The 2020 Red Sox may yet beat the New York Yankees, but they’re down to two chances, and squandered their best yet on Friday night.
Gary Sanchez launched a Matt Barnes curveball into the Monster Seats with two outs in the ninth, completing a four-run comeback that denied a deserved win from Martin Perez, and New York eventually won it in 12 innings, 6-5, for their ninth consecutive victory.
After neither team scored in the 10th and traded single runs in the 11th, DJ LeMahieu’s two-out double in the 12th scored Aaron Hicks with the winning run. Kevin Plawecki’s groundout got extra runner Christian Vazquez to third in the bottom of the inning, but Jackie Bradley Jr. flew out to short center and Michael Chavis grounded out for Boston’s 11th straight loss to their rivals.
The Red Sox (19-33) were 3-for-22 with runners in scoring position, stranding 14.
Other observations from the game:
▪ Barnes had two outs in the ninth inning with the Red Sox clinging to a 4-3 lead. Barnes had retired Aaron Hicks and Gio Urshela. Then, Sanchez stepped to the plate, and on an 0-and-1 count, Barnes left a curveball over the plate that Sanchez belted over the Green Monster to tie it.
It wasn’t the first time Barnes imploded late in the game against the Yankees. In their Aug. 3 matchup, with the game tied in the eighth, 7-7, Barnes left another hanging curveball over the plate. This one to Aaron Judge, who clobbered it to left-center for a two-run shot, cementing a 9-7 victory for the club.
In 31 career appearances against the Yankees, Barnes has allowed 17 runs and a 9.53 ERA. He has a 3.60 ERA against every other club.
⋅ Perez said he’s at his best when he doesn’t nibble. When he attacks hitters in the zone with his best stuff.
For six innings against the Yankees, Martin Perez did just that. The Yankees came into Friday on a power surge, having hit an MLB-record 19 home runs in the prior three games against Toronto, and stacked the deck with an all-righty lineup against the lefthanded Perez. Nonetheless, Perez smothered and dominated, startling Yankee hitters with a devastating sinker. Against just three hits and one walk, Perez struck out seven — all on his sinker, and all seven went down looking.
When Perez and catcher Christian Vazquez find a pitch that’s effective, they tend to lean on it — sometimes, you think, almost too much. In his July 30 outing against the New York Mets, Perez tossed his changeup 31 times, including three in a row to Michael Conforto, striking out the lefty. Though the Mets hitters knew it was coming, there was little they could do with it.
The same happened Friday with Perez’s sinker. He established the inner third of the plate with it, freezing many of the Yankee hitters with its late run back over the plate.
⋅ Manager Ron Roenicke said after the Red Sox swiped six bags against Tampa’s Tyler Glasnow last week that he likes when his team is aggressive on the bases. Much like Glasnow, Yankee starter Jordan Montgomery was slow to the plate Friday.
With one out in the fourth, Vazquez stole third and Jackie Bradley Jr. stole second against the lefthander, who rarely checked runners. After Michael Chavis struck out, Christian Arroyo hit a three-run blast.
An inning later, Vazquez doubled in Xander Bogaerts after Bogaerts stole second off Montgomery.