Get the latest Boston sports news
Stay up to date on all the latest news from Boston.com
A day after surrendering four unanswered runs and crumbling in a disheartening loss to the Yankees, the Red Sox erupted for five runs in the eighth inning Sunday to earn a scintillating 5-4 victory at Fenway Park.
Yankees right-hander Domingo Germán no-hit the Red Sox through seven innings, but an Alex Verdugo double to right started a chain reaction that launched the Red Sox to a comeback win that manager Alex Cora called the best so far in a season that has featured 32.
“We’ve said many times that we’re not out of a game until it’s over,” Kiké Hernández said. “We proved that today.”
Here’s a closer look at the action, as the Red Sox took 3 of 4 from the Yankees, moved to 10-3 against them this season, and re-established a one-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East.
When he finally gave the Red Sox their first hit, Verdugo hoisted his hand in the air as he rounded first and headed toward second, embracing the significance of the moment.
Hunter Renfroe followed with a double to left to make it 4-1, Christian Vázquez blooped one to right-center to slice the deficit to 4-2, Franchy Cordero singled, and Hernández smoked a double to left to bring home Vázquez. After not registering a hit through seven, the Red Sox pieced together five in a row in the eighth.
“Getting that hit out of the way allowed everyone to take a big deep breath,” Verdugo said.
Pinch-hitter Kevin Plawecki plated Cordero with a grounder to short, then Xander Bogaerts scored Hernández on a sacrifice fly to put the Red Sox in front for good.
After watching a sizable lead disappear the night prior, they were able to expunge that unpleasant feeling less than a day later.
“It happened quick,” Cora said, “just like they did yesterday.”
Verdugo’s double was one of the more timely hits of the season, given the chaos that ensued afterward.
Another standout was reliever Josh Taylor, who escaped after inheriting a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the seventh. At that point, the Red Sox trailed 3-0, and Taylor’s poise helped them rally even after the Yankees extended the margin to 4-0 in the eighth.
For the Yankees, Rougned Odor had two hits, two RBIs and a run, and Germán ended up allowing one run in seven-plus stellar innings while striking out 10.
The Red Sox could have easily lost game one, won game three, and lost game four, but they did none of those things. Though they went 13 innings without scoring a run – from the fourth inning of game three through the seventh inning of game four – they produced when it mattered most late Sunday afternoon.
“That was one of the crazier comebacks I’ve been a part of,” Verdugo said.
This matches the largest deficit they’ve overcome to win a game this season, and they’ve trailed through five innings in 11 of their 32 comeback victories. The Red Sox have won five of six and are 12-3 in their last 15 home games.
1. Before Alex Cora spoke about the comeback, he made a point to mention the solid showing from starter Martín Pérez.
Pérez didn’t do anything spectacular, but he allowed three earned runs in six innings and helped the Red Sox stay afloat. After starting the season 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA in his first 11 starts, Pérez entered Sunday’s matchup 3-4 with a 6.23 ERA in his last eight.
Opponents hit .362 against him during that troubling stretch, but against the Yankees he allowed six hits and never let the Yankees explode for a big inning.
“He gave us a chance to win the game,” Cora said.
2. After Yacksel Rios replaced Pérez in the seventh and walked two batters and hit another, Taylor entered in a precarious spot but exited unscathed. He struck out Giancarlo Stanton in a situation where a sac fly would have been beneficial for New York, then he got Odor to fly to right to end the inning.
Hernández said afterward that Cora told the team if Taylor got out of that jam, the Red Sox were going to win the game.
“A lot of times he sees things before they happen,” Hernández said with a grin, “and you just go with it.”
Brandon Workman allowed one run in the eighth and got the win, and Matt Barnes picked up his 21st save, as Boston’s bats came alive in a highly improbable way.
3. Verdugo said the Red Sox were confident they could come back even after getting no-hit through seven. Of course believing a four-run comeback is possible and actually doing it are two entirely different things, but the Red Sox have had a knack for achieving the unlikely so far this year.
“Hitting is contagious,” he said. “I was fired up, man.”
A sleepy crowd received a sudden jolt, and Fenway was once again buzzing as it did Thursday, Friday, and early on Saturday. The Red Sox hit the ball harder Sunday than the Yankees did in their comeback Saturday, yet the two mirrored each other in many ways.
Vázquez’s bloop hit gave the Red Sox a collective sense of giddiness that perhaps it was their turn to rally. That’s what they did, and when Hernández snuck his hand under the tag and the lead was theirs, they were extremely confident the game was as well.
4. Sunday was “Family Day” at Fenway, as the players and their families spent time frollicking on the field amid a variety of baseball-themed activities.
Cora felt a little ansty about the way the event might unfold if the action hadn’t reversed course the way it did.
“Our family day, it was going to suck today if we got shut out and they threw a no-hitter,” Cora said.
Instead, it was a comeback that epitomizes this Red Sox team to this point.
“Yesterday, they took a game from our hands,” Cora said. “A few days ago, we took one from them. Today, we did the same thing.”
Stay up to date on all the latest news from Boston.com