Yankees complete sweep of Red Sox, take over first in Wild Card race

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Sep. 27—BOSTON — Aaron Judge is one of the last players in baseball you want to give extra chances.

Hanging onto a one-run lead in the top of the eighth, the Red Sox appeared to get Judge out twice with two men in scoring position. His pop fly into foul territory was catchable but Bobby Dalbec couldn't make the play against the dugout fence, and what should have been strike three was ruled a foul tip after Christian Vazquez dropped the ball making the transfer to throw the ball.

Three chances was plenty for Judge, who ripped a two-run double to give New York the lead. That set the table for the white hot Giancarlo Stanton, who hit a two-run home run for his third homer of the series, and the Yankees held on to win 6-3 and complete a three-game sweep of the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

"We got swept by the Yankees and we're in the second wild card," Cora said. "We played some competitive games but we didn't get the job done."

The brutal finish capped off a bizarre two-inning stretch that featured a defensive meltdown on New York's part as well. Leading 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh, the Yankees surrendered a sacrifice fly by Vazquez and then dropped two routine pop file by Kyle Schwarber that would have ended the inning. The first came in foul territory, and the second fell into shallow right field to score Verdugo and give the Red Sox a 3-2 lead.

But things flipped on Boston in a hurry in the eighth. Garrett Richards, who had pitched a scoreless seventh, walked the first two men he faced. Pinch runner Tyler Wade was caught stealing, but Anthony Rizzo doubled to put men on second and third with one out and Judge coming to the plate.

Adam Ottavino came on to face Judge and things went south from there.

The ugly finish marred a strong outing by Eduardo Rodriguez, who allowed two runs on six hits over five innings with a walk and eight strikeouts in what may turn out to be his final start at Fenway Park as a member off the Red Sox. J.D. Martinez also had a sacrifice fly in the fourth to get Boston on the board.

With the loss Boston now falls a game behind New York in the AL Wild Card race. The Red Sox still hold the second Wild Card spot and lead Toronto by one, Seattle by two and Oakland by three for the final playoff spot with six games remaining.

The Red Sox have Monday off before opening a three-game series with the last-place Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday. New York and Toronto will face each other in a pivotal series starting Tuesday, while Seattle and Oakland will face off out west starting Monday.

Email: mcerullo@northofboston.com. Twitter: @MacCerullo.

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