The Red Sox did their part in eliminating the Yankees from the AL East race with a 10-4 win in New York, but with the Jays and Orioles getting rained out, the Yankees' fate will have to wait until tomorrow.
So this game got off to...quite the start. It took the Red Sox eight innings to score five runs in the first game of the series. In the second, they had eclipsed that mark by the time New York came up to bat. Michael Pineda tried all the tricks in his bag, but just could not record outs. Mookie Betts took a slider into left field for a double to start the game, and moved to third as Dustin Pedroia sent a changeup in the same direction for a ground ball single. Xander Bogaerts would bring him the first run of the game, hitting a ground ball to short and beating out the double play to keep the Red Sox chugging.
David Ortiz put the pressure right back on Pineda with a double of his own, and while Pineda had a shot at a second out when Travis Shaw hit a tapper to the first base side of the mound, Pineda opted to try for the out at home, and Bogaerts slid in safe ahead of the tag to make it 2-0. A knee-high line drive into center from Brock Holt brought Ortiz home and once again left two men on, this time for Blake Swihart. Having been punished mostly for his off-speed pitches, Pineda tried to put Swihart away with heat low and inside, but Swihart cleaned it out, and took advantage of New York's right field with a three-run shot into the first row.
All that coming with just one out on the board for New York, but the momentum died suddenly with both Deven Marrero and Jackie Bradley Jr. going down to end the frame. It was the sort of inning which should have meant the end of the game before the second, but Rick Porcello came out almost as much of a mess as Pineda, allowing Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner reach scoring position right off the bat to start the bottom half. Porcello came close to getting out without too much damage, seeing the first run come across on a ground ball from Brian McCann that provided his second out of the inning. But the third out was too long in coming, with Carlos Beltran doubling Gardner home, and then scoring himself when Dustin Ackley caught a high fastball for a two-run shot. By the time Chase Headley ended the inning, it was 6-4.
Then, as if the first had never happened, the zeroes started piling up. Pineda retired the next nine batters he faced, while Porcello worked around an error in the second and put up a 1-2-3 third. In fact, the fourth inning would prove the most danger he faced for the rest of the game, and that involved only an infield single and a hit batter. Pineda would finally falter again in the fifth, hanging a slider to Mookie Betts who blasted it to left field for his 16th homer of the year, but would manage to pitch through the sixth despite his terrible start.
Rick Porcello, on the other hand, proved far more efficient, giving the Yankees little chance to strike back against Boston's bullpen. Porcello managed to get all the way through the eighth without allowing another run, actually leaving his outing quite reasonable on the whole. The Red Sox piled up a few more runs in the last few innings, with Blake Swihart smashing his second homer of the night, leaving Jean Machi's job incredibly easy in the ninth.
Unfortunately, the Red Sox didn't get the chance to personally eliminate the Yankees from the division race, The Blue Jays will have at least a 3-hour head start on finishing the job tomorrow, and even if they lose game one, the Red Sox would have to win their game before the Jays won theirs if they wanted to claim the kill. One way or another, though, the Red Sox seem to have done the job of killing any slight division hopes New York may have had coming into this series. And hey, far-fetched though it may seem, if the Sox can do for the next five games what they did for the last five, they'll finish not just at .500, but above. Stranger things have happened.