NEW YORK — Despite the past two games not resulting in the much-anticipated event that will live long in New York Yankees and baseball history, the Pinstripes won’t mind the consolation prizes that have come about, ones that move the team one step closer to achieving the club’s first objective when starting any season.
José Trevino’s RBI single with two outs in the eighth inning drove in the game-winning run in the Yankees’ 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Friday night, New York’s fifth straight win that moved the team’s magic number to win the American League East down to four after the Rays defeated the Blue Jays in Tampa. Jonathan Loáisiga pitched two scoreless innings to get the win, stranding runners on first and second in the ninth inning to close the door.
The sellout crowd was ready to explode with emotion and cheer soon after happy hour, with every Aaron Judge turn at the plate possibly being the one where he ties the team and American League record of 61 home runs in a single season, currently held by Roger Maris in 1961. But Red Sox starter Rich Hill kept Judge in the ball park, striking Judge out in the first inning before inducing a fly out to left before recording another punch-out against the AL MVP frontrunner.
Judge did single to left off of reliever Kaleb Ort in the seventh, which kept Judge’s on-base streak going, now at 24 games. The two balls Judge put in play tonight left the bat at 108 and 113 miles per hour.
One inning later, it was Trevino who produced the most meaningful swing, smacking a single to center field to score Harrison Bader, the latter drawing a walk and advancing to third on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt by reliever Matt Strahm before Trevino’s heroics.
There was a milestone home run hit by Aaron tonight: left fielder Aaron Hicks smacked his 100th home run, part of a three-run third inning that gave New York a 4-1 lead.
The three-run bulge appeared to be enough for Yankees starter Gerrit Cole, who was cruising after allowing a solo home run in the first inning to Tommy Pham, but, with two runners on for the Sox in the sixth and with two outs, Cole became upset after a borderline pitch in an at-bat against Alex Verdugo was called a ball. On the next pitch, Verdugo hit a three-run home run to right center to tie the contest at 4-4. After Cole struck out the next batter, J.D. Martinez, to end the inning, Cole got into a heated exchange with home plater Brian Knight, who then ejected. Cole and manager Aaron Boone from the game.