Hunter Renfroe’s sack fly ultimately made all the difference in a back and forth fight.
The Red Sox congratulate Hunter Renfroe. Elise Amendola / AP Photo
The Red Sox made up three deficits against the Yankees on Thursday, scooping an unlikely 5-4 win in 10 innings to open a four-game streak at Fenway Park.
Here’s what happened when the Red Sox snapped the Yankees’ four-game winning streak.
The big picture
Until their last out, the Red Sox equalized with 3 in ninth place on a double-run double from Kiké Hernández, who scored Alex Verdugo and Jarren Duran. Hern ández joked that it would probably have been a home run in Buffalo, but even so, he was thrilled to help the Red Sox with what manager Alex Cora called his biggest hit with the team to date.
“It was definitely the loudest thing I’ve heard from Fenway this year,” said Hernández.
The Yankees reacted in the 10th when Brett Gardner rode a sacrificial fly in Tyler Wade. Rafael Devers rushed home on a wild rope in the lower part of the frame to knot it at 4. Xander Bogaerts left, finished second on a wild rope and third, and came home with a Hunter Renfroe sacrificial fly that sealed it and sent the Fenway believers into a frenzy.
Both teams took advantage of runner-up in the Extras, and the Red Sox had the last laugh as All-Star seamstress Matt Barnes took the win. The four wild pitches of the Yankees relief Brooks Kriske in one inning set a record in the major league regular season.
“There are a lot of guys who fight their asses,” said Kriske. “It sucks being the one to blow it for the team.”
Stars of the game
For the Red Sox, it was Verdugo – who finished 3-for-4 with two runs and was keen on the base paths – and Hernández for his Moxie in the late game. Without Verdugo’s hustle and bustle, the Red Sox would not have finished the game in seventh and given themselves a chance. Without the hit by Hernández they would not have gotten extras.
For the Yankees, it was starter Jordan Montgomery who scored six goals in 5 ⅔ goalless innings. The left-hander only allowed three hits and was just as sharp after a rain delay of almost an hour.
What it means
The Red Sox, who defeated the Toronto Blue Jays in a series of two games, are unbeaten at home by the Yankees and 8-3 against them for the season. You’ve been 4-2 since the All-Star Break and are 59-38 a year.
The Tampa Bay Rays outlasted the Cleveland Indians by 5-4 in 10 innings, so the Red Sox are still one game ahead of the Rays in the American League East. Boston has three more against the Yankees, four against the Blue Jays and three against the Rays in the coming weeks.
1. Red Sox starter Tanner Houck started the night electrically, knocking out nine of the first 10 thugs he faced and beating six of them. He let the Yankees guess and relied heavily on his slider.
His command over three was excellent, but it proved costly to lead Brett Gardner and Giancarlo Stanton to start the fourth. Both passed with a pass, Gleyber Torres covered Gardner with a grounder to shortstop and the Yankees took a 1-0 cross.
Houck returned to a rhythm on the fifth round, registering another strikeout before allowing a rain-induced infield single where the ball bounced across the grass and was essentially unplayable. Then came the 55-minute rain delay and Houck didn’t return – a decision he understood and supported. He finished with eight strikeouts in 4 ⅔ innings, allowing only one undeserved run on two hits.
“Excellent,” Cora said of Houck. “The rain delay killed us right there.”
Houck stayed 0-2 in the season and lowered his ERA to 2.50. His 44 strikeouts are the third most shared by a Red Sox pitcher in the first eight career games.
He threw 33 sliders Thursday and got the Yankees swinging at 11, including seven misses.
“I knew immediately that the slider felt just right,” said Houck. “You won’t wake up every day feeling the best about everything. I went out and competed with what I had. “
2. Boston tied the game 1 in seventh on a Hernández sacrificial fly that hit Verdugo. Verdugo, who recently pulled out an infield single and recently pushed into third place on a hit, sprinted home and slipped his left hand in just before Rob Brantly could hit the tag.
Moments later, the Red Sox instantly got the Yankees going again. New York threw Bobby Dalbec out at home and then took two runs in the top of eighth on an RBI single by Giancarlo Stanton and a sacrificial fly by Gleyber Torres. Adam Ottavino went the first two thugs, Hernández misplayed a ball in the middle, and the Yankees effectively played small ball.
However, when the Yankees met again, so did the Red Sox – and again in 10th place. Every time New York pushed forward, Boston responded.
“It was a good fight,” said Cora, “and in the end we won.”
3. This was the MLB’s 30th best come-from-behind win for the Red Sox and one of the most unlikely.
Although they ended up scoring 10 hits to the Yankees’ four and making no mistakes, the odds were still stacked against them at several points during the night.
They relied on a variety of sources, including Duran, who pounded on Hernández’s ball all the way home from the start.
“As soon as the ball hit the gap, we knew it was going to hit,” said Cora.
They also turned to Josh Taylor, Darwinzon Hernandez, Ottavino, Yacksel Rios, and Barnes with relief. Ottavino fought in the eighth, but the other relievers combined for 4 ⅓ shutout innings.
4. Many familiar faces were in the house, including former Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, former Red Sox outfielder JD Drew and first-round pick 2021 Marcelo Mayer, to name a few.
The Red Sox made the fans happy, put together another exciting win and stayed at the top of the league.
Houck said: “The atmosphere, there is nothing like it.”
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