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The Red Sox are moving on in the playoffs after defeating the Yankees 6-1 in the Wild Card Game on Tuesday night.
The Red Sox’ bats chased Yankees ace Gerrit Cole out of the game after just two-plus innings. Xander Bogaerts got the game’s first runs when he hit a two-run homer to center in the first inning.
In the third, Kyle Schwarber hit a 435-foot solo homer off Cole to give the Red Sox a 3-0 lead. Cole’s night ended after he allowed the next two hitters to get on board.
While New York’s starter wasn’t effective, Boston’s starter sure was. Nathan Eovaldi held the Yankees scoreless through five innings. He faced some trouble in the sixth when he allowed a solo homer to Anthony Rizzo. Alex Cora pulled Eovaldi after he allowed an infield single to Judge in the next at-bat.
The Yankees looked like they were going to threaten to tie the game when Giancarlo Stanton hit a ball into left-center to give the Yankees runners at second and third with one out. But Judge was sent home from first and Bogaerts’s throw home on the relay reached home well before Judge, allowing Kevin Plawecki to tag Judge out.
Alex Verdugo gave the Red Sox some breathing room on two different occasions. In the sixth, he hit a double along the right-field line that allowed Bogaerts to score from first, making it a 4-1 game. With the bases loaded in the seventh, Verdugo stepped up again, hitting a liner over Gio Urshela’s glove to give Boston a 6-1 lead. Verdugo was tagged out at second, but the damage was already done.
Tanner Houck and Hansel Robles gave the Red Sox perfect innings in the seventh and eighth, respectively. Garrett Whitlock came in to finish off the Yankees in the ninth, but allowed a solo homer to Stanton.
That was the Yankees’ last hit of the season though as Whitlock got the Yankees’ next two hitters to fly out to right, ending their season.
While the Yankees head home to New York, the Red Sox will be going south. They’ll now face the Rays in the ALDS, which begins Thursday.
The Red Sox went down quickly in the eighth. Renfroe and Vázquez both struck out to Green and Dalbec ended the inning with a ground out to third.
Onto the ninth we go. Garrett Whitlock will come into the game to replace Robles to try to finish off the Yankees.
The Red Sox are three outs away from advancing to the ALDS.
After a perfect inning from Houck, Robles followed up with one of his own. The righty got Gary Sánchez, pinch-hitting for Higashioka, lined out to center on the first pitch. In a seven-pitch at-bat, Odor flied out to left. To finish the inning, Robles got Rizzo to strike out swinging on a 94 mph fastball.
The Yankees’ pitching helped the Red Sox in the seventh.
Loaisiga, still on from the sixth, walked Schwarber and Hernández consecutively after getting the first out in the inning. Chad Green, replacing Loaisiga, got Devers out in the next at-bat but walked Bogaerts in just four pitches.
With the bases loaded, Verdugo stepped up again. He hit a fastball over Urshela’s head to score Schwarber and Hernández but got thrown out at second while trying to get a double.
The Red Sox take a 6-1 lead into the eighth, with Hansel Robles now on the mound for Tanner Houck.
In July, Tanner Houck had a spotless three-inning appearance out of the bullpen that flashed his potential as a long reliever for nights like Tuesday.
That opportunity came in the seventh, and just like his start on Saturday, he was perfect.
He got Torres to line out to center to start and followed that up by striking out Gardner in three pitches, getting the lefty to whiff on a 94 mph fastball. Houck had to battle in his next at-bat, throwing seven pitches to Urshela before getting him to swing-and-miss on a slider.
After Hunter Renfroe walked on five pitches, Jonathan Loaisiga was able to get out of the inning without allowing another run. He struck out Travis Shaw, who was pinch-hitting for catcher Kevin Plawecki, and Bobby Dalbec to end the inning.
Onto the seventh we go, with Tanner Houck coming in for Brasier and Christian Vázquez replacing Plawecki at catcher. Shaw’s night is done.
Unlike the Yankees, the Red Sox didn’t get burned by their third base coach.
After Devers struck out to start the inning, Bogaerts reached base on a four-pitch walk from Severino. Verdugo hit a changeup along the line for a clear extra-base hit. Red Sox Carlos Febles appeared to be indecisive on his decision whether to send Bogaerts home all the way from first. Bogaerts ended up going and barely beat the throw home.
Verdugo reached second and Boone pulled Severino for righty Jonathan Loaisiga after the at-bat.
Depending on who you talk to, the Red Sox just made a great defensive play or the Yankees made a massive mistake (or even both).
Less than 10 days after he dominated the Red Sox in a three-game series sweep for the Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton appeared to give the Red Sox some trouble again. A hard hit ball to center off the Green Monster appeared to give the Yankees runners in scoring position with one out.
But Yankees third base coach decided to send Judge, who was at first, home. Hernández connected with Bogaerts on the relay throw from center and Bogaerts threw the ball to Plawecki before Judge began his slide home.
Brasier got Gallo to pop out to third to end the inning.
After giving up a homer to Rizzo, Eovaldi allowed an infield single to Judge in the next at-bat. With Stanton coming up and representing the tying run, Alex Cora isn’t taking a chance with a tiring Eovaldi, replacing him with Ryan Brasier.
Eovaldi’s final line: 5 1/3 innings pitched, four hits, one run, eight strikeouts, no walks, and one home run.
Nathan Eovaldi quickly got the first out in the sixth, striking out Rougned Odor, who pinch-hit for Andrew Velazquez.
He made his first mistake in the next pitch. Anthony Rizzo connected with Eovaldi’s curveball, hitting it along the right field line and around Pesky’s Pole to give the Yankees their first run of the night.
Luis Severino, who’s been pitching out of the bullpen since he returned from injury in September, had a clean inning against the Red Sox bats.
He got Arroyo to ground out to second on four pitches, Schwarber to ground out to first on six pitches, and Hernández to fly out to right on three pitches. After such a quick inning, Severino’s likely to come back out on the mound for the sixth.
Eovaldi began the fifth looking a little less sharp, throwing three straight balls to go down 3-1 to Gardner. But after throwing a strike, Eovaldi got Gardner to whiff at a 96 mph fastball on the opposite end of the plate to record the first out of the inning.
Urshela didn’t wait in his at-bat, swinging at a slider on the other end of the plate. That ended in a lineout to left.
Eovaldi closed the inning strong, throwing three straight strikes to Higashioka, who swung and miss on Eovaldi’s slider low-and-away to end the inning. Through five innings, Eovaldi has seven strikeouts, all of which are swinging.
Renfroe began the fourth with a smartly hit single. With the Yankees shifted to accommodate the pull of the right-handed hitter, Renfroe hit a groundball single where the second baseman would normally be.
But the Red Sox weren’t able to do anything else in the inning. Plawecki grounded into a 4-6-3 double play and Dalbec hit a fly out along the right-field line to end the inning.
Unlike the Yankees’ starter, the Red Sox’ starter continues to move along into the fourth.
Eovaldi began the inning by striking out Stanton on a 99 mph fastball high out of the zone. A six-pitch battle against Gallo ended with a long fly out to center. Eovaldi ended the inning by getting Torres to fly out to center on just four pitches.
Going into the fifth, Eovaldi’s retired seven straight Yankees hitters and has thrown 53 pitches.
The Red Sox weren’t able to take advantage of the situation Cole left.
With two runners on and no outs, Clay Holmes struck out Bogaerts swinging on a sinker out of the zone. Verdugo grounded into a 5-4-3 double-play and just like that, the Yankees got out of trouble.
The Red Sox have chased the Yankees’ starter out of the game.
One pitch after Schwarber’s home run, Hernández reached base on an infield single along the third base line. Devers drew a six-pitch walk, and Yankees manager Aaron Boone had seen enough. Cole was pulled from the game and replaced with righty Clay Holmes to face Xander Bogaerts.
Cole’s final line: 2+ innings, four hits, three runs, two walks, three strikeouts, two home runs allowed, 50 pitches, 30 strikes.
In his second at-bat of the game, Kyle Schwarber went down 0-2 quickly. But after Cole threw a ball, Schwarber extended the Red Sox’ lead. Schwarber hit Cole’s 97 mph fastball (which was high of the zone) out for a homer, hitting a 435 foot home run to right field.
It only took Eovaldi one pitch to record the first out of the inning, getting Andrew Velazquez to fly out to left to start the third.
Starting his second trip through the Yankees’ lineup, Eovaldi had a nine-pitch battle with Rizzo. The Sox’ pitcher pulled through, striking Rizzo out swinging on a 98 mph fastball.
Judge tried to pounce on a fastball over the plate in the first pitch of his at-bat. Instead, it turned into a loud out when flew out to right-center, ending the inning.
Through three innings, Eovladi’s thrown 39 pitches (29 strikes) and has five strikeouts. He’s allowed just two hits and hasn’t allowed a walk or a run. With a low pitch count and the Yankees failing to get on base, the Red Sox are getting a much-needed strong start from Eovaldi so far.
Cole struck out Hunter Renfroe to start the second and got two quick strikes against Kevin Plawecki in the ensuing at-bat. Plawecki battled back and doubled to right-center off a 98 mph fastball from Cole three pitched later.
With a 3-2 count, Bobby Dalbec struck out looking at a slider on the edge of the plate. Christian Arroyo followed up with a strikeout of his own, whiffing at Cole’s 98 mph fastball that was high, leaving Plawecki stranded at second.
In his first time through the Red Sox lineup, Cole’s allowed two runs on two hits (both extra-base knocks) and a walk, striking out three hitters.
Eovaldi again got the first two hitters out in the inning. Gleyber Torres lined out to right and Eovaldi struck out Brett Gardner on a curveball.
Gio Urshela had a swinging bunt to reach base. But just like he did in the first, Eovaldi struck out the next hitter. Kyle Higashioka wasn’t able to check his swing on a curveball down and away.
It didn’t take long for the Red Sox to score on Gerrit Cole.
Kyle Schwarber flew out to center in the first at-bat for the Sox. Kiké Hernández followed with a pop out of his own, hitting a fly out to short.
After going down 1-2 in the count, Rafael Devers drew a walk after Cole threw three straight balls. Xander Bogaerts took advantage, hitting a homer to center on Cole’s changeup over the middle of the plate.
Alex Verdugo popped out on the next pitch, but the Sox end the first with a 2-0 lead.
Nathan Eovaldi retired Anthony Rizzo and Aaron Judge with ease, getting Rizzo to ground out to first and Judge to pop out to shallow right field.
He appeared to get into trouble when Giancarlo Stanton hit one deep to left, which he and ESPN’s broadcast thought was gone off the bat. But the ball hit the Green Monster, and Stanton didn’t make it past first.
Joey Gallo was able to draw a couple of balls in his first at-bat, but he struck out when he wasn’t able to check his swing on a splitter low of the strike zone.
Look who made a return to Fenway.
Longtime NESN commentator and former Red Sox player Jerry Remy threw out the first pitch prior to Tuesday’s Wild Card Game. Dennis Eckersley, who is NESN’s other main commentator for Red Sox games, caught Remy’s first pitch.
Remy stepped away from calling Red Sox games in August to undergo lung cancer treatments.
The last time there was a winner-take-all game between the Yankees and Red Sox at Fenway Park, Bucky Dent became a household name in Boston.
In the 1978 one-game playoff between the two teams, Dent hit a three-run over the Green Monster in the seventh inning to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead. New York added two more runs and held onto win, 5-4, to advance to the ALCS.
Forty-three years later, Dent will find himself back in Fenway again for a winner-take-all game between the Yankees and Red Sox. He’ll be in attendance for Tuesday’s game, he told The Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy.
As Chad Finn notes, the Yankees lost two games in which Dent threw the first pitch prior to a playoff game against the Red Sox. Dent threw out the first pitch before Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS and Game 4 of the 2018 ALDS.
Boston will start right-hander Nathan Eovaldi. In six starts against the Yankees this season, Eovaldi is 2-2 with a 3.71 ERA. Eovaldi struggled in his last start against the Yankees, allowing seven runs in 2 2/3 innings pitched on Sept. 24.
Gerrit Cole, who started opposite Eovaldi on Sept. 24, will get the start for the Yankees on Tuesday. Against the Red Sox this season, the Yankees’ ace is 2-2 with a 4.91 ERA in four starts. In his last start against the Red Sox, Cole pitched six innings and allowed three runs, all of which came off a three-run homer from Rafael Devers.
Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez will miss Tuesday’s game due to an ankle sprain he suffered in Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Nationals.
With Martinez out, Kyle Schwarber will be the Red Sox’s designated hitter. Here’s the Red Sox’ full starting lineup for Tuesday’s game:
1 Kyle Schwarber DH
2. Kiké Hernández CF
3. Rafael Devers 3B
4. Xander Bogaerts SS
5. Alex Verdugo LF
6. Hunter Renfroe RF
7. Kevin Plawecki C
8. Bobby Dalbec 1B
9. Christian Arroyo 2B
Here’s the Yankees’ starting lineup for Tuesday:
1. Anthony Rizzo 1B
2. Aaron Judge RF
3. Giancarlo Stanton DH
4. Joey Gallo LF
5. Gleyber Torres 2B
6. Brett Gardner CF
7. Gio Urshela 3B
8. Kyle Higashioka C
9. Andrew Velazquez SS
Both teams set their 26-man roster for Tuesday’s game earlier in the day. Here’s who’ll be available off the bench and the bullpen for the Red Sox.
Bench: Christian Vázquez, Connor Wong, Jonathan Araúz, Travis Shaw, Jarren Duran.
Pitchers: Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Austin Davis, Tanner Houck, Adam Ottavino, Nick Pivetta, Garrett Richards, Hansel Robles, Eduardo Rodriguez, Josh Taylor, Garrett Whitlock.
Here is who’ll be available for the Yankees off the bench and the bullpen.
Bench: Rob Brantley, Rougned Odor, Tyler Wade, Greg Allen, Gary Sánchez.
Pitchers : Jonathan Loáisiga, Clay Holmes, Luis Severino, Chad Green, Michael King, Domingo Germán, Aroldis Chapman, Wandy Peralta, Lucas Luetge, Joely Rodríguez, Néstor Cortes Jr.
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