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Red Sox 15, Yankees 7: An eight-run fourth catapults the Sox to victory

That was awesome.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

This was absolutely incredible. There’s really no other way to describe it. After a few disheartening innings to kick this thing off, the Red Sox completely lost their minds. And I mean that in the best possible way. They absolutely exploded for an eight-run fourth, and then were able to cruise the rest of the way. There really wasn’t a silent bat in the lineup (Swihart went hitless but reached on an error that he ripped and could have been ruled a hit) but Steve Pearce was the clear and obvious standout. The man had three dingers! An honorable mention goes to Mookie Betts, though, as he got on base six times. Anyway, yeah, this was a blast.


This game was bananas, so we’ll get right into it. Over the first third, things were not looking good. In the top halves of the innings, Brian Johnson was getting hit very hard. Granted, he was missing some bats sometimes (which was truly bizarre), but the Yankees were not missing the barrel of the bat when they made contact. They really didn’t waste any time at all doing damage, either. This game actually started with the Red Sox missing Xander Bogaerts, as Aaron Hicks reached on a Brock Holt error at shortstop to kick things off. Granted, it was a tough play in the hole, but it was ruled an error. Giancarlo Stanton then smoked a single before Didi Gregorius smoked a middle-in fastball into the bullpen. Johnson would come back and allow just a single through the rest of the inning, but it was a 3-0 deficit after the top of the first.

In the second, he got into some more trouble. This wasn’t quite as bad, but after striking out the eight and nine hitters in New York’s lineup, he couldn’t finish off the quick inning. Hicks came up again, and this time he smoked a fastball up and away over the bullpen and all of a sudden it was 4-0 Yankees.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox weren’t exactly getting dominated by CC Sabathia, but they were getting frustrated. The Yankees lefty had a relatively easy first inning, allowing just a leadoff walk (and a stolen base) to Mookie Betts. In the second, the Red Sox got more work in. Ian Kinsler started it off with a single, and after an infield single and a walk the Red Sox had the bases loaded and just one out. Jackie Bradley Jr. couldn’t come through, but Betts drew another walk to get at least one run across the plate. That was all they’d get, and while they chipped in to the 4-0 lead, it still felt like a missed opportunity.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

After Johnson had a good third in which he allowed just a walk, the Red Sox got back to work against Sabathia. This time, it started off with a bang as Pearce ripped his first homer of the night. He got a hanging breaking ball middle-middle and he hit a no-doubter out to the Monster Seats. J.D. Martinez would then draw a walk and steal second, but on an Eduardo Núñez grounder to shortstop Martinez was caught way too far off the bag and got himself thrown out. It was an awful baserunning decision. That brought up Blake Swihart, and he caught a break as his liner back to the mound ricocheted off Sabathia. The Yankees southpaw got to it but the ball sailed way over Greg Bird at first base, allowing both runners to advance to scoring position. Unfortunately, they’d be stranded and the Red Sox settled for a 4-2 score after three.

Johnson then allowed a double and a walk in the fourth, but things sequenced well enough for it to be a scoreless inning, and this is when the Red Sox just exploded. Are you ready? So, Bradley drew a walk, then Betts doubled, putting two runners in scoring position. Andrew Benintendi followed that up with a grounder back to the mound and it appeared Bradley was dead to rights between third and home. For some reason, Jonathan Holder — who came in for Sabathia to start the inning — didn’t run him back to third. Instead, he threw to Miguel Andujar at third base and Bradley somehow magically slid around the tag at the plate, cutting New York’s lead to one.

After that, Benintendi stole second without Holder even throwing a pitch, and that brought Pearce back up. He did it again, getting another middle-middle breaking ball and this time hitting it over everything in left field. All of a sudden, it was a 6-4 lead for the Sox. From there, they went double, single, stolen base, double, and it was an 8-4 lead. After Chad Green came in and got two outs, the Red Sox got back to it with a double and two more singles. Eventually, 30 minutes later, Boston had put eight runs on the board and a 4-2 deficit had turned into a commanding 10-4 lead. It was absurd.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Johnson did allow another run immediately after that explosion, though it was not a massive surprise. Gregorius got him again with a big fly ball down the right field line, but we should keep in mind that Johnson had been sitting for a half hour. That’ll happen. He came back after that and struck out three batters in a row. That ended his night, and though he allowed three homers and five runs total, he did strike out 11 batters. 11! What the hell?

After that, the Red Sox offense did keep going. They’d get another run in the fifth on an RBI double from Kinsler, his first RBI with his new team. In the sixth, they plated three more thanks to an RBI double from Benintendi and then yet another big fly from Pearce. For those not keeping track at home, that was three dingers through six innings for Pearce. He got a chance for a fourth, too, but the Yankees walked him. Lame.

Meanwhile, Brandon Workman came in out of the bullpen in place of Johnson. The Red Sox gave him a couple of innings, and with them he did allow a solo shot to Stanton but was flawless other than that. In the seventh, he also got some help from two separate mind-boggling plays from Ian Kinsler. Joe Kelly would come on for a 1-2-3 eighth and Ryan Brasier allowed a run in a tough inning but eventually finished things off.


So, the Red Sox did the job in the first game of this series and they now have a 6.5-game lead over the Yankees in the American League East. They’ll look to extend that to 7.5 on Friday night with Rick Porcello taking on Luis Severino. First pitch will be at 7:10 PM ET.

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Courtesy of Fangraphs