The first half of tonight’s game was played in the middle of a constant rain storm, progressively getting worse until they had to stop the game entirely to wait out until the passing front was finished with its downpour over the Boston area. The Yankees were looking to take this series onto their next one, but the Red Sox wanted last night’s game back and get them back on their winning momentum.
Sonny Gray got the start for tonight’s finale in Fenway, throwing 68 pitches in just over 3 rainy innings, giving up 7 hits, 2 walks, and 6 runs, striking out just 3 batters. In the 2nd, he pitched his way through the line-up, all 9 batters as the Red Sox began their advance. A lead-off single moved to 2nd on a walk, to 3rd on a wild pitch, and then scored on a single. Another walk loaded the bases, and all runners moved up on a sacrifice fly, scoring another run. A messy fielder’s choice attempt and throwing error scored another run, and left 2 runners in scoring position. Another single scored yet another run before Gray found those final 2 outs of the inning to mercifully end the Red Sox’s dominance.
The Red Sox continued their roll in the 3rd. A lead-off double scored on a ground-rule double. A wild pitch on a strikeout allowed the batter to reach safely and the other runner to move to 3rd. After another out, the next batter hit into a little grounder at 2nd to score one more run for the home team.
German came on in relief of Gray and threw a very efficient 39 pitches in his 3 innings, with Kahnle and Warren breezing through their own innings (the 7th and 8th, respectively). All three relievers found the momentum that Gray seemed to lack tonight.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox starter effectively shut down the Yankees, running a no-hitter until Judge hit a lead-off double in the 7th inning. They Yankees just weren’t hitting off him at all. They would, however, hit off his reliever. After a pretty good 8th inning, the Yankees kept him from finding an out in the 9th inning.
Judge worked a walk, and then he and Stanton benefited on 2 errors — a fielding error allowed Stanton to reach safely, a throwing error allowed Judge to land at 3rd. After Gregorius worked a walk, it would be Gary Sanchez for the big hit of the night — a 3-run bases-clearing double to finally get the Yankees on the board. A new reliever for Boston quickly got the 3 outs they needed to close out the game.
Final score: 6-3 Red Sox, Boston wins series 2-1
The rain delay during tonight’s game halted play for 45 minutes, between the 5th and 6th innings, as they waited out the weather. Not too terrible of a delay in light of things. But I cannot imagine the earlier part of the game was all that pleasant for either team. Of course, a better score might have helped the Yankees.
Next up: the Yankees travel to Detroit to face off against the Tigers.
Following up from yesterday’s melee, the league handed down its disciplines for those involved in the fracas. The pitcher who drilled Tyler Austin (Joe Kelly) received a 6-game suspension and a fine, and Tyler Austin received a 5-game suspension and a fine. They are both appealing their punishments. (They do often get reduced or overturned upon appeal, so it’s always worth the effort.)
Boston’s manager (Alex Cora) and Yankees’ 3rd base coach Phil Nevin got into it a bit themselves last night and were also fined as part of the decision today. And 4 players on the Disabled List were fined due to a violation in the rule book about not entering the playing field while on the DL. Those players are 3 Red Sox players and CC Sabathia. I don’t expect any of these players or Cora or Nevin to appeal their fines. (It’s usually upheld, so it’s not usually worth the effort.)
Roster updates: Aaron Hicks is back, finally off the disabled list where he’s been since he injured his right intercostal muscle on Opening Day in Toronto. In his place, the Yankees designated Shane Robinson for assignment. The outfield may be back sooner than expected, so take these small signs as moments of hope.