Eovaldi tosses another shutout as Red Sox increase divisional lead
(Aug. 3, 2018 – Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America)
In such a pivotal divisional series, things could not have started off better for the Red Sox. The Sox managed to take a 7.5 game lead over the Yankees following the first two games of the series and they would continue their winning ways Saturday afternoon in Boston.
A night after Rick Porcello turned in a commanding complete game performance, Nathan Eovaldi came out in his second start as a member of the Red Sox and quieted the Yankees bats. Eovaldi went 8 innings of shutout baseball. He had the Yankees on their heels all day as he continues to prove himself as a starter. The move for Eovaldi at the trade deadline has resulted in two outstanding starts so far. While it is a small sample size, Eovaldi hasn’t surrendered a run, holding his opponents to a .143 collective average. He set the tone early on Saturday with a strikeout of Giancarlo Stanton on a nasty slider tailing out of the zone.
Filthy. 👀 pic.twitter.com/zdyyxUdjYV
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) August 5, 2018
Eovaldi was efficient, making work of the Yankees in just 93 pitches. He faced virtually no trouble, surrendering only three hits on the day. For the Yankees, the lineup has struggled greatly throughout the series. This was the second game in a row where they were held to just one run by Boston pitching. After losing an early lead in the first game, there hasn’t been much positive for the New York bats. If there’s a team struggling to make any damage, it would be the Yankees.
While the Yankees stay quiet, the Red Sox continue to drive in run after run. The scoring started in the first as the Red Sox gave a quick major league welcome to Yankees rookie starter Chance Adams. In his first career inning, Adams gave up a two run shot to Mitch Moreland. The Sox gave Eovaldi the early lead, and he did a masterful job of securing it. Both sides were held at bay until the bottom of the fourth, when J.D. Martinez blasted his 33rd homer on the year. The league leader in home runs sent a ball over the Monster to increase the lead to 3-0.
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) August 4, 2018
The Red Sox would tack on one more insurance run in the 7th off a ground rule double from Sandy Leon, his ninth on the year. The only trouble the Sox faced came in the final frame, as the Yankees finally got on the board in the ninth. With Craig Kimbrel on to earn the save, Didi Gregorius drove in a run with a two out double. The Yankees then proceeded to load the bases with the go ahead run at the plate. However, Kimbrel was able to get Greg Bird to fly out to center to close the door on the third game of the series.
The Sox now have an 8.5 game lead in the division, the highest it’s been on the year. They look to sweep New York on Sunday night as David Price will get the start. This could be a proving point for Price, as he had one of his worst starts last time he faced the Yankees. A Price gem in a big game would go a long way towards injecting some confidence in the rotation as we await the return of Chris Sale.