For the second straight night the Red Sox have completed a rout of the Yankees. Just like Thursday, Boston’s offense jumped out to a big lead and their starting pitcher took it and ran with it while the lineup continued to add on throughout the night. This was a team effort, but even with that it was Mookie Betts being the guy. He looked like his MVP self once again here, hitting home runs in each of his three at bats and finishing with 14 total bases. Amazingly, he is one three-homer game away from the all-time record. He’s only 26! While Betts was certainly the headliner, Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez had monster games as well while Andrew Cashner was very strong on the mound. Boston is rolling right now at the perfect time.
For how frustrating this season has been for the Red Sox, they have periodically shown some flashes that remind us how good they are and should be. The issue has been that they have rarely, if ever, been able to harness the momentum from those flashes and turn them into real streaks. Well, they had perhaps their brightest flash on Thursday night in their series opener against the Yankees. The offense exploded for seven runs in the first and 19 by the end of the night. Rick Porcello and the bullpen did their jobs as well. Now, they went into Friday’s game looking to actually build off that momentum and make sure it wasn’t just another one-off.
Well, they wasted no time in letting us know that they were indeed going to pick up right where they left off on Thursday. Their first inning against James Paxton wasn’t quite as explosive as the one against Masahiro Tanaka on Thursday, but it did the trick. In the previous night’s game, Mookie Betts led things off with a solid base hit. This time around he decided to go for more pizazz. Last year’s MVP launched a solo home run to kick off the night for Boston’s bats, his first homer of the night. Foreshadowing!
The Red Sox didn’t stop there, either. Rafael Devers followed that up with a base hit, and a couple batters later J.D. Martinez would come to the plate. He decided he wanted to get in on the fun as well, and he got that chance on a 3-1 pitch. The slugger for a cutter that stayed a bit too far over the plate and Martinez launched it out to left-center field. After the first inning, Boston had a 3-0 lead on a pair of homers.
They would go down with three straight strikeouts in the second inning, but they were right back on their bullpoop in the third. That inning also led off with Betts, and it went exactly the same as it did in the first. That is to say he destroyed another solo shot, his second of the day, to make it 4-0 Red Sox. A couple of batters later Xander Bogaerts ripped a double down the left field line, setting up an RBI chance for Martinez. He didn’t leave the yard this time, but his fly ball down the right field line bounced off the glove of Aaron Judge — on a tough play and a clear non-error in my eyes — for a triple. Just like that, it was a 5-0 lead for the Red Sox.
The fourth inning would go about the same for the Red Sox, in that Betts did the damn thing again. This time around, Boston got a pair of quick outs ahead of Jackie Bradley Jr. He would reach, however, on a misplayed ground ball that was originally called an error on Gleyber Torres before being overturned (it shouldn’t have, in this writer’s humble opinion). Whatever the case, it kept the inning going for Betts. Once again, for the third time on the night, he left the yard. This time it was a two-run job, and it put the Red Sox up 7-0.
Betts got his next chance at the plate in the sixth, trying to become the first player in franchise history to hit four dingers in a game. He didn’t make it happen here, instead settling for an RBI double. He’d come right around to score on an RBI double from Devers in the very next at bat, too.
You may have noticed, amid all of the excitement around the Red Sox offense, that there are a whole lot of goose eggs for the Yankees. That is because Andrew Cashner was fantastic for the Red Sox, albeit a bit overshadowed by that guy named Mookie. The former Oriole had obviously struggled in his first two starts with his new team, but upon his arrival in Boston he stated he was most excited to face the Yankees. He backed up that talk on Friday.
Things actually got off to a mildly rough start for the righty, as he allowed a leadoff base hit to DJ LeMahieu. However, he would only face three batters in the inning despite that single thanks to back-to-back strikeouts, the latter of which was part of a strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play.
Once he got that first inning out of the way, Cashner turned on cruise control and he started to mow throw an extremely intimidating Yankees lineup. His changeup and slider were as effective as we’ve seen since the trade and his fastball command was on point, leading to a lot of quick and effective at bats. Through the next four innings after that first, the righty allowed just three singles with only one runner advancing beyond first base and none beyond second.
In the sixth, Cashner did finally lose the grip on his shutout bid. (Not that he was ever going to make it nine innings, but you get the point.) He did get two quick outs to start the inning, but then the Yankees started to get a bunch of singles. They got three in a row, to be exact, with Luke Voit’s being the one to drive in the first Yankees run of the night.
The seventh brought more shakiness for the Red Sox righty, and eventually the end of his night. Cashner walked the first batter he saw in that inning before giving up a double and an infield single. That brought home a run and put runners on the corners with still nobody out. He did get a big double play after that which did bring home a run but the Red Sox will take that trade every time in what was a 9-2 game. Judge ripped a double out to center field with two outs, though, and that was Cashner’s night. All in all, despite the little bit of momentum he allowed in the seventh, it was a great night for the veteran.
Marcus Walden was then called in to get out of the inning with the runner in scoring position and the heart of New York’s lineup coming up. He got to a full count agains Edwin Encarnación, but ended it with a strikeout to keep the lead at six.
After the Red Sox added another run in the bottom of the seventh on a Sam Travis double, Josh Taylor came on for the eighth. He issued a walk and a base hit, but no runs thanks in part to an outfield assist from Andrew Benintendi on a terrible baserunning decision by Luke Voit.
In the ninth, it was Heath Hembree. Things did not go well for the righty, who struggled with a seven-run lead. He gave up a single, a double and a walk to the first three batters he faced. That allowed one run to cross and ended his night, forcing Brandon Workman to come into a blowout.
Judge was the first batter Workman would face, and he ripped a line drive off of Bogaerts’ glove to load the bases, still with nobody out. Workman finally ended it after that, getting two flyouts (the second of which brought home another run) before a ground out finished this game off.
The Red Sox will look to make it three straight victories on Saturday in the third game of this four-game set. Boston will send Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound while New York has CC Sabathia on the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 PM ET.