Yanks hold off Red Sox to win series

Yanks hold off Red Sox to win series

BOSTON -- The Yankees rode a three-run rally in the sixth inning to an 8-6 victory over the Red Sox in Sunday afternoon's rubber match of a three-game series at Fenway Park.

Alex Rodriguez broke a 3-3 tie with an RBI double against Red Sox starter Wade Miley. Chris Young and Chase Headley then added RBI doubles.

"I've talked about the importance of [division] games and you're playing each team 19 times," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "They mean a lot, and that's a nice series win."

Yankees prospect Rob Refsnyder, playing his second Major League game, clubbed his first homer, a two-run shot well over the Monster to increase New York's lead to 8-4 in the ninth. He singled earlier for his first Major League hit.

Refsnyder's first MLB hit

"That's about all I've got, I don't have much power," Refsnyder said. "Felt good off the bat. It was a ball out over the plate with two strikes. I was fortunate enough to run into it, and a pretty cool venue to do it."

The insurance runs turned out to be big when the Yankees made back-to-back errors in the bottom of the ninth, helping the Red Sox score twice.

Nathan Eovaldi got the win for the Yankees, allowing seven hits and three runs over five innings. The hard-throwing righty walked none and struck out four. Miley gave up seven hits and six runs over 5 1/3 innings to take the loss.

The Yankees are 6-3 against the Red Sox, including a 5-1 mark at Fenway.

B-Mac attack: Yankees catcher Brian McCann set the tone early when he hammered a two-run blast into the Monster seats in the second. The home run was McCann's first in 75 at-bats at Fenway Park and just the 13th opposite-field shot of his career. He also helped spark a three-run rally in the fifth by smacking a leadoff double to left-center.

McCann's two-run shot

"When you can go the other way -- at home, you run back three steps and you catch it. Here, it's a home run. It's nice to have that in left field here," McCann said.

Mookie can't cash in: The Red Sox had two big chances to get back in the game with Mookie Betts at the plate. In the sixth, with runners on second and third and two outs, Betts hoped to tie the game with a single. Instead, he was retired on a well-struck flyout to right. In the eighth, with two on and two outs, and the Red Sox still down by two runs, Betts struck out on a 2-2 curveball by Dellin Betances.

Betances works out of a jam

"The one thing we have shown with greater frequency over the past three to four weeks is creating opportunities late, playing with a lot of energy -- we're a swing of the bat away from extending this one today," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. More >

Miley called for costly balk: With runners on first third and nobody out in the fifth, Miley was called for a balk, allowing McCann to score the tying run. It was hard to tell what prompted home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez to call the balk.

McCann scores on a balk

"[Hernandez] said [Miley] made a move toward home plate, and that wasn't even his best move," said Farrell. "To me, when the home-plate umpire calls it and the first-base umpire is staring him right in the face on it. ... Wade has one of the best pickoff moves in the game and in my mind, it was not a balk." More >

Yankees 'pen hangs on: Reliever Andrew Miller staved off a Boston rally in the ninth, but not before a pair of unearned runs scored after McCann and Refsnyder each committed a throwing error. With the tying run at the plate, Miller got Shane Victorino to pop out and end the game.

"I've talked about [it]. When we give extra outs, you put yourself in trouble. Especially with the way guys swing the bats now," Girardi said. "We almost put ourselves in a bad position." More >

"They're never going to quit. They have expectations of winning a World Series just like we do over here. I'm not going to give up on them until there's an X next to their name, or whatever they do when somebody's out of the standings. They're too good, there's too many veteran players that have experienced too much. You're not going to count them out ever. They're a good team. Winning a series against them is always a huge thing." -- Miller, on the Red Sox

Yankees: Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (5-3, 3.63 ERA) leads the Yankees into the second half Friday at 7:05 p.m. ET when they return home for a three-game series against the Mariners. Tanaka has thrown five quality starts in the seven outings since he came off the disabled list in early June. New York swept the Mariners in three games at Safeco Field last month.

Red Sox: Following the All-Star break, the Red Sox will open a four-game series in Anaheim against the Angels on Friday at 10:05 p.m. ET. Boston manager John Farrell has yet to reveal his rotation for that series.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.