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Late rally lifts Red Sox over Yankees

The Sports Xchange

August 19. 2017 2:13AM
Boston Red Sox pinch hitter Mitch Moreland (18) hits an RBI single during the seventh inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

BOSTON -- Mitch Moreland capped a wild seventh inning with a pinch-hit two-run single and the Boston Red Sox pulled out a 9-6 victory over the New York Yankees in the opener of a three-game series on Friday night.

The win, the Red Sox' third straight and 13th in their last 15 games, increased their lead over the Yankees in the American League East to five games.

Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz left the game in the fourth inning with back spasms and the Boston bullpen imploded to the tune of two runs in the sixth and four more in the seventh.

Ronald Torreyes smacked a long two-run single and Aaron Hicks was hit by a pitch (for the second straight time) to give the Yankees a 6-3 lead in the top of the seventh. Then came the bottom half; in total, the inning took 65 minutes to play.

After winner Addison Reed (1-1 with Boston, 2-3 overall) struck out Aaron Judge (Judge's record 35th straight game with a strikeout) and got Gary Sanchez on a soft loner to first with the bases loaded in the top half, a Mookie Betts sacrifice fly and an RBI single by Andrew Benintendi set the stage for Moreland's winner off Tommy Kahnle (2-4).

Before the game, New York manager Joe Girardi said Aroldis Chapman, who has been bothered by a hamstring problem and poor pitching, was still his closer. But Chapman relieved with his team down in the eighth and he failed again, Jackie Bradley Jr.'s two-run single making it 9-6.

Reed worked 1 2/3 hitless innings for the win and Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth for his 29th save.

A two-run homer by rookie Rafael Devers (No. 7 in 19 games) and a solo shot by Christian Vazquez gave Boston a 3-0 lead, but Todd Frazier's two-run shot and a solo bomb by Sanchez (ninth in his last 21 games) tied the game at 3-3.

The Yankees went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 14 in their second straight painful loss to their rivals.

Vazquez had three hits and a walk while New York's Brett Gardner had three hits and a walk and Frazier two hits and two walks in the loss.

Pomeranz, 6-0 in his previous 11 starts and a 12-game winner, left runners in scoring position in the first three innings, After Benintendi made a diving catch of a Didi Gregorius line drive to start the fourth, Pomeranz fell behind Chase Headley 2-0.

Pomeranz could be seen stretching and then, after throwing a few warmup pitches, was removed from the game with the Red Sox leading 2-0.

Devers, who tied last Sunday's game in New York with a ninth-inning homer off a Chapman 102.8-mph fastball, connected on a 2-1 pitch off Jordan Montgomery in the second.

Vazquez hit a 2-1 pitch leading off the fifth to make it 3-0.

NOTES: LHP David Price didn't throw for a third straight day due to stiffness in his troublesome left elbow. ... Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka (shoulder) threw at Fenway Park on Friday and is expected to return next week in Detroit. ... Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia, on the disabled list with a sore left knee, will resume baseball activities next week in Boston with the team in Cleveland. ... RHP Rick Porcello will work the series finale against the Yankees with Doug Fister pushed back to Monday in Cleveland. ... LHP CC Sabathia, 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts against Boston this season, comes off the disabled to pitch against Red Sox ace Chris Sale tonight. Sabathia said Friday he thought about retirement when his right knee acted up Aug. 8. Sale has pitched well in all three games against New York this season but doesn't have a win. ... The Red Sox unveiled a Tony Conigliaro display on the Fenway concourse on the 50th anniversary of his serious beaning by Jack Hamilton.

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