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Fake Sox Game 71: Michael Chavis helps Red Sox avoid sweep.

A big third inning was all the Red Sox need.

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The following simulation and images are courtesy of Out of the Park Baseball 21.

Our Fake Sox had an opportunity to make a statement this weekend as they hosted the Yankees for a three-game set after treading water for much of the last month to six weeks. They did not make the most of that opportunity, losing the first two games and headed into Sunday’s action just looking to avoid a sweep. They had the red-hot Nathan Eovaldi on the mound for this one, as he had allowed two or fewer runs in eight of his previous nine starts. On the other end, James Paxton was going for the Yankees.

Eovaldi got off to a tough start in the first giving up a single and also having a runner reach on a Rafael Devers error. He wouldn’t be so fortunate in the second, though. There, Miguel Andújar started the rally with a one-out double, and a couple batters later Erik Kratz put New York on the board first with a double of his own. Mike Tauchman followed that up with a base hit, and the Yankees had a 2-0 lead after an inning and a half.

That was still the score heading into the bottom of the third, which is where the game shifted. Christian Vázquez got things started with a base hit, and then after moving to second on a wild pitch he was brought home on a José Peraza double. Andrew Benintendi followed that up with a double of his own to tie the game at two, and after Alex Verdugo moved Benintendi to third on a base hit, another wild pitch brought him in to score. That gave the Red Sox a 3-2 lead, but they weren’t stopping there. J.D. Martinez made the second out with a deep fly ball that moved Verdugo to third, and then Rafael Devers smacked a single to make it 4-2 before Xander Bogaerts, Michael Chavis and Jackie Bradley Jr. smoked back-to-back-to-back doubles. By the time the dust settled, Paxton’s night was over and the Red Sox had a 7-2 lead.

This Yankees lineup is relentless, though, so a five-run lead in the fourth did not feel safe. Sure enough, they came back in the top of that inning with two straight singles to start off the frame. Eovaldi got a huge ground ball right back to the mound after that, though, resulting in a double play while also keeping the runner on third. They did get one in the inning, but that felt like a victory.

Eovaldi had a little more trouble in the fifth, too, though, giving up a double to DJ LeMahieu and then with two outs giving up another one to Giancarlo Stanton. Aaron Judge then made it three doubles in the inning, bringing Stanton in and bringing the Yankees right back to within two. That also ended the game for Eovaldi.

The bullpen was up to the task for the Red Sox in this game, though. Josh Taylor came in for Eovaldi and needed just one pitch to end the fourth. He’d then come back out for two more innings, allowing just one base runner and that was on an error. To be fair, though, that error was on him.

On the other side, the Red Sox added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth when Bogaerts got on base with a one-out single in front of Chavis. The first baseman got a 2-2 pitch he liked from Hunter Strickland and unloaded on it, sending the ball 410 feet out to the Monster Seats for a two-run homer to make it a 9-5 game. In the sixth, they’d get two more on RBIs from Verdugo and Bogaerts and that was pretty much that.

Parker Markel came in after Taylor and the goal was for him to toss the final two innings to save the other arms. This time, the goal was met. The righty allowed just a single in the eighth before tossing a 1-2-3 ninth, and that was the ballgame.

The 11-5 win helped the Red Sox avoid the sweep and pushed their record to 38-33. After dropping two of three this weekend, though, they are back down to 2.5 games out in the division. They also trail the Athletics by a game and a half in the wildcard race, holding a tie with the Astros and sitting one game above the Twins in a tight race. Around the league, Cavan Biggio and Asdrúbal Cabrera were named players of the weeks.

Down on the farm, Bobby Dalbec hit a homer but the bullpen faltered in a PawSox loss, Kyle Hart tossed seven solid innings in a Sea Dogs win, Stephen Scott had a homer and a double in a Salem loss, Aldo Ramirez was very good in a win for Greenville.

With it being Sunday, at the bottom of this page you can check out the full stats for all Red Sox players as well as full MLB standings.