Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com (May 5, 2018 – Source: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images North America)
For the first time since March, the Red Sox entered a game without sole possession of first place. With the New York Yankees winning 16 of their past 17, the Boston Red Sox needed their best to fend off their longtime enemies. Rick Porcello took the mound for the Red Sox, trying to reclaim first place, while Masahiro Tanka did the same for New York. Ultimately, the Red Sox find themselves in second for the first time in forever, as the Boston Red Sox lost a heartbreaker, 9-6.
Boston Red Sox Lose Heartbreaker to Yankees, 9-6
The game couldn’t have started out much worse for the Red Sox. After the Sox offense went down in order to start the game, Porcello took the mound. Porcello has been the best pitcher on the staff all season, but New York got to Porcello early. After three pitches, the Red Sox trailed 1-0 thanks to a Brett Gardiner double and an Aaron Judge single. Fortunately, Porcello didn’t allow any more damage that inning.
The Sox bats came back to answer the next inning. After a Xander Bogaerts single, Mitch Moreland stepped up to the plate. The lefty continued his crazy hot streak, knocking a two-run blast to give the Sox the lead. Moreland has been on another level lately, and the Sox need to find a way to keep his bat in the lineup.
Trouble arose again in the bottom of the third. After allowing runners to reach second and third, Porcello went up against Giancarlo Stanton. After knocking two homers in the previous game, Stanton continued to hurt the Red Sox, driving a two-run double down the right-field line. The damage didn’t stop there, as Aaron Hicks drove in Stanton two batters later on a sacrifice fly. Porcello shut the door after that, but the Yankees still led 4-2 after three.
In what became a trend for the night, the Red Sox didn’t let the deficit last. The very next inning, Andrew Benintendi continued his young dominance at Yankee Stadium, launching a solo shot over the right-field fence. The Red Sox didn’t add any more runs, but Benintendi’s homer brought the Sox within one.
Unfortunately, Porcello couldn’t get the shutdown inning. He struggled with command all day, but the issues were most evident in the bottom of the fifth. The righty had an error on a throw to first, walked a batter, and hit another to load the bases. Despite the ugly situation, Porcello managed to escape the inning allowing just one run. Considering how bad it could’ve been, the Red Sox were lucky to find themselves down just 5-3.
Xander Bogaerts began the comeback, leading off the top of the sixth inning with a leadoff double. Eduardo Nunez brought Bogaerts home two batters later to make it a one-run game. While the Sox didn’t add any more runs in the seventh, they finally took the lead back in the seventh.
After two quick outs, Benintendi drew a two-out walk to keep the inning alive. That walk was huge because Hanley Ramirez launched a monster two-run homer on the next at-bat. Ramirez had been in something of a slump as of late, and his first homer since April 14th came at the perfect time. After seven, the Sox led 6-5.
After Brian Johnson and Carson Smith combined to shut down the heart of the Yankees order in the seventh, the Red Sox looked to add some insurance in the bottom of the eighth. Moreland walked and Nunez drove a double down the line to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Unfortunately, the Red Sox couldn’t capitalize and entered the bottom of the eighth with just a one-run lead. Matt Barnes initially took the mound, and immediately ran into trouble. After giving up a leadoff double to Neil Walker before Miguel Andujar advanced him to third on a ground ball. Barnes walked Gleybar Torres, and Alex Cora decided he had seen enough. With Joe Kelly apparently not available, Cora turned to Craig Kimbrel to save the day.
Kimbrel couldn’t do it. The hard-throwing righty gave up a bases-clearing triple to Brett Gardiner to make it a 7-6 game. Any hope of a comeback was destroyed the next at-bat when Aaron Judge launched a two-run homer to straightaway center.
The Red Sox sent the heart of their order in the ninth, but Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman was just too good. Ultimately, the Red Sox couldn’t make one last comeback and lost a heartbreaker, 9-6.