NEW YORK – CC Sabathia eliminated the high-scoring Red Sox, Greg Bird struck two home runs and Aaron Judge joined a college teammate as the New York Yankees defeated Boston 8 -1 on Friday night, to get back the top record in the majors.
Not since the famous 1978 Bucky Dent playoff game did the Yankees and Red Sox hit so late in a season when they had the two best characters in baseball. The home races also opted for this match, Miguel Andujar also went to New York.
Yankee Stadium's biggest audience this year was in spirit when the lines formed more than 3 1/2 hours before the start. The pro-Yankees chants began before the first pitch, the anti-Boston cries soon followed.
Sabathia (5-3) helped Boston's four-game winning streak, less than a month from his 38th birthday. He gave up a run and six strokes in seven innings.
Steve Pearce, acquired one day earlier from Toronto, hit cleanup in his debut for Boston, doubling and separating himself from Sabathia. Anyway, the big left-back improved to 6-0 in his last seven starts against Boston.
Eduardo Rodriguez (9-3) made five early runs. Boston has dropped to 3-4 against its rivals this season, and there are still 12 games left.
Judge was eligible for his 21st homer, a two-run in the seventh round by Justin Haley. Before the game, the former Fresno State players chatted behind the cage for a while – the rookie helper stepped angrily on the mound as Richter circled the base.
Gleyber Torres tripled, scoring Andujar's single in the second. Torres added a sacrificial fly in a four-part fourth, followed by back-to-back homers by Andujar and Bird.
Bird added a solo drive in the eighth. The Yankees lead the majors with 131 home runs.
3B / 1B Brandon Drury was called by Triple-A and probably this weekend's action with Boston will start left-handed the rest of the weekend. Acquired from Arizona, he started the season as Start 3B, but in early April went to the DL with blurry vision and migraines. He gives the Yankees a valid option on 1B. The team considered promoting Tyler Austin, but he has back problems.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia and knuckleballer Steven Wright will see a doctor on Monday. Both are disabled on the 10-day list. … Drew Pomeranz will start a rehab assignment on Monday with Triple-A Pawtucket.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (strained hamstrings) threw 48 games in a simulated game at the Spring Complex in Tampa, Florida. He is expected to start in a minor league rehab game mid-week, then he could join the Yankees again.
Red Sox: LHP's Chris Sale (7-4, 2.56 ERA) is 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA against the Yankees. He beat Judge more than any other pitcher – 10 times in 15 atbats.
Yankees: RHP Sonny Gray (5-5, 4.93) is 1-5 lifetime against the Red Sox. Since joining New York, he is 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA in three starts against Boston.
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