The loss earlier on the day on Tuesday to start their doubleheader was an incredibly frustrating one for the Red Sox, leading to one of two scenarios for the nightcap. On the one hand, they could win and wipe away the result of the first one to even up the day. On the other hand, they could lose, continue their spiral and give up a share of a wildcard spot. They opted for option two. The offense was shut down by rookie Luis Gil, and a pair of solo home runs against Nathan Eovaldi were enough to give New York their second win of the day.
There were a lot of reasons that first game between the Red Sox and Yankees on Tuesday was frustrating, but the ending was certainly a big part of it. After getting the bases loaded with nobody out with a two-run deficit in the ninth and still failing to score a single run, Boston’s bats were looking for a big game in the nightcap. They were going up against a rookie in Gil who has had two fantastic starts to kick off his career, but against lineups mostly out of contention. A frustrated Red Sox lineup was really looking to give him a proper welcoming to the majors.
Unfortunately, they had another thing coming. The young righty has shown in his minor-league career that walks can be an issue, and Boston did draw a few of those. That includes one in the first, but that was all they got in that inning. The second would seem to be more promising, as they started off the inning with a single and another walk. But then Gil showed off the big stuff. He struck out Kevin Plawecki, Jarren Duran, and Travis Shaw on 12 pitches to escape the jam and keep the Red Sox off the board.
The third presented another opportunity as well, with Gil issuing yet another walk, this one with one out. Alex Verdugo then moved up to second on a passed ball before getting to third on a ground ball. But that would be as far as he’d move, as the Red Sox went down with another scoreless inning.
If the offense were to have another bad day at the plate, the one thing they could ask is that they’d at least have their top starting pitcher on the mound. Nathan Eovaldi may not be that with Chris Sale now back in the mix, but he’s been their best starter all year. And he pitched well, even if it wasn’t enough to keep pace with Gil’s scoreless innings.
The righty worked around a leadoff single for a scoreless first, but then got into trouble in the second. He did strike out the first two batters he faced before Luke Voit stepped to the plate. He was ready to swing, and the first pitch he saw was a fastball up in the zone over the middle of the plate. The Yankees first baseman went the other way for a solo shot, giving New York the early 1-0 lead.
It looked as though Eovaldi was going to succumb to more damage in the third as well with the Yankees starting off the inning with back-to-back singles. There was a little bit of a scare after that when Aaron Judge sent one to deep center field, but it died on the track for the second out and Eovaldi would manage to sneak out of the frame without any more runs.
Optimistically, escaping the jam provided a chance to be a catalyst for the Red Sox in their quest to regain momentum, but the offense instead went down in order in the top of the fourth. And then Giancarlo Stanton led off the bottom of the inning. The slugger got a curveball down at the bottom of the strike zone, and he was all over it. Stanton smoked a solo shot out to left field, doubling the Yankees lead and putting them ahead 2-0. They also followed the homer up with a double, but Eovaldi got out of the inning with the deficit still at two.
The size of the deficit didn’t really matter if the offense couldn’t get anything going, so it was nice to see a little momentum in the fifth. Duran started things off with a bloop single and then Kiké Hernández put runners on the corners when his ground ball up the middle went under the glove of Tyler Wade. Hernández moved up to second on a fly ball to left when the throw went home, and then Gil would issue a four-pitch walk with the bases loaded. That ended the night for the rookie, and reliever Wandy Peralta got the job done, getting a ground out from Rafael Devers to keep the score at 2-0.
After Eovaldi tossed another scoreless inning in the bottom half, the Red Sox had another chance to at least cut into the deficit in the sixth. Kyle Schwarber got things going with a one-out single, and after a fielder’s choice subbed in Kevin Plawecki at first base, Hunter Renfroe came in to pinch hit for Duran and ripped a base hit to put runners on the corners.
Alex Cora went with another pinch hitter with a lefty on the mound for the Yankees, as Bobby Dalbec came on to hit for Shaw. He hit one back to the mound, and it looked like the Red Sox would catch a break after it deflected off Peralta towards the third base line. Instead, the pitcher made a nice play and an accurate throw to get the out at first and finish the inning, Boston still down by two.
After Martín Pérez and Hirokazu Sawamura combined for a scoreless bottom half of the sixth, the offense had one more chance to avoid the second loss of the day. They had the top of the order coming up to face Chad Green, and they went down 1-2-3 to end a rough, rough day in the Bronx.
With the 2-0 loss, Boston’s record falls to 69-53. The Yankees are now tied in the standings with Boston in the wildcard race, and they hold a lead in the loss column. The Rays are winning and the Athletics are losing, and if those scores hold Boston will be five games back in the division while Oakland will join New York and Boston in a tie for two spots.
The Red Sox now have to win on Wednesday to avoid a devastating sweep. They have Nick Pivetta on the mound for that game with Andrew Heaney starting for New York. First pitch is at 7:45 PM ET.