The Yankees out-slugged the Red Sox 10-7 in the second game of their first series this season as the two teams also slugged it out on the field.
The Yankees came back from a humiliating loss and stopped the high-flying Red Sox’s winning streak at nine games. The club’s bats came alive with four runs in the first inning, knocking out Red Sox starter David Price.
The good news is that six of the Yanks’ 12 hits in the game came from Giancarlo Stanton, who went 3-for-5 with a triple and three RBI, while Gary Sanchez homered twice and doubled, driving in four runs.
Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge added two hits apiece, with Gardner scoring three runs and Judge scoring twice. Didi Gregorius chalked up two RBI with a couple of sacrifice flies.
The other run scored by the Yankees came from an RBI single off the bat of first baseman Tyler Austin in the third inning. Austin then set in motion the slugfest on the field with a hard, but legal slide into second base to stop a double play — catching Red Sox shortstop Brock Holt with a cleat in the left leg.
The play caused the two dugouts to empty after Holt started a verbal assault on Austin before tempers were calmed without any punches thrown. The play was challenged by the Red Sox, and rejected because that kind of call is not reviewable under MLB rules.
Masahiro Tanaka seemed to be cruising, allowing just one run on a solo homer by Hanley Ramirez, Masa had a low pitch count in the bottom of the fifth inning with the Yankees up 8-1.
Suddenly, the Red Sox’s bats came alive, scoring six runs, highlighted by a run-scoring double by Mookie Betts, and then a two-out grand slam by J.D. Martinez, bringing the score to 8-6.
The Yankees bounced back with two runs in the sixth inning, before bringing in Chad Green who shut down the Sox in the bottom half of the inning, just before the ‘brouhaha’ in the top of the seventh.
Joe Kelly pitched the top of the seventh inning, evidently to hit Tyler Austin on the elbow with a 98 mph fastball after missing him once on the first pitch. This was a misguided retaliation for Austin’s slide in the third inning. Austin slammed his bat to the ground and then charged Kelly.
The benches cleared with Judge, Stanton and even CC Sabathia plowing through Red Sox players to try and separate Austin and Kelly. Judge, in trying to be peacemaker seemed to literally drag the mob towards the Boston dugout as be held Kelly in a headlock, before order was restored.
Umpires ejected Austin and Kelly and then, Yankees’ reliever Tommy Kahnle and third base coach Phil Nevin. As a longtime Yankee fan, I can assure you that this is not over, and will probably continue back and forth the entire season.
The Yanks’ bullpen, with the correct relievers finally in the right place at the right time, held the Sox scoreless; Chad Green in the seventh inning and a brilliant David Robertson in the eighth.
Aroldis Chapman pitched a shaky ninth but did what he’s paid to do, although he did allow a run, before striking out Mookie Betts and Rafael Devers — both going down swinging.
This win for the Yankees was crucial in restoring confidence and serving notice to the Red Sox that they will still have a fight on their hands for the AL East title this season.
I wrote a piece on Wednesday, advocating the replacement of Miguel Andujar with Ronald Torreyes. Andujar proceeded to go 0-for-4, leaving three men on base and is now hitting .104.
Andujar needs to go back to Triple-A and work on a swing that is not major league ready.
With Sonny Gray on the mound vs. Rick Porcello, in the rubber game on Thursday, a win for the Bombers might spark a winning streak as they head to Detroit; slowing down the Red Sox just in time, bringing them back to earth where they belong.