NEW YORK — As the grey clouds of a dreary August evening turned dark, the New York Yankees summoned enough momentum early in Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox to sustain a perfect 9-0 record in the Bronx.
Mike Ford took charge of the Yankees lineup against Chris Mezza — who made his first career start Sunday night — in the third game of a four game series. Ford hit a RBI single and slung a 91-mph sinker to left field to give the Yankees a three run lead over the last place Red Sox.
J.A Happ powered through a dominant outing against Boston for his first win of the season. In 5 2/3 innings, Happ gave up one run on three hits and three strikeouts in his third start of the season. The sole run coming off the bat of Red Sox center fielder Kevin Pillar in the third inning.
Gary Sánchez had an opportunity in the bottom of the seventh inning to blow open the game, but a 94-mph four-seam fastball that edged the bottom of the dish was called a strike from Ryan Brasier to end the bases-load threat.
Sánchez has hit three home runs in three straight games prior to Sunday’s matchup. The sixth time in his career he’s been able to conquer such a feat. Sánchez’s career total in home runs has mounted to 109 through 389 career games — second highest total through 389 games in Major League Baseball history behind retired Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard.
Despite a late surge in the batter’s box early into the 2020 season, Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres has shown to be a proven leader in the infield and batter’s box. In 20 games, the 23-year-old from Caracas, Venezuela has lined .254/.351/.328 in 2020.
“I tried to do what I do last year, the first couple years in the big league, not do too much,” Torres said after going 2-for-3 in Sunday’s win against the Red Sox. “Be consistent every time I go to home plate and believe. I go to home plate and try to attack the pitch I can hit. I have a little more patience, that is the thing I didn’t have the first couple weeks of the season … Now, I’m more focused in that situation. I tried to go to home plate with a very good plan, tried to be focus and try to be simple. Try to put the ball in play and get a really good pitch to hit.”
Despite losing three of their most powerful bats to the injured list — DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton — the Yankees have found a way to get the “next man up” to fuel the offense forward.
The “next man up” mantra — that captivated the Yankees season in 2019 — has found a way to seep into the 2020 season. It has illustrated how well players who come off the bench find success and produce when their name is penciled in the lineup. With LeMahieu currently absent from the Yankees lineup, Torres has found himself in a position to expose his offensive power as the Yankees move forward without one of their most consistent slugging assets.
“Last year, we get a lot of injuries and it was special because other players from minor leagues coming to the team and do a really good job,” Torres said after Sunday’s game. “And, this year, we do the same thing. It’s good to know we have really good guys in the bench to do the same job … We feel great, we got a really good team, we compete every time, doesn’t matter if we have too many injuries or injured guys. We compete, we try to do the job. It doesn’t matter, we try to win games. That’s the most important for us.”
The Red Sox offensive woes continued as the club went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Bayamón, Puerto Rico native Christian Vázquez was able to muster a double in the bottom of the ninth inning against Yankees temporary closer Zack Britton and scored on a fielding error. To no avail, the Red Sox could not add fuel to the fire and sustain a ninth inning rally.
MLB Honors Negro Leagues, Celebrates 100th Year Anniversary
All throughout baseball, the Negro Leagues were celebrated for their impact in the game and around the nation. It was 100 years ago that the Negro Leagues was born in 1920, shaping the baseball landscape for generations to come. Negro League patches were stitched onto jerseys and some players wore commemorative cleats and arm bands.
In between innings at Yankee Stadium, a short segment of the Negro Leagues’ greatest players and contributors were showcased for all who had the privilege of seeing the game in person. Josh Gibson, Buck O’Neil, Monte Irvin, Biz Mackey and many more were highlighted for their sacrifices and outstanding contributions to the game of baseball.
In the middle of the eighth inning, a segment was dedicated to Martín Dihigo, a Cuban-born phenom who was welcomed into the Eastern Colored League in 1923.
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