BOSTON – The Red Sox didn’t tag the Yankees for 15 runs again when their series resumed on Sunday afternoon, yet Boston hammered its division rivals – and the Green Monster – for the second consecutive game, a 6-2 win for the home team.
The Sox started their scoring in the fifth after Clarke Schmidt allowed a walk and a double to Justin Turner, which could have been – but was not – caught against the wall by a leaping Jake Bauers in left. Alex Verdugo then scored on a Rafael Devers groundout before Adam Duvall singled Turner home.
Michael King prevented further damage in the fifth, but he allowed four two-out hits, including RBI doubles to Connor Wong and Verdugo, in the sixth. Both doubles peppered the Monster.
“I, stupidly I guess, pitched into that left field wall,” King said. “At home, there’s a lot of times where I’ll pitch away from our right field. You got to know the park.”
Nick Ramirez then balked in Masataka Yoshida after the outfielder tripled in the seventh.
Schmidt’s day ended on a sour note, but he pitched well until the fifth. All in all, he logged 4.2 innings, five hits, two earned runs, three walks and three strikeouts while improving his ERA to 4.65.
“What I liked was, when it wasn’t necessarily perfect for him or he wasn’t dominant like his last four [starts], where he’s really been really crispy, I felt like he managed it a lot better,” Aaron Boone said of Schmidt. “He’s continuing to grow in front of us.”
King, meanwhile, totaled three earned runs over 1.1 innings.
While the Red Sox had no problem driving the ball, the Yankees’ lineup didn’t put up much of a fight against Boston in a bullpen game.
Opener Kaleb Ort surrendered a Monster-clearing, two-run homer to Gleyber Torres in the first inning, but the Yankees didn’t score again after that, and they only tallied four hits. Chris Murphy and Nick Pivetta finished the game for the Sox.
“We just got to find a rhythm and get a win tonight,” Giancarlo Stanton said of the Yankees’ scuffling offense.
Added Boone: “They’re gonna hit.”
That didn’t happen in the nightcap though, as the last-place Red Sox pulled off the three-game sweep with a 4-1 win on “Sunday Night Baseball.”
Brayan Bello played a part in keeping the Bronx bats silent, as he held the Yankees to one run while striking out eight and walking three over seven innings and 102 pitches. It was the second time in as many starts that the 24-year-old took advantage of an unproductive lineup, as Bello limited the Yankees to two runs over seven innings at Yankee Stadium on June 11.
“He’s got good stuff, and he can command,” said Anthony Rizzo, who missed out on a run-producing, extra-base hit in the third when Jarren Duran made a spectacular catch against the wall in Fenway’s centerfield triangle. “He doesn’t really give in, especially when he falls behind in the count. He’s confident in all of his pitches. You just give him credit. He didn’t really give in the last two starts against us.”
The Yankees’ only run off the right-handed Bello came on a Rizzo groundout in the first inning. The team didn’t score again after that — and after hitting coach Dillon Lawson addressed the Yanks’ flailing offense in between games.
The struggling Luis Severino, meanwhile, showed some improvement after allowing 16 earned runs over his last three starts, but he still totaled seven hits, four runs (three earned), three walks and six strikeouts over five innings and 81 pitches.
The Red Sox got on the board with an Enrique Hernandez RBI double in the second, while Triston Casas plated two more with a ground-rule double in fifth. The Red Sox scored an additional run in the fourth inning when Kyle Higashioka committed catcher’s interference with the bases loaded and two out.
That — and Josh Donaldson getting picked off in the fourth inning — continued a trend of sloppiness for the Yankees in this series. In addition to Ramirez balking in a run in Sunday’s first game, the team made a handful of defensive mishaps in Friday’s opener.
Anthony Volpe also failed to come up with an over-the-shoulder blooper that preceded Casas’ double.
“We always want to play as clean as possible,” Boone said of the mistakes, “whether we’re rolling on a good streak or going through a tough time.”
With the Yankees’ low-mileage road trip to Queens and Boston now over, the team will try to correct course at home following a Monday off day.
The Yankees will open a three-game series against the Mariners on Tuesday, followed by a three-game set against the Rangers. After that, they’ll pack their bags again for games in Oakland and St. Louis from June 27-July 2.
The Yankees, now a half-game out of fourth place, could use a few wins against the American League West before hitting the road after losing four straight to rivals.
“We got swept,” Rizzo said of the Red Sox series. “It sucks. It’s definitely a low in the season, but this is part of the ups and downs of a big league season.”