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Red Sox 5, Yankees 4: Answering an improbable comeback with one of their own

But not as improbable when you consider what this team has done all year.

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New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images

There are some special vibes with this Red Sox team this year, to put it lightly. For most of this Sunday afternoon game, things were looking bleak. The Yankees picked up the lead early, and Domingo Germán was dominating. Boston had managed just two baserunners through seven innings, none of them on hits, but then the eighth happened. Alex Verdugo broke up the no-hitter with a double, and then the floodgates opened. An inning that started with no hits and a four-run deficit for the Red Sox ended with a lead, and ultimately led to a win. This came just one night after the Yankees pulled a similar feat on Saturday. There have been many comebacks for this team this year, but this is up there with the most surprising.

Just a couple of days ago, the Red Sox had all of the momentum back from the Yankees, something they had lost the previous weekend in the Bronx. Two big wins to start this four-game set put them in a position to potentially deliver the final blow for this Yankees team and force them into seller’s mode. A win from New York on Saturday put that potential on pause, but the Red Sox were looking to send a message on Sunday and finish off this series win.

Instead, the offense was just totally unable to do anything of note against Yankees starter Domingo Germán for most of his start. The Red Sox had gotten to him once this year, but this time around the righty had them off-balance all day and really made it look easy. Germán retired the first six batters he faced to get through the first two frames before Hunter Renfroe led off the third with a walk, giving Boston their first baserunner of the day.

Unfortunately, he’d also be their last for a good while. After the free pass, Germán retired six more in a row to give him four no-hit innings with five strikeouts in his back pocket. And the domination only continued to go from there. The Red Sox put all of their outs in play in the fifth, but it was still three up, three down in the inning. Germán would keep his no-hitter in the sixth as well, retiring three more in a row with one strikeout added on.

With that performance at the plate, it really didn’t matter what the Red Sox got on the mound if it wasn’t complete domination on their end as well. Martín Pérez wasn’t terrible, but he certainly wasn’t able to keep pace with Germán. He did on the scoreboard, at least, in the first two innings as he worked around a leadoff double for a scoreless first before setting down three in a row in the second.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images

But once the third inning rolled around, the momentum started to lean more heavily toward the Yankees side. Pérez struck out two of the first three batters he faced in that inning, but in between he issued his first walk of the day, and he’d issue a second after the second strikeout as well. That brought Rougned Odor to the plate with two on and two out, and while he didn’t hit it hard he put a soft line drive into center field for an RBI single, giving the Yankees the early lead.

Pérez didn’t give up any more after that, but New York just got right back to work in the fourth. This time, Gleyber Torres started off the inning with a weakly hit double out to left field, and a couple batters later Gio Urshela came to the plate. He was just put back on the roster after getting caught up in their COVID issues, and he got a big hit in this at bat. The third baseman put one off the Monster for a base hit, bringing him run number two for the Yankees.

Pérez only needed to face three batters for a scoreless fifth, but then Odor struck again in the sixth. This time it wasn’t all that weakly hit, and it certainly wasn’t just a single. On the first pitch of the top half of the sixth, Pérez left a cutter right over the center of the zone, and Odor jumped all over it. He sent it way out to right-center field, clearing the wall for a solo shot, extending the Yankees lead to 3-0.

Pérez did get through the rest of the inning, but that would end his day with Yacksel Ríos coming on for the seventh. The righty has been looking solid of late, but his control was an issue this time out. He only recorded one out while walking two and hitting another, bringing Josh Taylor in for a precarious bases loaded situation. The southpaw struck out Giancarlo Stanton before getting Odor to fly out, leaving the bases full and keeping the deficit at only three.

But none of this was going to matter unless the offense was able to get anything going. But Germán still had his no-hitter going on into the seventh, and he started that inning with a strikeout of Jarren Duran. He’d get another strikeout on Xander Bogaerts, but that also resulted in Boston’s second baserunner of the afternoon as the ball snuck by Gary Sánchez for a passed ball. But Rafael Devers quickly went down swinging after that for a third strikeout of the inning, and then J.D. Martinez made it four in the seventh, also keeping the no-hitter alive.

After Brandon Workman came on and allowed another run in the eighth, the Red Sox had only six more outs remaining to put at least one hit on the board, never mind try to make up the four-run deficit. They got the first one done right away in the eighth. Germán came back out, but the first batter he faced was Alex Verdugo, who ripped a double out to right field to break up the no-no and give the Red Sox their first runner in scoring position on the day.

And once that hit came through, the runs started to follow right along. The Yankees turned to the bullpen with Jonathan Loaisiga coming in, and the Verdugo double was followed by one from Renfroe, and then Christian Vázquez put a bloop single into right field. Just like that, the Red Sox had cut the Yankees lead in half, and there was still nobody out. After Franchy Cordero ripped a single of his own, Kiké Hernández gave Boston their third double of the inning.

Suddenly, the Red Sox were within a run, had two men in scoring position, there was still nobody out, and Zack Britton was coming on to pitch for the Yankees. Kevin Plawecki came on to face him, pinch hitting for Duran, and he put the ball in play. That was all they needed, as his ground ball brought another run home, tying the game up at four. The grounder also put Hernández over to third base, and he’d come home on a sacrifice fly from Xander Bogaerts to give the Red Sox a lead.

Now, it was just on Matt Barnes to get the job done in the ninth to finish off the improbable victory. He got two quick outs, but then Stanton kept the inning alive with a base hit. That was all they’d get, though, as Barnes did his job closing out the win.

The 5-4 victory pushed the Red Sox record to 61-39. With the Rays dropping their game to Cleveland, Boston regained their one-game lead in the division.

The Red Sox now welcome the Blue Jays to Fenway for a four-game set starting on Monday. Boston will have Nick Pivetta on the mound, with first pitch set for 7:10 PM ET.


Courtesy of FanGraphs