BOSTON — Earlier than Saturday’s sport, Gerrit Cole likened this Yankees-Purple Sox collection to “a little bit bit like a heavyweight struggle to see who comes out on high.”
To this point, it’s no contest.
The Yankees have dropped all 5 conferences between the 2 groups this season and it will likely be as much as Cole to stop a second straight sweep by the hands of their rivals following a 4-2 loss at Fenway Park on Saturday night time.
“We positively don’t like shedding to those guys,’’ DJ LeMahieu mentioned. “We’ve received much more video games in opposition to them this yr. Hopefully we flip the tide on them. [Sunday] is a giant sport for us. … They’ve outplayed us for 5 straight video games.”
With one other sellout crowd chanting “Yankees suck” all through the sport, Nathan Eovaldi shut down the Bombers for a lot of the night time, because the offense that appeared prefer it was coming collectively in current weeks has quieted down in Boston the previous two nights.
The Yankees’ bats largely stayed silent till LeMahieu received the Bombers on the board with a solo homer with two out within the eighth to finish Eovaldi’s night time.
Hirokazu Sawamura got here in and walked Aaron Choose, Gary Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton to load the bases. He was lifted for Adam Ottavino, who received Luke Voit to floor out.
The Yankees had one other probability within the ninth when LeMahieu got here up with two on and two out in opposition to Ottavino and singled in Rougned Odor from second.
Ottavino, throwing more durable than he did as a Yankee, rebounded to strike out Choose on a 2-2 sinker to seal the win.
“He’s not on the market to show individuals improper,’’ Purple Sox supervisor Alex Cora mentioned of Ottavino, who the Yankees traded to Boston after two subpar seasons in The Bronx. “He’s on the market to get individuals out. … The final pitch was an important pitch.”
Although Eovaldi’s counterpart, Jordan Montgomery, wasn’t unhealthy, he was the sufferer of some unhealthy luck because the Yankees once more performed poor protection and offered the left-hander with no run assist — damage once more by a pair of double performs.
The Purple Sox loaded the bases with nobody out within the second and Kiké Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly to drive within the first run. Bobby Dalbec then hit a foul pop down the primary bottom line. Voit made an off-balance catch, however Devers tagged up and scored on the play to make it 2-0.
Confronted with runners on the corners, Montgomery received a grounder to second from Renfroe, however after a shifted LeMahieu raced over to discipline it, he hesitated with the throw and Renfroe beat it out. It was dominated a success and Bogaerts scored to make it 3-0.
“We’ve received to attain first,’’ Choose mentioned. “That’s the large factor. They’ve put the strain on us. … We’ve received to flip the swap and put the strain on them.”
The Yankees had two on and one out when LeMahieu led off the sixth with a gradual chopper towards third that Devers couldn’t deal with. It was dominated a success. Choose singled via the precise aspect of the infield earlier than a Sanchez double play ended the menace.
Albert Abreu gave up a run within the seventh to place the Yankees in a 4-0 gap they couldn’t climb out of.
As for Cole, he will likely be matched up in opposition to left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez within the collection finale on Sunday afternoon
“Whereas perhaps the season can’t be made or damaged in three video games in late June, there’s definitely some weight to the collection,’’ Cole mentioned.
And now there’s much more weight on Sunday’s sport, with the Yankees six video games again of the Rays within the AL East, who lead Boston by a half-game. In addition they are 17-23 in opposition to the division.
“We’re preventing our butts off proper now,’’ Boone mentioned. “Some issues didn’t go our manner tonight. We’ve received to struggle to make issues occur and push to make issues occur in opposition to these golf equipment.”