On the outside of a post-season photo for most of the season, the Yankees finally find themselves in the midst of a playoff race as the regular season approaches its final month.
Their rise to the standings continued on Tuesday in the first game of a two-header against the Red Sox, as the Yankees beat their rivals, 5-3, in seven rounds.
It was the Yankees’ fourth win in a row and brought them within one game of Boston and Auckland to finish second in the AFC Champions League.
And again, it wasn’t easy. The Red Sox loaded the bases with no one in seventh before Jonathan Loisiga finished it off.
Kyle Schwarber drove seventh with a racket that Tyler Wade, who moved from third base, couldn’t handle. Cristian Vazquez and Alex Verdugo tallied right to load bases batsman Travis Shaw, who just joined the Red Sox and hit Bobby Dalbeck.
Shaw lined up on the left in the match 3-2.
Loaisiga fell behind Kike Hernandez 3-0, but came back to hit him with a swing and then encouraged Hunter Renfroe to finish it off. Loaisiga threw two stop shorts to fend off.
Just as they did for most of the second half, the Yankees got contributions from everyone — including Andrew Velazquez, who made a pair of defensive gems in no time and added a two-stage single, and Albert Abreu, who took the final of the fifth.
Luke Voit had the biggest success, a traffic light, two-stage solo, while the Yankees trailed the bottom of the fifth. Giancarlo Stanton added an RBI single later in the inning, as the Yankees capitalized on some poor work from the Boston Bullpen.
It was the Yankees’ fourth win over their rivals in 14 games this season, as they head into the World Cup on Tuesday, eyeing a draw with Boston in last place.
Velasquez helped Jordan Montgomery get out of the top of the first team unscathed.
Rafael Devers hit a ball to the right side of the field, where it was sent by Rougned Odor, and was moved from third base. Devers beat him by a single and Hunter Renfrew tried to get to third, which was left exposed, but Voight threw a running Velazquez, who chased Renfrew to take out third.
The Yankees took the lead at the bottom of a second. Voight was hit by a ground blow and the major followed up with a blow. Gary Sanchez – in his first game after returning from COVID IL – lined up for third and Wade loaded the bases with one on the right.
Velazquez then drilled a liner into the center to score Voit and Odor in one of two rounds.
In the third, Montgomery let out a single for Bobby Dalbeck and then walked on Kike Hernandez.
Both runners advanced on a slow reel sent by Montgomery before Xander Bogaerts left on the field left 0-2 to tie the match. Both runners scored and Bogarts was sent off first base to finish the inning, when Sanchez chose not to attempt a ring attempt on Hernandez and instead threw first.
A pair of singles gave the Yankees 1st and 2nd runners with two 4th place finishers for Velazquez, who flew into the middle.
The Red Sox took the lead in the second half, when Cristian Vazquez advanced in the fifth with a long Homer to leave on the field 3-2 off Montgomery.
After marching twice to Hernandez, Montgomery was replaced by Abreu, who made Renfrew fly to the right.
likely former Yankee Team Yankee, Jarrett Whitlock took charge of Tanner Hook to start the bottom of fifth and Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge walked by one and was replaced by left-wing Josh Taylor to face Joey Gallo.
Gallo worked his way out to load the bases for Voit, who sent one player into the position who landed directly behind the outstretched Hernandez to score Gardner and Judge and put the Yankees back in the lead.
Stanton, beating with a scent disc, hooked one to the center to make it 5-3, as Gallo scored.
A walk from Wade carried the bases and hit Velazquez to finish the run.
The Yankees held the rules again in sixth for Jonathan Davis, who replaced Stanton for fifth. Davis sniffed to keep it a two-running game.
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