The Red Sox prevailed once again in The Bronx on Saturday.
A second-inning grand slam from Luis Urías was all the Red Sox needed, helping them score the first four runs of an 8-1 win over the Yankees. It marks Boston’s seventh win over New York this season and New York’s seventh loss in a row.
Here are four takeaways from Saturday’s matchup.
The bottom of the lineup prevailed.
A day after the heart of the Red Sox’ lineup did the heavy lifting, the bottom of their lineup took their turn to do damage.
Obviously, Urías was the catalyst of that with his grand slam in the second inning. Prior to his at-bat though, Jarren Duran hit a single that actually got him to second base to put runners in scoring position. Pablo Reyes drew a walk to load them up. Connor Wong’s groundball to third was hit soft enough to only allow the Yankees to get the out at home before Urías, who was hitting in the ninth spot, crushed Gerrit Cole’s cutter over the left center field wall for a grand slam.
The bottom of the order continued to lift the Red Sox in the fourth inning. Reyes opened up the frame with a single before stealing second.
That stolen base didn’t matter though because Wong took Cole’s 98 mph fastball the opposite way for a two-run homer that put the Red Sox up, 6-0. The pitch Wong sent over the short porch in right was the eighth pitch of his battle against Cole.
The group added another run in the eighth when Reyes recorded his third hit of the day on a ground-rule double to put Boston up, 7-1.
The last four hitters in the Red Sox’ lineup each recorded at least one hit on Saturday, which actually ended up being necessary as Triston Casas was a late scratch and Trevor Story had the day off.
Kutter Crawford makes his bid for a rotation spot.
Alex Cora will have a decision to make in the coming days for what he wants to do with the starting rotation as Tanner Houck is set to return on Monday or Tuesday.
In his final start before that, Crawford made a strong case for Cora to move to a six-man rotation for the time being. The righty had very few problems against the Bronx Bombers on Saturday, opening his start by pitching 5 1/3 innings of no-hit ball.
Crawford’s no-hit bid ended in the sixth when Aaron Judge crushed his fastball to center for a home run. That was his only blemish of the day though as he pitched six innings, tying his longest start of his career. In addition to the hit, Crawford walked two Yankees batters and hit one with a pitch to go with five strikeouts as he threw 82 pitches.
Even if he typically doesn’t pitch long outings, Crawford has been reliable ever since the Red Sox moved to a three-man rotation following the All-Star break. Prior to Saturday, he had a 3.14 ERA in 28 2/3 innings pitched over his last six starts.
If Crawford keeps it up, it’d be tough to move him back to the bullpen. It also could be the best thing for the other arms in the Red Sox’ rotation as it would give Chris Sale and James Paxton an extra day between starts.
Bullpen kept the Yankees away.
After a rough final two games for the unit in Washington and giving up two runs on Friday, the Red Sox’ bullpen had a bounce-back performance on Saturday.
John Schreiber and Mauricio Lllovera only gave up one combined hit over three innings of shutout work. Schreiber continued the strong tear he’s been on, recording a strikeout as he pitched a scoreless seventh for his seventh straight scoreless outing.
Llovera, meanwhile, had his best outing with the Red Sox since they acquired him in late July. He didn’t allow a hit in the two innings pitched, striking out three hitters as he mostly faced the top and the middle of the Yankees’ lineup.
The Red Sox’ bullpen for much of August hasn’t really been good. Entering Saturday, it had a 6.62 ERA in 68 innings pitched over 56 total relief appearances.
The Red Sox have Gerrit Cole and the Yankees’ number.
The Yankees’ ace and AL Cy Young favorite hasn’t had much of an answer for the Red Sox over the last three years. That continued on Saturday.
Cole was rocked by the Red Sox, giving up six runs on seven hits, one walk, and four strikeouts in four innings pitched.
And as pointed out earlier, it wasn’t the middle of the order and Rafael Devers (who has hit seven homers against him in his career) that gave Cole a hard time on Saturday. It was the bottom of the lineup that did the damage.
Following Saturday’s start, Cole is now 4-5 with a 5.86 ERA over 63 innings pitched in the 11 starts he’s made against the Red Sox since the start of 2021.
Cole isn’t alone though. The Red Sox have just had the Yankees’ number for the entirety of the season. Boston’s 7-1 against New York this year, posting one of its best marks ever against its heated rival. It clinched its third series win over New York this season with Saturday’s win as it searches for its second sweep of the season over the Yankees on Sunday.
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