BOSTON -- Brett Gardner smacked a go-ahead two-run single to left in the top of the fifth and the Yankees preserved the lead from there, taking a 4-2 victory over Wade Miley and the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park. Boston will try to avoid a sweep in Sunday's finale of the three-game rivalry series.
"Now that you've won the first two, you want to win that third one. You want to get the sweep," said Gardner, whose Yankees have won nine of 11. "It's hard to do, especially on the road. They've got a really, really good team. These games matter just as much as the games at the end of September. Hopefully we can keep playing well."
"He's an extremely talented pitcher," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Betances. "Power stuff, well above-average curveball. A day when he's got shadows working for him, it's even that much more difficult. Setting that aside, he's one of the elite right-handed relievers in the game."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Swihart debuts, gets first hit: Swihart made his Major League debut on Saturday and got his first career hit in his second at-bat. It was an infield single that second baseman Gregorio Petit fielded on the grass, but couldn't make a play on.
"I was definitely nervous, but I had to turn it into focus," said Swihart. "I had a big job to do."
Swihart is expected to see a lot of time catching in the coming weeks as Ryan Hanigan recovers from a fractured right hand. More >
Gardner plants a pair: Gardner collected three RBIs with two swings, driving in the Yankees' first run with a third-inning double to left field before adding his two-run single in the fifth. Gardner entered the afternoon with 11 hits in his last 33 at-bats.
"It doesn't happen often. I'm not that much of an RBI guy," Gardner said. "My job is to get on base, but it's a testament to the guys in front of me getting on base. [Didi Gregorius] laid down a great bunt for [Jacoby Ellsbury], and Jacoby hit a ball right on the screws right to [Mike Napoli] at first, and I came up with guys on with two outs and was able to get it done."
Evolving Eovaldi: The Yankees' right-hander turned in a sharp outing, limiting the Red Sox to two runs and seven hits over 6 2/3 innings to earn his second victory in three starts. Eovaldi threw a season-high 111 pitches, permitting Pedroia's long homer and watching from the bench as Chris Martin surrendered a long RBI double to Betts.
"I think it shows you the ability that he has," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Today, he was down in the zone. To me, that was the big difference. I thought his slider and curveball were pretty good today, but he was down in the zone with his fastball." More >
Miley's best start: For the first time this season, Miley gave the Red Sox an extended performance, firing seven strong innings. Miley scattered seven hits and three runs, walking none and striking out three.
"Much improved," said Farrell. "I think Wade delivered today what we anticipated and will anticipate going forward." More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Pedroia's fifth homer of the season came in the 24th game of the season. Last season, Pedroia didn't hit his fifth homer until the 108th game.
"I saw a calm, cool, composed guy with great potential. He was able to actually understand everything. He was able to retain a lot of stuff we had talked about." -- Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves on Swihart.
"Ask for a pinch-hitter." -- Brian McCann, asked how he would handle facing Betances.
WHAT'S NEXT Yankees: Right-hander Adam Warren will be on the mound Sunday as the Yankees wrap up the three-game series at Fenway Park at 8:05 p.m. ET on ESPN. Warren took the loss against the Red Sox in his season debut on April 11, allowing two runs (one earned) in 5 1/3 innings.
Red Sox: Right-hander Joe Kelly takes the ball for the Red Sox. Kelly was brilliant against the Yankees in New York on April 11, allowing a hit and a run over seven innings.