber was tasked with facing Kiner-Falefa, who came through for the Yankees yet again by dropping a perfectly-executed squeeze bunt that scored Benintendi from third to make it a 3-2 game.

Down to their final three outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Sox showed some signs of life against Scott Effross. McGuire and Pham each singled with one out to put runners at first and second for the meat of the order. But Rafael Devers grounded into a force out at second base and Bogaerts popped out to first base to end it.

All told, the Red Sox went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base as a team. Devers, Bogaerts, and Martinez went a combined 1-for-14 with two strikeouts. Pitching-wise, Schreiber was charged with his second loss of the year.

Next up: Wacha returns for rubber match

The Red Sox will activate right-hander Michael Wacha from the 15-day injured list to start Sunday’s series finale against the Yankees. Wacha has been sidelined with right shoulder inflammation since early July. Fellow righty Jameson Taillon will start for New York.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. eastern time on ESPN.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Tommy Pham comes through with walk-off single in 10th inning as Red Sox come back to defeat Yankees, 3-2

The Red Sox walked off the Yankees in 10 innings at Fenway Park on Friday night. Tommy Pham immersed himself into the storied rivalry by lifting Boston to a 3-2 victory over New York.

Well before that, though, Nathan Eovaldi made his 18th start of the season for the Sox. The veteran right-hander grinded through six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts on the night.

The first of those two runs came right away in the top of the first inning. After issuing a one-out walk to Aaron Judge, Eovaldi gave up an RBI double to Anthony Rizzo. Two innings later, Judge took Eovaldi 429 feet over the Green Monster for his 46th home run of the season to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead.

J.D. Martinez got the Red Sox on the board in the fourth inning by driving in Alex Verdugo, who led off with a double, on a run-scoring single up the middle. That cut the deficit in half, but it was all they could get off Yankees starter Domingo German, who tossed six-one run innings.

Eovaldi, meanwhile, settled in by retiring nine of the final 12 batters he faced from the fourth inning on. He gave up a one-out single to old friend Andrew Benintendi in the sixth, but that was immediately negated when Jose Trevino popped into a force out at second base.

All told, Eovaldi finished with a final pitch count of 108 (70 strikes). The 32-year-old hurler induced a total of 11 swings-and-misses while averaging 94.4 mph with his four-seam fastball. His ERA on the season now sits at 4.15.

In relief of Eovaldi, Matt Barnes received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Barnes yielded a one-out single to D.J. LeMahieu and promptly plunked Judge, but he got out of that by punching out Rizzo and Josh Donaldson in back-to-back fashion.

From there, Ryan Brasier retired the side in order in the eighth before Garrett Whitlock did the very same in the ninth to hold the Yankees at two runs. In the latter half of the inning, the Red Sox were down to their final three outs and matched up against All-Star closer Clay Holmes.

Holmes got a slumping Rafael Devers to ground out to short, but then issued back-to-back walks to Xander Bogaerts and Verdugo. Martinez then came through once again by driving in Bogaerts on another RBI single up the middle to knot things up at two runs apiece.

Verdugo, who advanced to third on the play, represented the potential winning run as Yankees manager Aaron Boone pulled Holmes in favor of Wandy Abreu. The lefty fanned Eric Hosmer and then got Christian Arroyo to line out to send the game into extras.

Whitlock came back out for the 10th and stranded runners at second and third while striking out Donaldson and Gleyber Torres. Arroyo, having recorded the final out of the ninth, started the bottom of the 10th inning at second base. Jaylin Davis moved him up to third on a softly-hit groundout.

After Reese McGuire reached base on a bunt single, Pham delivered with the hit of the night: a walk-off single down the left field line off Lou Trivino that scored Arroyo from third. Comeback completed.

With the win, their second straight, the Red Sox improved to 56-58 on the season. They still trail the Orioles by four games for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Crawford vs. Montas

The Red Sox will go for their second consecutive series win over an American League East opponent on Saturday night. Rookie right-hander Kutter Crawford will get the start for Boston while former Red Sox pitching prospect Frankie Montas will do the same for New York.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. eastern time on FOX.

(Picture of Tommy Pham: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Yankees acquire former Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi from Royals

The Yankees have acquired former Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the Royals in exchange for three pitching prospects, the clubs announced late Wednesday night.

Benintendi, 28, was viewed as an appealing target ahead of the August 2 trade deadline given the fact that he is slated to become a free-agent at the end of the season and was playing for a 39-59 Royals team that is not contending for anything.

A first-time All-Star in his second year in Kansas City, the left-handed hitting Benintendi is currently batting .320/.387/.398 with 14 doubles, two triples, three home runs, 39 RBIs, 40 runs scored, four stolen bases, 39 walks, and 52 strikeouts over 93 games (390 plate appearances) this season.

Defensively, Benintendi is coming off a 2021 campaign in which he took home the Gold Glove Award for American League left fielders. The 5-foot-9, 180-pounder has yet to commit an error at the position this season while posting an ultimate zone rating of 7.1 across 766 innings.

While Benintendi’s on-field performance has been solid, there were some concerns about his unwillingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19 after missing the Royals’ four-game series in Toronto earlier this month. It remains to be seen if he has changed his stance and will get vaccinated now that he is on a contender, but the Yankees only have to play three more regular season games north of the border (from September 26-28), anyway.

In return for Benintendi, the Royals are receiving right-handers Chandler Champlain and Beck Way and left-hander T.J. Sikkema from the Yankees. Champlain, selected in the ninth round of last year’s draft, was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 29 prospect in New York’s farm system. Way, selected in the fourth round of the 2020 draft, was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 13 prospect in New York’s farm system. Sikkema, selected in the first round of the 2019 draft, was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 23 prospect in New York’s farm system.

Interestingly enough, the Royals are slated to open a four-game series against the first-place Yankees in the Bronx on Thursday, so Benintendi will not need to travel far to join his new team.

Benintendi, who spent the first five years of his major-league career (and won a World Series title with) the Red Sox, will get to experience baseball’s greatest rivalry from the other side when the Yankees come to Boston for a three-game series at Fenway park next month.

(Picture of Andrew Benintendi: Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images)

Franchy Cordero, Christian Vázquez, and J.D. Martinez all homer as Red Sox beat Yankees, 11-6, to earn series split

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)

Rob Refsnyder leading off as Red Sox look to bounce back against Yankees in Connor Seabold’s first career start at Fenway Park

The Red Sox are rolling with a right-handed heavy lineup as they look to even their series against the Yankees on Friday night.

Yankees starter Nestor Cortes — a left-handed pitcher — comes into play Friday holding opposing left-handed hitters to a measly .116/.156/.186 slash line against through his first 15 starts of the season.

With that, the likes of Jackie Bradley Jr., Franchy Cordero, and Jarren Duran are all out of Boston’s starting lineup. In their place, Christian Arroyo will get the start in right field, Bobby Dalbec will start at first base, and Rob Refsnyder will start in center while serving as Alex Cora’s leadoff hitter.

Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo are the only two left-handed hitters in Cora’s lineup. Devers will bat out of the two-hole while Verdugo will bat sixth, per usual. Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, and Christian Vazquez will make up the 3-4-5 portion of the batting order. Behind Verdugo will be Trevor Story, Arroyo, and Dalbec.

Of these nine hitters, Devers is the only one who has taken Cortes deep in the past, and he has done so on two separate occasions.

Vazquez, after getting the night off on Thursday, will be catching rookie right-hander Connor Seabold. The 26-year-old is slated to make his first-career start at Fenway Park after being recalled from Triple-A Worcester in place of the injured Michael Wacha earlier Friday afternoon.

Seabold is in line to become the third straight rookie to start a game for the Sox after Brayan Bello did so on Wednesday and Josh Winckowski did so on Thursday. In his first two starts of the season last week, Seabold allowed eight earned runs on 15 hits, three walks, and 11 strikeouts over 8 2/3 combined innings against the Blue Jays and Cubs.

If the Red Sox can defeat the Yankees on Friday, it will mark just their 10th win of the year against a divisional opponent. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Rob Refsnyder: Paul Rutherford/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers’ 2-homer night goes for naught as Red Sox come up short in 6-5 loss to Yankees

The Red Sox’ struggles against the American League East continued on Thursday night as they suffered a series-opening loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park.

Boston fell to New York by a final score of 6-5 to drop to 9-19 against divisional opponents and 45-38 on the season overall.

Josh Winckowski, making his sixth start of the year for the Sox, immersed himself into the rivalry by allowing six earned runs on six hits, five walks, and two strikeouts over five innings of work.

The rookie right-hander retired six of the first eight batters he faced in the first two innings of Thursday’s contest. He then issued a leadoff walk to No. 9 hitter Joey Gallo to begin things in the third. After Gleyber Torres singled and Giancarlo Stanton drew a two-out walk to load the bases, Winckowski received a visit from pitching coach Dave Bush.

On the other side of that mound visit, Winckowski proceeded to serve up a 429-foot grand slam to Josh Donaldson. Moments after Donaldson crossed home plate, Winckowski gave up a first-pitch solo home run to Aaron Hicks, this giving the Yankees a commanding 5-0 lead.

The Sox were able to get two of those runs back in their half of the third. Matched up against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, Kevin Plawecki reached base via a one-out single. After Jarren Duran struck out, Rafael Devers got his productive night at the plate started by crushing a 434-foot, two-run blast to right field to make it a 5-2 game.

Winckowski, meanwhile, managed to work his way around two walks in the fourth before running into some more trouble in the fifth. A two-out double from Hicks put a runner at third for Jose Trevino, who hit a 53-foot pop fly to the right side of the infield. First baseman Franchy Cordero put himself in position to catch the ball to retire the side, but he instead misplayed it, which allowed Hicks to easily score his side’s sixth run. Winckowski then got the final out of the inning and ended his night there.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 98 (52 strikes), the 24-year-old induced just three swings-and-misses while relying heavily upon his sinker and slider. He was ultimately charged with his third loss of the season while his ERA rose to 4.35.

Shortly after Winckowski ended the top of the fifth, Devers got to Cole again in the bottom half. Following a leadoff double from Cordero and one-out walk from Plawecki, runners were at the corners with two outs for the soon-to-be two-time All-Star.

Having already seen him give up a homer to Devers, Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake paid Cole a visit on the mound to discuss how they would attack the dangerous left-handed hitter this time around. Whatever strategy they came up with did not work, though, as Devers promptly cranked a 425-foot three-run shot to dead center field.

Devers’ second big fly of the night — and 19th of the season — left his bat at 107. 4 mph. It also cut the Yankees’ lead down to one run at 6-5. Cole, however, did not buckle, as he got through the rest of the fifth before sitting down the final three batters he faced in order in the sixth.

The rest of the night belonged to New York’s vaunted bullpen. While Matt Strahm, John Schreiber, Ryan Brasier (with some defensive help from Trevor Story), and Austin Davis combined for four scoreless frames in relief of Winckowski, the three relievers the Yankees used were just as effective.

Wandy Peralta made quick work of the Sox in the seventh while Michael King stranded one runner in an otherwise quiet eighth inning. When they were down to their final three outs in the ninth, Story, Cordero, and Rob Refsnyder were all retired by Clay Holmes, who needed just 10 pitches to hand the Red Sox their seventh loss in their last 10 games.

Despite the loss, Devers went 2-for-5 with all five of Boston’s RBIs on Wednesday after sitting out the last two games with a sore back and right hamstring. He has now taken Cole deep on six different occasions in the 25 times he has faced off against him.

Next up: Seabold vs. Cortes

The Red Sox will call up right-hander Connor Seabold to start against the Yankees on Friday as Michael Wacha is expected to be placed on the 15-day injured list due to arm discomfort.

Seabold will become the third straight rookie to start a game for Boston. New York will counter with left-hander Nestor Cortes.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7: 10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Bobby Dalbec comes through with go-ahead homer as Red Sox hold on for 4-3 win over Yankees to avoid sweep

The Red Sox will not be starting 0-3 for a second consecutive year, as they squeaked out a 4-3 win over the Yankees in the Bronx on Sunday night to avoid a sweep and improve to 1-2 on the young season.

Matched up against Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery to begin things in Sunday’s series finale, the Sox once again got on the board in their half of the first inning.

Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts each reached base via one-out singles, and both scored on a J.D. Martinez RBI double that was followed by a sacrifice fly from Christian Arroyo.

In possession of an early 2-0 lead, Sox starter Tanner Houck had an immediate cushion to work with. The right-hander was not at his sharpest on Sunday, though, as he allowed three earned runs on six hits, three walks, and one hit batsman to go along with three strikeouts over just 3 1/3 innings pitched.

The first of those three runs scored off Houck came with no outs in the bottom of the third, when Giancarlo Stanton plated Anthony Rizzo from second base to cut Boston’s lead in half at 2-1.

After Jonathan Arauz got that run back on a sacrifice fly off Yankees reliever Clarke Schmidt that scored Arroyo in the top half of the fourth, New York struck again in the latter half of the frame.

There, Houck issued back-to-back leadoff hits to Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jose Trevino to put runners at first and second. He then punched out Josh Donaldson, who turned out to be the final batter he would face.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 78 (45 strikes), Houck turned to his four-seam fastball 45% of the time he was on the mound Sunday and hovered around 95.4 mph with the pitch.

In relief of Houck, Ryan Brasier got the first call from manager Alex Cora out of the Boston bullpen. Brasier, in turn, allowed both of the runners he inherited to score on a then-game-tying two-run single from Rizzo.

Kutter Crawford was next up in the fifth inning and impressed in his second appearance of the season. The 26-year-old righty stranded a pair of runners in scoring position in the fifth before striking out Rizzo and Aaron Judge in a scoreless sixth.

Moments before Crawford did that, Bobby Dalbec broke the 3-3 tie by cranking his first home run of the season off Schmidt. It came on the very first pitch of the sixth inning, a 94 mph sinker down the heart of the plate that Dalbec deposited 391 feet to right-center field to give the Red Sox a 4-3 advantage.

In the seventh, Crawford yielded a leadoff single to Stanton, representing the potential tying run, before making way for Matt Strahm. The left-hander proceeded to strand Stanton at first base by retiring the next three Yankees he faced in order.

From there, Hansel Robles maneuvered his way around a leadoff walk in an otherwise clean eighth inning. And in the ninth, Jake Diekman got his outing started in dramatic fashion by fanning the dangerous Judge on 11 pitches. He then got Stanton and Joey Gallo to strike out swinging as well to lock down his first save in a Red Sox uniform.

All told, five different Boston relievers (Brasier, Crawford, Strahm, Robles, Diekman), combined for 5 2/3 scoreless innings in which they scattered five hits and one walk while striking out a total of six.

Crawford, for what it’s worth, was credited with the winning decision — the first of his young career.

Some other notes from this victory:

From the Red Sox’ J.P. Long:

From The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

Next up: To Detroit

The Red Sox will continue their season-opening road trip by heading to Detroit for a three-game set against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

Veteran right-hander Michael Wacha is slated to make his first start of the year for Boston in the series opener on Monday. Detroit will roll with fellow righty Matt Manning.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Bobby Dalbec: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)