THE BRONX — As the heat simmered in the Bronx, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox refueled their rivalry with high intensity from start to finish.
The Red Sox came out blazing hot and didn’t allow the noise of a heated Yankee Stadium crowd to cool down their bats in their 6-5 win over the Bombers Sunday night.
Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts — whose slash line of .318/.376/.536 leads all American League shortstops — was able to take advantage of every opportunity presented to him starting with his second at-bat of the game, driving in three of the Red Sox six runs. Bogaert’s most notable hit drove in the game-winning run in the tenth inning to pave the way for the club’s first sweep in the Bronx since June 2011.
As the night ventured on, the Yankees didn’t let the Red Sox silence them without barking back. Yankees manager Aaron Boone showcased his team’s eagerness to salvage one game in the series by allowing Germán to pitch 5.2 innings, who allowed one run over three hits and three strikeouts.
The Yankees bullpen — that has shown success and sky-rocketing potential in recent weeks — failed to hamper down on a fruitful Boston lineup that was able to tack on runs with runners on base.
Ten-year veteran Marwin Gonzalez, 32, launched his second home run of the season with a game-tying two-run home run to left field in the top of the seventh inning. Gonzalez’s blast rejuvenated the Red Sox offense and helped launch a comeback that carried the Red Sox to their 36th win of the season, one game shy of first place behind the Tampa Bay Rays.
A moment that became a distinguished highlight was when home plate umpire Gabe Morales called an 85-mph knuckle curve — that sat well off the strike zone — a strike at a crucial point in the bottom of the ninth inning with Rougned Odor at the plate with two outs and Gleyber Torres as the tying run only 90-feet away from home plate.
A furious third base coach Phil Nevin did not make his way back into the Yankees dugout without allowing Morales to get an earful of what has proven to be a blown call from the home plate umpire. Nevin was quickly ejected in between innings before the Yankees soon found themselves losing bench coach Carlos Mendoza to an ejection in the top of the 10th inning after he became visibly furious with the inconsistencies in the officiating.
Despite the third sweep of the 2021 season — a three-game sweep by Tampa Bay in mid-April and by the Detroit Tigers in late May — hope is not lost for the Yankees lineup, who has seen a slight improvement in their fundamental abilities in the batter’s box.
The Yankees have always had a lingering conceptualization since the beginning of time: On paper, they are the team to beat. The Bombers have always manufactured a lineup that portrays them as the team that will clobber home runs with astronomical power in every given opportunity and game. However, the first two-plus months of the 2021 season have deemed that statement to be far from candid.
With a vast amount of backlash due to the lack of production — primarily focusing on the Yankees offense — the third-place club did improve their ability to manufacture runs and knock in an RBI without expecting much from the long ball. A part of their game that has merely become an irretrievable asset for quite some time, especially with runners in scoring positon. Though shadowed by the three-game sweep, the Yankees tacked on their first two runs of the game with a two-RBI double from catcher Gary Sánchez in the first inning, an RBI from designated hitter Aaron Judge on a fielder’s choice in the fourth, and an electrifying game-tying double from Torres in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the game into extras.
But if it isn’t one thing working out for the Yanks, it’s another. Playing consistent baseball from all sectors of the diamond is the only way the Yankees will oversee their most recent struggles and redeem a path that is paved for winning.
“I’m not concerned at all,” Sánchez said when asked about the current state of his team. “We’re a really good team, you know, I believe in my teammates. I believe in the talent that we have. You know, I know we haven’t played baseball and gotten the results we wanted. But I know and I’m confident that we’re definitely going to get over this hump here and we’re going to start playing to baseball we want.”
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