In a Friday Night Lights showdown, the Yankees took on the Red Sox in the last series of the regular season. The Yankees sent J.A. Happ to the mound to oppose Brian Johnson and the stellar Red Sox offense. This game was jam packed with action and saw the Yankees tie the all-time single season home run record, clinch home field for the wild card game, and come dangerously close to blowing a huge lead.
Both teams cruised through the first two innings until the Yankees struck first in the top of the 3rd in grand fashion, Gary Sanchez launched a monster home run to left off of Johnson that cleared the green monster, the left field monster seats, and anything Fenway had to offer putting the Yanks up 1-0. The Yanks did not stop there in the 3rd, Judge walked, Hicks singled sharply moving Judge to second, and Giancarlo Stanton then singled up the middle scoring Judge giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
Happ continued his dominance shutting the Sox down in order again in the bottom half of the 3rd.
The top of the 4th saw some history as Miguel Andujar’s double down the line off the monster tied him with Joe DiMaggio for the most doubles by a Yankee rookie with 44. Gary Sanchez then walked before Gleyber Torres hit a massive double off the monster in deep left center scoring Miggy and Kraken and putting the Yankees up 4-0. Andrew McCutchen then singled to left driving in Gleyber for a close play at the plate. Judge then singled and Aaron Hicks hit a three run bomb to right. After the top of the 4th the Yankees had a commanding 8-0 lead.
There was then no significant action until the bottom of the 6th when the Sox strung together a Betts single, a Benintendi double and a Bogaerts walk to load the bases for Steve Pearce who continued to punish the Yankees by hitting a grand slam off of Happ, This allowed the Sox to crawl back to 8-4.
But, the Yankees were not done either. Luke Voit, who just doesn’t stop, hit another home run in the top of the 7th. And the hits kept coming. Didi Gregorius singled, Miguel Andujar walked, and Gary Sanchez hit one between Bogaerts’s legs as Didi scored making the score 10-4 Yanks.
Chad Green came on the in 7th to relieve Happ and worked a clean 1,2,3 inning.
Top 8th, leading off, Aaron Judge launched a home run to deep left center, All Rise! This was his first home run since coming back from the Disabled List.
Dellin Betances relieved Green in the bottom of the 8th and made it interesting by walking Betts and yielding singles to Martinez and Pearce, Betts scored to close the scote to , but 10-5 Dellin escaped without any further damage.
Gary Sanchez doubled for his third hit on the night in the 8th - a positive sign for the Yankees heading into the home stretch.
Zach Britton came dangerously close to ruining Friday night for Yankees fans everywhere. In his inning, Kinsler walked, Betts reached on an error, Vasquez walked, Bogaerts walked,…Everybody walked! After walking in a run, Britton finally got Pearce to ground out to Andujar….
Start Spreading the News!!! The Yankees win in Boston, clinching home field advantage against the As and gaining some major momentum.
This game felt like one of those major turning point games, The Yankees seem to be getting hot just at the right time. Gary Sanchez had a great night, Aaron Hicks and Gleyber Torres were in the lineup and had major contributions. Aaron Judge hit his first homer in a long time. J.A. Happ pitched well. There were lots of good things happening Friday night to be excited about. It will be interesting to see how the Yankees handle the remaining two games now that they have clinched home field.