The New York Yankees took a 2-1 lead in their series against the Boston Red Sox Saturday thanks to tremendous performances by Masahiro Tanaka, Chase Headley and Matt Holliday.
- New York Yankees 5 (72-63)
- Boston Red Sox 1 (77-59)
- W: Masahiro Tanaka (11-10, 4.54 ERA)
- L: Drew Pomeranz (14-5, 3.36 ERA)
- AL, Final, Box Score
- Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
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In his first game back from what seemed like a season-long DL stint, Matt Holliday hit a clutch three-run home run to give the New York Yankees a 5-1 win over the rival Boston Red Sox this afternoon.
Masahiro Tanaka was masterful, pitching seven strong innings of one-run ball en route to his 11th victory of the season. Helping Tanaka on the offensive side of the ball with Holliday was a clutch 3-for-4 performance from Chase Headley, who also had a big-time home run in a game that pulled the Yankees back to within 4 1/2 games of first place in the AL East.
While Headley has only been hitting .202 since July 17 as a right-handed batter, you wouldn’t have known it this afternoon.
In the bottom of the second, Headley took a Pomeranz fastball and deposited it several rows deep into the left field seats to give the Bombers an early 1-0 lead.
Chase Headley's 10th home run of the season gives the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) September 2, 2017
Outside of Headley’s long ball, both pitchers cruised through the next three-plus innings. Tanaka allowed just six base runners through the first six frames, while Pomeranz allowed seven through five.
After the Red Sox tied the game in the top of the sixth on a wild pitch with Eduardo Nunez on third, the Yankees battled back in the bottom half of the frame to retake the lead and force the lefty Pomeranz to the showers.
Following a lead off walk by Didi Gregorius and Headley’s third hit of the day—a single—Holliday reminded all Yankee fans what he’s capable of in a playoff race by crushing a three-run bomb to left that put New York back on top by a 4-1 score. It was Holliday’s first home run since Jule 15.
— Gary Phillips (@GaryHPhillips) September 2, 2017
Pomeranz was promptly removed from the game and Brandon Workman came on and retired the side.
After Tanaka worked a scoreless seventh, the Bombers kept their foot on the gas as they added an important insurance run in the bottom of the seventh.
Jacoby Ellsbury took over for Aaron Hicks, who injured himself making a terrific run-saving catch in the top of the sixth. Ellsbury immediately capitalized on the playing time by leading off the seventh with a triple.
The next batter, Gary Sanchez, lined a single off of third baseman Rafael Devers‘ glove to score Ellsbury and open the game up to a four-run Yankee advantage. Workman was then pulled for Fernando Abad, who came on and got the 3-for-3 Headley to pop out to left, ending the threat and the frame.
Dellin Betances came on in the ninth and struck out the side as the 6’8″ fireballer shut the door on any Red Sox hopes of a comeback.
The Yankees will try and take the series tomorrow night in a game that is aptly billed as a pitcher’s duel. The ace for the Yankees in 2017, Luis Severino (11-6, 3.14 ERA) takes the ball in hopes of closing the gap in the American League East to just 3 1/2 games. Getting the call for the Red Sox is Cy Young Award front runner Chris Sale, who’s looking to bounce back from a tough stretch of starts and earn the series split.
The game is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. ET and can be seen on ESPN and heard on WFAN 660/101.9 FM.