BOSTON -- Facing an uphill climb early when starter Nathan Eovaldi left after one inning with right elbow discomfort, the Yankees stunned the Red Sox with a late-inning surge en route to a 9-4 victory on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
The Bombers trailed, 4-1, after six, only to shell Boston's bullpen for a five-spot in a game-turning seventh and add three more in the eighth. As part of a four-hit game, slugging prospect Gary Sanchez smoked his first career homer in the eighth, a majestic drive to center field. Starlin Castro gave New York a lead it would keep with a two-run double with two outs in the seventh.
Drew Pomeranz pitched well over 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run on six hits, and was in position to get his first win in five starts with the Red Sox. But the Yankees flipped the script by rallying against Boston relievers Matt Barnes, Fernando Abad and Junichi Tazawa.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
In midst of rally, A-Rod appears: During the Yankees' lead-changing rally, Girardi summoned Rodriguez to pinch-hit for Aaron Hicks, much to the delight of the crowd, which had been chanting Rodriguez's name. The Red Sox fans showered Rodriguez with a chorus of boos as he stepped to the plate.
While the 41-year-old put a charge into a 2-1 offering from Barnes, his efforts would fall short, as Betts camped under the fly ball for the first out of the seventh. However, it was hit deep enough to allow Sanchez to tag up from second base and advance to third before eventually scoring on a Jacoby Ellsbury single.
"There are certain situations where I'm going to use him as a pinch-hitter," Girardi said. "I liked it, and he had faced [Barnes] before. I wasn't going to bunt in that situation. I was looking for a three-run homer, so I went to him. I knew they had to pitch to him, in a sense, so I kind of liked it and went with it. He hit a ball to right field, just missed it. We were able to score five runs that inning and three the next." More >
Missed chance looms large: Boston had the bases loaded with no outs in the fifth and came up empty. Following an intentional walk to Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez hit a fly ball to left that wasn't deep enough to get the run home. Jackie Bradley Jr. popped out to first, then Aaron Hill pinch-hit for Travis Shaw and struck out. That missed opportunity stung more when the Yankees rallied back for their five-spot in the seventh.
"Bases-loaded, nobody-out situation, can't cash in," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Really, when we've clicked and put up a good offensive night, it seems like that two-out base hit has always been in the mix. That was not here tonight."
Pedroia, Betts adapt well to switch: Farrell re-aligned his lineup for this one, moving Betts from leadoff to third and putting Dustin Pedroia atop the order. Betts and Pedroia both delivered multihit efforts and were in the middle of a couple of rallies. Pedroia belted a double in the third, helping to set up the first run of the game. Betts smoked two doubles. This was the first career start for Betts in the No. 3 spot.
Eovaldi elbowed out: Despite a perfect first inning in which he retired the side on 12 pitches, Eovaldi needed to shut it down due to his injury. Forced to go to his already-taxed bullpen early and often, Girardi used seven relievers over the final eight innings.
"The guys did an incredible job," Girardi said of his relievers. "We mixed and matched, and they all did their job and got big outs when they had to."
"My heart sunk a little bit when I saw it, but fortunately, I just saw him back there and he's doing much better." -- Dombrowski, after seeing Ortiz in the clubhouse after the game
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Pedroia is a .349 hitter from the leadoff spot in 109 at-bats over the last two seasons.
In the seventh inning, with Andrew Benintendi facing what was believed to be a 3-2 count, the umpires called for a crew-chief review for "record keeping" to verify the count. After a brief review, the count was changed to 2-2. On the next pitch, Benintendi lined out to Adam Warren to end the inning.
WHAT'S NEXT Yankees: In Rodriguez's final game at Fenway Park, it will be Michael Pineda (6-10, 5.17 ERA) on the hill for the Yankees on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Pineda is 3-1 over his last four starts, but in three outings against the Red Sox this season, he has gone 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA, including a loss in his lone Fenway start on April 30.
Red Sox: Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez will pitch a day earlier than originally scheduled due to Steven Wright's right shoulder inflammation. Rodriguez struggled in his last start, against the Dodgers, giving up eight hits and three runs over 4 1/3 innings. Overall, he has pitched well since returning from Triple-A Pawtucket.