In yet another of this season’s greatest Red Sox games, Friday’s come-from-behind victory over the Yankees ranks right up there. It really had it all.
After three good innings from Drew Pomeranz, the Red Sox had to piece it together in the top of the fourth after Pomeranz left with back spasms. An early Sox 2-0 lead evaporated at the hands of relievers Matt Barnes and Joe Kelly, who allowed two and three runs, respectively.
Particularly painful at the time was four Yankees runs in the top of the seventh. But then, lightning struck again. The Sox rallied for four of their own in the bottom half of the inning and got two more in the bottom of the eighth to come away with the win.
As usual, you can find recaps in all the usual places. Let’s focus, instead, on some of the more interesting stats from Friday’s match-up.
- Rafael Devers‘ home run on Friday made him just the third Red Sox ever with homers in back-to-back games against the Yankees before turning 21. He’s in elite company. The others are Babe Ruth in 1915 and Ted Williams in 1939. Only Ruth did able to accomplish the feat in three consecutive games. Devers will have the chance to match the Babe’s record on Saturday.
- Devers’ seven home runs over his first 19 career games ties him with Sam Horn in 1987 for second-most over that time in Red Sox history. Only George Scott of the 1966 club had more (9).
- Devers’ 26 hits is the most by a Red Sox batter over his first 19 career games since Sox Hall of Famer Johnny Pesky had 26 in 1942. Only Tom Oliver had more in club history (35 in 1930).
- Only Scott (1.270), Fred Lynn (1.188), and Horn (1.145) had a better OPS than Devers (1.118) over 19 first games with the club (minimum 40 at-bats).
- Mitch Moreland pushed the Sox ahead with a pinch-hit, two-out base hit in the seventh. Moreland is now 22-for-70 (.314) in 78 career games as a pinch hitter. All told, the Sox are now tied with the Rays for the most two-out, go-ahead RBI coming in 7th inning or later this season (9).
- Andrew Benintendi (1-for-5) extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games on Friday.
- Brandon Workman came into the game in the fourth inning marking his earliest appearance in a game since he started against the Pirates on September 18, 2014.
- Friday’s was the Red Sox’ 70th overall win and makes them 12-2 for an .857 win percentage in August. The club’s best August was 24-6 in 1950, an .800 win percentage.
The Red Sox offense is sparking up at just the right time. For their last 15 games, Boston leads the American League in runs per game (6.3). While the Sox bullpen has been outstanding overall (their 3.11 ERA is still third-best in the baseball after the Dodgers and Indians), over the past seven games a they are responsible for a 6.23 ERA.
Despite the runs allowed, Red Sox pitchers held Yankees batters to 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position on Friday. New York tied its own season high for a nine-inning game with 14 men left on base.
On Friday, Yankees rookie phenom Aaron Judge‘s marked his 35th straight game with a strikeout, the most by a position player in baseball history. “We don’t talk about it,” Yankees hitting coach Alan Cockrell told the New York Post.