Craig Kimbrel blew a save for the second time in an eighth-inning implosion as the Yankees beat the Red Sox 9-6 in a back-and-forth affair on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. The Yanks now have sole possession of first place in the American League East.
Kimbrel entered the game in the eighth inning to replace Matt Barnes and allowed four runners to score, including two runs charged to Barnes. Brett Gardner put the Yankees ahead 7-6 with a two-run triple to center field and Aaron Judge soon followed that up with a towering two-run home run, his ninth of the season. Barnes took the loss.
The Yankees drew first blood off Red Sox starter Rick Porcello when Judge singled home Gardner in the bottom of the first. But the Sox quickly answered with a two-run home run by Mitch Moreland in the second. The first baseman is now 11-for-21 (.523) with four homers and eight RBIs in his last five games.
New York went back up 4-2 with a three-run third inning, starting with a two-run double by Giancarlo Stanton, who later scored on a sacrifice fly by Aaron Hicks. Andrew Benintendi clawed the Red Sox back into it with his second home run of the season in the top of the fifth, but Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez answered with a sac fly in the bottom of the inning.
After Eduardo Nunez grabbed a sac fly of his own in the sixth inning, Hanley Ramirez came to the plate in the top of the seventh with Benintendi on base. The Red Sox DH blasted a 431-foot home run into the second deck in left field off Yankees reliever Chad Green.
Unfortunately, the Red Sox’ final lead of the night was short-lived. The Yankees have now won 17 out of 18 and have a chance for the sweep.
Up Next: The Red Sox (25-11) and Yankees (26-10) square off on Thursday in the series finale. Eduardo Rodriguez (3-0, 5.29 ERA) takes on C.C. Sabathia (2-0, 1.39 ERA).