BOSTON -- It took several big hits for the Red Sox to climb back from an early deficit, but all they needed was a wild pitch to finally take the lead in Saturday's 6-5 victory over the Yankees at Fenway Park.
Mookie Betts roared home on a misfire by Adam Warren to catcher Austin Romine with two outs in the seventh. Hanley Ramirez also attempted to score with no one covering home, but Romine beat him to the plate and tagged him out. It was Betts who tied the game just moments earlier with an RBI single up the middle through a drawn-in infield. Xander Bogaerts, in the middle of everything all day, started the two-run rally with a double to right-center. The shortstop had an RBI double and a two-run shot (home run No. 20) earlier in the game.
The surging Red Sox will go for a four-game sweep against their rivals on Sunday night. This was the second comeback in the last three days. In the victorious clubhouse, the magnitude of Ramirez's three-run, walk-off homer on Thursday was still being discussed.
"As I said, that first win we got here, that walk-off from Hanley, it shifted the momentum to our side because they were a team that was playing pretty good baseball," said Bogaerts. "It was a tablesetter in this series."
The Yankees held leads of 3-0 and 5-2, but the Red Sox chipped away all afternoon.
"I think just that the gradual fight was key," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "The constant, keep-coming [mentality] from the lineup standpoint. Build an inning, add a run. A two-run blow by Bogey to get us closer. This was more methodical than just one big inning. That takes contributions from many, from guys who came out of the bullpen to the length in the lineup."
With 14 games left, Boston leads the American League East by three games over Toronto and Baltimore. New York stayed four back in the Wild Card race.
"Boston has outplayed us," Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner said. "We've scored some runs, we've just given up a few too many. We need to find a way to win [Sunday] night and try and regroup and go on a streak here this next week. It's our only hope."
For the fourth time in as many starts against the Yankees this season, David Price (nine hits, five earned runs) wasn't at this best. New York worked him for 113 pitches over six innings. The lefty did grind through the start to keep his team in the game, walking none and striking out seven. Price wound up with a no-decision, snapping his streak of victories in seven straight starts.
Designated hitter Gary Sanchez hit an impressive two-run shot that soared over the Green Monster to put the Red Sox in a 3-0 hole with two outs in the third. According to Statcast™, Sanchez's 15th homer of the season and second at Fenway had a projected distance of 407 feet.
The Yankees lost Starlin Castro in the fifth inning due to a right hamstring strain suffered when he ran to second on a double. Jacoby Ellsbury exited in the eighth with a right knee injury. Both are headed to New York to have their injuries examined.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bogaerts finds groove: Bogaerts might at last be getting his groove back after a tough couple of months. Entering this one, Bogaerts was hitting .214 with a .608 OPS since Aug. 1. He became the fifth Red Sox player to hit 20 homers or more this season, joining David Ortiz, Betts, Ramirez and Jackie Bradley Jr.More >
"It's just me at the plate," said Bogaerts. "I've been locking up myself. I tend to dive a lot and stuff like that. Just looking at videos and realizing that what you're feeling is just because of this and because of that. It definitely helped today with the adjustments I made."
One gets away: Desperately trying to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Yankees didn't seem intimidated by Price, assembling a three-run third inning on the strength of Gardner's run-scoring triple and Sanchez's home run. Romine banged a two-run double off the Green Monster in the fourth, but said that meant nothing after Betts scored the deciding run on Warren's wild pitch. More >
"It completely trumps it. I'm not here to hit," Romine said. "I can hit, I like to hit, but I'm here to catch. I'm the backup catcher, third-string catcher, whatever label you want to put on it; I'm here to catch. I'm here to block balls. I didn't do my job."
Kimbrel gets four outs: Farrell was leaving nothing to chance in this one. With two outs in the eighth and a runner on, he called on closer Craig Kimbrel. The righty blew a 97-mph heater by Chase Headley to end the threat, and then finished off the Yankees by striking out three straight batters in the ninth for his first four-out save since Aug. 20. More >
"He was not only as efficient, but probably as powerful as he can be," said Farrell.
Unintended result: Warren said that he was looking for a strikeout or a ground ball as he faced Betts with one out in the seventh inning, and he was initially pleased to see a chopper headed toward shortstop Didi Gregorius. The Yankees were playing the infield in and the ball cleared Gregorius' reach into left field, bringing home Bogaerts with the tying run.
"You see him kind of chop at it, so you think you get the ground ball you want," Warren said. "Just went over his head. That's baseball and unfortunate. Early in the count, you're trying to get a ground ball. If you get two strikes, you go for the strikeout. Just didn't work out."
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The bullpen continues to be tremendous for the Red Sox of late. In September, Boston's relievers lead the Majors with a 1.06 ERA while allowing no earned runs in 12 out of 15 games.
WHAT'S NEXT Yankees: Left-hander CC Sabathia (8-12, 4.10 ERA) takes the ball for Sunday's 8:08 p.m. ET contest as the rivals wrap up this four-game series at Fenway Park. Sabathia is coming off 6 1/3 innings of scoreless, three-hit ball in a no-decision against the Dodgers. He last faced the Red Sox on July 16, allowing five runs (four earned) over 5 1/3 innings in a 5-2 Boston win.
Red Sox: Lefty Drew Pomeranz (2-5, 4.60 ERA) will try to bounce back from a tough outing last time out against the Orioles, when he gave up four hits and five runs over two-plus innings. Pomeranz has pitched well against the Yankees this season, posting a 1.46 ERA in two starts.