Red Sox 5, Yankees 4: Boston salvages series finale

Red Sox/Yankees: The Rivalry Is Back

A few minutes later, the Yankees' eight-game winning streak and their historic 17-1 run ended with a 5-4 loss that left the rivals dead even for the top spot in the AL East.

The fiery reliever and the free agent slugger proved a brassy pair in the eighth inning with Thursday night's game slipping away from Boston. Kelly threw a called third strike past Neil Walker to end the inning with two on - the seventh Yankees batter caught looking as NY repeatedly questioned the strike zone of plate umpire Stu Scheurwater.

Now those standings look significantly different and the Yankees get a chance to inch ahead of the Red Sox on Wednesday night in the middle contest of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.

J.D. Martinez hit a tiebreaking home run against Dellin Betances leading off the eighth inning, just beyond Aaron Judge's reach at the right-field wall, and the Red Sox escaped NY with the victory that handed the Yankees only their second loss in 19 games. Craig Kimbrel got some redemption in the ninth, getting through Gardner, Judge and Gregorius unscathed.

Martinez, who drove in a run in the third with a liner off the glove of second baseman Gleyber Torres that was turned into a forceout, sent a 97 miles per hour fastball from Betances (1-2) to the opposite field, just over Judge's outstretched glove. He froze Neil Walker on a 2-2 changeup down in the zone, grinning mischievously and pumping his fist while striding back to the visiting dugout. The bullpen has been a bit shaky, but it has done what it must do.

Kimbrel entered with two on and one out to face Gardner seeking the first five-out save of his career.




Gary Sanchez walked to load the bases for Austin, who was called out on strikes.

Kelly proceeded to throw four straight balls of his own, walking Gardner, and Judge grounded an RBI single through the left side. Boston was on the board after just three batters while flipping the script on Thursday, with Mookie Betts sending a ground-rule double to right and scoring on a pair of infield outs to make it 1-0.

"It's another series", Red Sox manager Alex Cora said before the series opener.

Ramirez, often making predictions this year (he said he would hit 30 homers with 30 steals), made a different guess. It was a 3-0 lead for Boston, its largest since Sunday's series finale at Texas. Shortstop Jorge Mateo, 22, once ranked Baseball America's No. 26 prospect, is hitting.178 with two home runs, seven RBIs and six stolen bases in 30 games with Triple-A Nashville, while 24-year-old RHP James Kaprielian, the Yankees' first-round pick in 2015, has yet to pitch since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery last season.

It was nearly eventful again, as there was a brief rush for Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez and the rest of the crowd of 46,899 that didn't leave during a 55-minute rain delay in the fifth inning. Boston will finish off their 10-game road trip with a three-game set against the Blue Jays in Toronto starting Friday night. "We need a homer from him right here, and he went out and hit it".

Rodriguez allowed just one hit in five scoreless innings, a fourth-inning smash by Giancarlo Stanton off the glove of third baseman Rafael Devers.

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