Chris Sale pitched his latest Bronx gem, Rafael Devers went 5 for 5 with a first-inning grand slam and the Boston Red Sox held the New York Yankees to two hits during an 11-0 rout Saturday night to take back baseball’s best record.
Sale (8-4) allowed only Giancarlo Stanton’s clean single over seven innings, striking out 11. He has a 1.73 career ERA against the Yankees, best among pitchers with at least 10 starts against them since 1920. His ERA at Yankee Stadium is 1.86, second only to Seattle’s Felix Hernandez among pitchers with five starts.
Boston is a major league-leading 56-28, just ahead of the Yankees at 53-27. New York held the majors’ best mark by percentage points after winning Friday’s series opener 8-1.
Yankee Stadium hosted a season-high sellout of 47,125, and the crowd gave starter Sonny Gray (5-6) an earful after he gave up six runs in 2 1/3 innings. The right-hander dropped to 0-4 with a 9.35 ERA against Boston since being acquired by New York from Oakland last season.
Devers had a career-best five hits. He nearly had another homer in the seventh, but right fielder Aaron Judge reached over the wall and knocked Devers’ shot back into play with his glove. Devers ended up with a double following a video review.
Sandy Leon brought home Devers with a two-run homer into the second deck in right field off Giovanny Gallegos. J.D. Martinez had three hits and three RBIs, and Mookie Betts added two hits and two walks as Boston piled up 17 hits.
Heath Hembree and Hector Velazquez closed it out with a hitless inning each. Velazquez gave up a groundball single to Gleyber Torres in the ninth for New York’s second hit.
New York had won seven consecutive games against left-handed starters and was a major league-best 19-5 against them this season, but Sale had them spinning. The Yankees hit just four balls out of the infield against Sale, and he retired his final 16 batters.
Judge struck out three times against the lefty in three at-bats, giving him 13 punchouts in 18 career at-bats against Sale. That’s the most strikeouts for Judge against any pitcher.
Torres also struck out three times against Sale during his first career start in the leadoff spot.
Gray quickly disposed of Betts and Andrew Benintendi to open the game, but a well-placed grounder by Martinez sparked a big first inning. Martinez beat second baseman Torres’ jump throw from shallow center for an infield single, Mitch Moreland walked and Xander Bogaerts lined a single to right that loaded the bases.
Gray got ahead of Devers 1-2 but floated a waist-high curveball that Devers lofted just over the left-field wall. It was Devers’ second career slam — both this season — and his 14th homer of the year.
Benintendi and Martinez each added an RBI in the second, and Yankee Stadium jeered loudly as Gray walked off with one out in the third.
TURN THOSE FROWNS …
Yankee Stadium fans were barely done booing Gray when Judge gave them a momentary lift. After reliever Adam Warren replaced Gray, Judge caught Leon’s fly ball and threw out Bogaerts at the plate.
Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. caught Aaron Hicks’ drive in the third while leaping and slamming into the wall in front of New York’s bullpen.
Red Sox: Boston reliever Tyler Thornburg pitched two innings for Double-A Portland on Friday and a clean inning Saturday with Triple-A Pawtucket, perhaps a final hurdle for the right-hander before he returns to the majors following surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome last June. … Michael Chavis can be activated Sunday and will be assigned to Class A short-season Lowell before advancing to Portland. The corner infield prospect was suspended 80 games prior to the season after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
Yankees: Hicks was visited by a trainer after being hit by a pitch on his right foot or ankle in the first inning. He remained in the game.
Boston LHP David Price (9-5, 3.66 ERA) and Yankees ace Luis Severino (12-2, 2.10) square off in prime time Sunday. Price is 7-1 with a 2.72 ERA in nine starts since being diagnosed with a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome that caused him to miss a turn against the Yankees in early May. Severino had his worst start this season vs. Boston on April 10, allowing five runs in five innings, but then matched a season high with 11 strikeouts in a strong outing against the Red Sox on May 8.
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Source: Associated Press