After a tough loss on Friday, the Red Sox still won two-of-three this weekend in New York. Boston starts the week 5½ games up in the American League East and has won 10 of 11 games.
Sunday’s 3-2 extra-inning Red Sox win was both thrilling and frustrating.
Despite another master class, starting ace Chris Sale (7.0 IP, 1R on 4H, with 2 walks and a dozen strikeouts) took another no-decision. Sale had held the Yankees to one run after Mookie Betts uncharacteristically flubbed a deep two-out fly ball, which scorers credited as the first-ever triple in the 200th career game for Austin Romine. The triple scored Chase Headley, who had singled earlier in the inning.
After Sale, Manager John Farrell looked to Matt Barnes to keep the game tied in the 8th, but Barnes was erratic. After a lead-off ground out, Barnes walked two and allowed a single to load the bases. A sacrifice fly by Todd Frazier scored the go-ahead run.
Rafael Devers’ Historical Homer
Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman came in for the 9th inning. After dispatching Hanley Ramirez, Sox rookie Rafael Devers belted a 103 MPH fastball 423 feet into the night. You could hear a pin drop. This Yankees’ fan’s reaction captures the moment from the stands:
— Joezmcfly (@JoezMcfLy) August 14, 2017
Devers’ HR was first 9th inning, two-strike, game-tying home run for the Sox against the Yankees since Jason Varitek‘s on April 5, 2005. According to ESPN, it was the fastest pitch anyone has hit for a homer in the pitch-tracking era.
“That says a lot about the hitter,” Portland manager Carlos Febles told ESPN’s Scott Lauber. “You don’t see many power hitters hitting homers with two strikes.” Febles saw it himself. At Double-A this season. 14 of Devers’ 18 home runs came with two strikes against him.
For Chapman, it was just the second home run he has allowed in his career to a lefty batter in either a regular season or postseason game (also Luke Scott on June 26, 2011). It was the first-ever home run he has allowed at Yankee Stadium.
In August, Benintendi is Hotter Than July
An inning later, Chapman’s night came to an end when, with one out, he hit Jackie Bradley and walked Eduardo Nunez. Yankee reliever Tommy Kahnle fared no better, however. He walked Mookie Betts, setting the stage for the other Sox hero, baseball’s hottest hitter in the month of August, Andrew Benintendi.
Benintendi did just enough, a single that scored Bradley was all Craig Kimbrel needed to save the game in the bottom of the 10th.
For Sale, it was a third straight no-decision against the Yankees this season, despite registering 10 or more strikeouts in each of those games. Sale has recorded nine or more strikeouts in each of his 14 road starts this season, the longest such streak in baseball
since at least 1913.
Boston is now 11-3 in extra-innings this season, the best such mark in the Majors.
This morning, the Sox improved a notch to #4 in the weekly ESPN Power Ranking, after the Dodgers, Nationals, and Astros.