BOSTON – It took most of a rainy night at Fenway Park for the Red Sox to find their offense. It took one wild inning by reliever Brooks Kriske for the Yankees to squander an opportunity to gain valuable ground on their longtime rivals.
Kiké Hernández hit a two-run double that tied the game with two outs in the ninth inning, and Boston took advantage of a record four wild pitches by Kriske in the 10th to rally past New York 5-4 on Thursday.
“That’s why you play until the last out is made,” Hernández said. “Pitchers did a good job of keeping us in the game.”
Xander Bogaerts scored on a sacrifice fly by Hunter Renfroe in the 10th to win the opener of a four-game series. The victory was Boston’s third straight and snapped New York’s four-game winning streak.
Boston also remained one game up on Tampa Bay in the AL East. The third-place Yankees, who have lost eight of 10 to the Red Sox this season, are eight games back.
Matt Barnes (5-2), the sixth Red Sox pitcher of the night, gave up a run in the 10th but got the win. Kriske (1-1) allowed Boston’s final two runs for a blown save, becoming the first major leaguer to throw four wild pitches in a single extra inning, according to STATS.
All of them came on splitters that bounced.
“It was just pure execution,” said Kriske, optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after the loss. "It's part of the game. I've got to do a better job.”
New York took a 4-3 lead in the 10th on a sacrifice fly by Brett Gardner that scored Tyler Wade.
Boston quickly tied it in the bottom half thanks in large part to Kriske's quartet of wild pitches. His first one moved automatic runner Rafael Devers to third base, and a second pitch in the dirt allowed him to score.
After Bogaerts walked, Kriske’s control issues continued. Two more wild pitches got Bogaerts to third, setting up Renfroe’s game-ending fly to right.
New York took a 3-1 lead into the ninth. But after striking out Christian Vázquez for the first out, right-hander Chad Green gave up back-to-back singles to Alex Verdugo and Bobby Dalbec. One out later, Hernández tied the game when his double to deep left-center scored Verdugo and pinch-runner Jarren Duran.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he had no regrets going to Green in the ninth, despite Luis Cessa pitching a scoreless eighth. Boone said the plan was for Cessa to go one inning after throwing 30 pitches two nights ago.
“I felt good about (Green) in a save situation tonight,” Boone said.
The Red Sox came in having totaled 20 runs in back-to-back wins over the Blue Jays. But they were kept at bay early by starter Jordan Montgomery, who allowed three hits with six strikeouts and one walk over 5 2/3 scoreless innings.
The Yankees also might have been aided by a 55-minute rain delay in the fifth while clinging to a 1-0 lead. The long pause prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora to pull starter Tanner Houck, who had been pitching well in his first major league start since April.
Houck allowed one run and two hits over 4 2/3 innings, struck out eight and walked two before taking a seat for the night.
New York took a 1-0 lead into the seventh when Boston loaded the bases for Hernández with one out after Wade mishandled Michael Chavis’ hard grounder to third.
Hernández popped out to short center, but it was enough for Verdugo to beat Estevan Florial’s throw home with a headfirst slide to tie the game.
Yankees: Boone said several players who went on the COVID-19 injured list before the start of the second half are on track to return soon. RHP Jonathan Loaisiga joined the team in Boston on Thursday. 3B Gio Urshela and LHP Nestor Cortes could rejoin the team this weekend. OF Aaron Judge and C Kyle Higashioka are on track to join the team prior to next week’s series at Tampa Bay. … Promoted RHP Sal Romano from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and designated RHP Asher Wojciechowski for assignment.
Red Sox: Placed INF/OF Danny Santana on the 10-day injured list with a left groin strain and recalled OF/1B Franchy Cordero from Triple-A Worcester.
The Red Sox announced the signings of two of their top selections from the MLB amateur draft earlier this month. Shortstop Marcelo Mayer, taken fourth overall, and second baseman Tyler McDonough, a third-round pick, both signed their new contracts. Mayer was at Fenway with his family and participated in batting practice before the game.
Yankees: RHP Gerrit Cole (10-4, 2.63 ERA) will make his 20th start of the season and look to earn his second straight win over Boston after allowing one run and three hits over six innings in a 3-1 victory in New York last week.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (7-5, 5.19) is coming off snapping a seven-game winless stretch at New York, after going 5 2/3 innings and allowing no runs in a 4-1 win over the Yankees last week.
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