Once again, it was uncomfortable at the end, but the Yankees stayed red-hot to take the first seven-inning game of a day-night doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox, 5-3, to temporarily move to within one game of an American League Wild Card spot — which is held by New York’s most hated rival.
Jonathan Loaisiga was able to get out of a monstrous jam after loading the bases with no outs in the seventh inning to preserve the Yankees’ two-run victory, coaxing a flyout and a pair of strikeouts to ensure the Yankees won their 13th game over their last 17.
The Yankees overturned a 3-2 deficit with a three-run fifth inning that saw the Bombers send nine batters to the plate, taking full advantage of Boston’s erratic pitching that featured four walks in the frame but was punctuated by a pair of run-scoring singles by Luke Voit and Giancarlo Stanton.
Andrew Velazquez’s third hit as a Yankee was a big one, driving a two-out, second-inning single over Tanner Houck and into center field to score a pair of runs.
The Fordham Prep alum couldn’t help but look into the Yankees dugout as he ran to first once the ball found outfield grass; a memorable way to get one’s first RBIs in such a rivalry game with immense repercussions.
It wouldn’t stand for long, though, as Jordan Montgomery — making his first start since coming back from COVID — gave it right back to Boston. Xander Bogaerts came up with a big two-out single of his own in the top of the third to score a pair and knot things up.
Boston pulled ahead in the fifth inning when Christian Vazquez turned on a hanging cutter and deposited a solo shot into the left-field seats. While the light-hitting catcher only has five home runs this season, two of them have come against the Yankees.
The Red Sox bullpen let the Yankees roar back in the fifth after Houck was pulled following four strong innings. Josh Taylor walked Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge before Garrett Whitlock loaded the bases by administering a free pass to Joey Gallo.
Voit recorded the first hit of the inning with a blooper that fell just beyond the reach of an out-rushing Enrique Hernandez, scoring two and giving the Yankees the lead. The advantage swelled to two when Stanton — pinch-hitting for Rougned Odor — cannoned a single to score Gallo.
Calling on former Mets reliever Hansel Robles, wild Red Sox pitching continued giving the Yankees chances to break the game wide open when he walked Tyler Wade to re-load the bases, but Velazquez struck out to get Boston out of the jam.
Unlike Sunday against the Chicago White Sox, the Yankees stayed with Loaisiga for a two-inning save — but things got just as dramatic.
After getting through the sixth unscathed, a Kyle Schwarber grounder that crept under the glove of Tyler Wade followed by singles from Vazquez and Alex Verdugo loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh.
Loaisiga got Travis Shaw to line out to Brett Gardner in left — a ball hit too shallow and with too much pace to score Schwarber from third — for a huge first out and followed it up by coming back from 3-0 down to strike out Hernandez with a wicked curve.
He capped it off with another strikeout of Hunter Renfroe, searing a 100-mph fastball past the Red Sox’s center fielder.