Yankees’ rally falls short in fifth straight loss to Red Sox
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Simulating an all-time modern Subway Series
BOSTON — Gerrit Cole, before Saturday’s game, likened this Yankees-Red Sox series to “a little bit like a heavyweight fight to see who comes out on top.”
So far, it’s no contest.
The Yankees have dropped all five meetings between the two teams this season and it will be up to Cole to prevent a second straight sweep at the hands of their rivals following a 4-2 loss at Fenway Park on Saturday night.
With another sellout crowd chanting “Yankees suck” throughout the game, Nathan Eovaldi shut down the Yankees for most of the night. The Yankees’ offense, which looked in recent weeks as if it were coming together, has quieted down in Boston.
The Yankees’ bats mostly stayed silent until DJ LeMahieu got the Bombers on the board with a solo homer with two out in the eighth inning to end Eovaldi’s night.
Hirokazu Sawamura came in and walked Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton to load the bases. He was lifted for Adam Ottavino, who got Luke Voit to ground out.
The Yankees had another chance in the ninth, when LeMahieu came up with two on and two out against Ottavino and singled in Rougned Odor from second.
Ottavino rebounded to strike out Judge to seal the win.
While Eovaldi’s counterpart, Jordan Montgomery, wasn’t bad, he was the victim of some bad luck, as the Yankees again played poor defense and provided the left-hander with no run support.
They got a pair of singles in the top of the first, but didn’t score.
The Red Sox loaded the bases with no one out in the second, with a single from Xander Bogaerts, a walk to Rafael Devers and a hard comebacker by Hunter Renfroe.
Following a visit from pitching coach Matt Blake, Kiké Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the first run. Bobby Dalbec then hit a foul pop down the first-base line. Voit made an off-balance catch, but Devers tagged up and scored on the play to make it 2-0.
Bogaerts had a two-out double in the third and Devers reached on an infield single to shortstop. He was called safe after a review.
Faced with runners on the corners, Montgomery got a grounder to second from Renfroe. LeMahieu, who was shifted away from the base, raced over to field it, but then hesitated with the throw as Renfroe beat it out. It was ruled a hit and Bogaerts scored to make it 3-0.
A walk to Hernandez loaded the bases before Dalbec flied to deep center to finally end the inning.
LeMahieu led off the sixth with a slow chopper toward third that Devers couldn’t handle. It was ruled a hit. Judge singled through the right side of the infield before a Sanchez double play ended the threat, as the twin-killing again was a problem for the Yankees.
Albert Abreu gave up a run in the seventh to put the Yankees in a 4-0 hole they couldn’t escape.
Cole will be matched against left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez in the series finale on Sunday afternoon
“While maybe the season can’t be made or broken in three games in late June, there’s certainly some weight to the series,’’ Cole said.
And now there’s even more weight on Sunday’s game.
Manager Aaron Boone dismissed the notion the Red Sox had the Yankees’ number prior to the game.
“I don’t look at it that way,” Boone said. “I look at it as we know we have a good club. We’re fighting to find that consistency and find our groove. I think everyone in that room understands when we play our game, we can beat anybody.’’
Asked if he was concerned the Red Sox might feel differently, Boone said: “It’s not something I worry about becoming an issue. We’ve got a good team ahead of us in the standings that we’ve got to play better against.’’
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