The Yankees are going so good these days they likely would get bumped to first class on flights they didn’t book.
Thanks to Giancarlo Stanton’s two homers, six solid innings from Luis Severino and Aaron Judge’s seventh-inning RBI single, the Yankees opened a three-game series against the Red Sox on Tuesday night with a 3-2 victory that was witnessed by a Yankee Stadium crowd of 44,773.
It was the 25-10 Yankees’ seventh-straight victory, the 16th in the past 17 games and moved them into a first-place tie with the Red Sox in the AL East. It is the first time the Yankees have a taste of first place since March 31, when they were tied with their blood rivals after three games.
David Robertson, who allowed the one runner he inherited from Severino to score, worked the seventh for the victory. Chad Green threw a scoreless eighth and Aroldis Chapman recorded the final three outs for his eighth save.
After Green gave up a single to Hanley Ramirez in the eighth, center fielder Aaron Hicks made a sliding catch to snag J.D. Martinez’s sinking line drive and watched Gleyber Torres turn Xander Bogaerts’ ground ball into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Neither starter figured in the decision. Drew Pomeranz gave up two runs and four hits (two homers to Stanton) in six innings. Severino notched a season-high 11 strikeouts in six frames. He allowed two runs, six hits and didn’t walk a batter.
With Pomeranz gone, Red Sox manager Alex Cora summoned right-hander Heath Hembree from the bullpen to start the seventh. With one out, pinch-hitter Neil Walker doubled and Torres walked. Hembree balked Walker to third and Torres to second. Brett Gardner walked on a 3-2 pitch and Cora brought Joe Kelly into face Aaron Judge.
Judge laced a single to left that scored Walker easily for a 3-2 lead, but third-base coach Phil Nevin’s decision to send Torres from second resulted in left fielder Andrew Benintendi’s two-hop throw being in time for catcher Christian Vazquez to tag Torres out. Kelly fielded Didi Gregorius’ chopper to the mound to strand two.
Robertson replaced Severino after Eduardo Nunez started the seventh with an infield single to deep short and faced Jackie Bradley Jr., who entered the game hitting .178 and stuck out in his first two at-bats. He made it three when he missed badly on a breaking ball in the dirt for the first out.
Robertson got Vazquez on a stress-free fly to center and after Nunez swiped second, Robertson employed a toe tap with his left foot but it didn’t keep Mookie Betts from hitting a breaking ball down the left-field line for a triple that plated Nunez and tied the score, 2-2.
Severino didn’t have a perfect inning until the fifth when he notched two strikeouts and hiked his night’s total to 11, which was one more than his previous season high.
Stanton greeted Pomeranz’s full-count fastball with a powerful swing that sent the ball on a line over the left-field fence for a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
His second homer of the game started the fourth inning and landed several rows into the seats beyond the right-field wall.
It was Stanton’s ninth of the season and the third time this year he has homered twice in the same game.
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