Yankees down Red Sox 6-3, take over Wild Card lead with series sweep

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BOSTON — It’s not going to be pretty with this team. The Yankees have not made anything look easy all year long, but maybe that experience is paying off. The Bombers overcame a number of miscues with the help of Giancarlo Stanton’s majestic home run over the Green Monster to beat the Red Sox 6-3.

It was the sixth straight win for the Yankees, who swept the three from Boston in Fenway this weekend. That propelled the Bombers a game ahead of the Red Sox for the top American League Wild Card spot — which comes with home field advantage for the Oct. 5 win-or-go-home game — with six to play. They are two games ahead of the Blue Jays, who they will face in a crucial three-game series in Toronto beginning Tuesday. While the Red Sox finish the year with six against the Orioles and Nationals, two teams with losing records, the Yankees close out with the AL-East champion Rays.

“I mean, we aren’t afraid to make it interesting, that’s for sure,” Stanton said. “But what I will say is we definitely kept our confidence and that’s what’s most important. We couldn’t let it slip away and let them steal one there. We kept pushing and and we knew there was a chance until the last out.”

The Yankees trailed 3-2 after seven innings, but their three-run eighth gave them their 42nd come-from-behind win of the year. They have beaten Boston in their last six meetings, after losing the first seven meetings of the season.

Stanton has four homers in his last five games, six in his last nine and eight in his last 14. In this critical three-game series, Stanton went 7-for-12 with a double, three home runs and 10 RBI. He is only the sixth Yankee to homer in three consecutive games during a single series at Fenway, joining Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Bernie Williams and Andruw Jones. Only Stanton and DiMaggio homered in all three games of a three-game series.

Stanton’s eighth-inning homer was the pretty wrapping around an ugly game of dropped pop ups, bad baserunning and wild pitches.

The Yankees got the tying run on in the eighth when Garret Richards walked Gio Urshela to lead off the inning, but pinch runner Tyler Wade tried to steal second, and inexplicably thought there was a foul ball and pulled up about 10 feet away and was easily thrown out by catcher Christian Vazquez. Aaron Judge and Stanton bailed him and the Yankees out.

Richards then walked LeMahieu and gave up a double to Anthony Rizzo.

Adam Ottavino, whom the Yankees traded to Boston last winter for salary relief, seemingly had Judge struck out on a foul tip, but Vazquez dropped it. On the next pitch, the Yankee right fielder hammered a two-run double.

Stanton brought Judge in with his 448-foot homer over the Green Monster onto Lansdowne Street.

That erased the Yankees’ brutal seventh inning.

Instead of bringing Clay Holmes, who had pitched a dominant sixth, back for the seventh, Yankees manager Aaron Boone reacted to Red Sox manager Alex Cora’s decision to pinch hit left Travis Shaw. Boone immediately called for lefty Joely Rodriguez and Cora then substituted Jose Iglesias, who singled. Alex Verdugo chopped a bunt single up the first-base side. They both advanced on a 95-mile-an-hour sinker that Rodriguez yanked and got away from Gary Sanchez. The Red Sox scored the tying run on Vazquez’s sacrifice fly.

LeMahieu dropped a foul pop up with two outs to keep Kyle Schwarber’s pinch-hit at bat alive and Joey Gallo dropped his simple pop up to shallow left to allow Verdugo to score the go-ahead run.

“A little bit stunning, right? I mean, you can’t make that stuff up,” Boone said. “But again, it’s been one of my messages to the guys all year long. When these games get more important and you get into a playoff type atmosphere, mistakes are gonna happen and you can’t get bogged down by them. You got to move on and sometimes things tend to snowball if you let it and it’s not something you’re gonna see very often—two pop ups get dropped like that, especially by such really good defenders. But you know, it’s part of the ride right now and you’ve got to just move on to the next one.”

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