It’s only a couple games, but when it’s losses to the Yankees it still feels like something more.
The Red Sox dropped a second straight game to New York Saturday, 4-2. In so doing, Boston fell to .500 on the season (12-12) while New York staved off double digits in the loss column once again. They’re 15-9, one of eight teams in baseball yet to lose 10 or more games.
The Yankees are hot right now having won 9 of their last 11 games. They’ve also enjoyed Fenway, improving to 8-3 (.727) over their last 4 series in Boston.
The resounding boos around the park for Alex Rodriguez have seemingly had little impact. After swatting career home run #660 to tie Willie Mays on Friday, A-Rod went 1-for-4 on Saturday, extending himself to a 6-game hit streak against the Red Sox dating back to September 15, 2013. He’s 7-for-18 (.389) in that time.
Wade Miley, in a season-high 7.0 innings of work, allowed 7 hits and 3 earned runs with no walks and 3 strikeouts. He retired the last 7 batters he faced, but it wasn’t enough against the Yankees Nathan Eovaldi, who threw a season-high 111 pitches in his 2nd-longest start of the year. The Red Sox managed 7 hits against Eovaldi but just 2 earned runs, including the 5th home run of the season for Dustin Pedroia, who entered the game batting .343 over the past 10 days.
With Saturday’s home run by Pedroia, the Red Sox have now homered in each of their last 8 games, the longest active streak in baseball.
Once Eovaldi left in the 6th it was more of the Yankee’s untouchable bullpen, which allowed just 1 hit over the remainder of the game. The New York bullpen has now gone 5.1 scoreless innings over the first 2 games of this series.
Saturday’s game marked the Major League debut of top prospect Blake Swihart at catcher after the injury of Ryan Hanigan in Friday’s game.
Swihart, 23, collected his first big league hit, first walk, and first run on a near home run off the bat of Mookie Betts in the bottom of the 7th inning. Betts has recorded at least 1 RBI now in 5 straight games, the most by a Boston lead off hitter since Darren Lewis in 1998. No Red Sox lead off batter has had a longer RBI streak than the 6 straight games achieved by Nomar Garciaparra in 1997.
Swihart will likely see a good deal of playing time with Manager John Farrell confirming after the game that Hanigan underwent surgery Saturday. Farrell said pins were inserted into the catcher’s hand and that he doesn’t anticipate him back before All-Star break.
The Red Sox and Yankees match up for a 2nd Sunday Night game on ESPN tomorrow. Joe Kelly will start for Boston vs New York’s Adam Warren.