NEW YORK (AP) — DJ LeMahieu hit a pair of home runs off an enraged Chris Sale in the opener, Mike Tauchman had a tiebreaking, two-run single against Matt Barnes in the seventh inning of the nightcap and the New York Yankees swept a doubleheader from the reeling Boston Red Sox 9-2 and 6-4 on Saturday.
Boston’s losing streak reached seven, its longest since 2015, as the Red Sox fell 13½ games behind the AL East-leading Yankees and 5½ games back of second-place Tampa Bay. Boston is 59-54, with as many losses as its World Series champions last year (108-54).
Gleyber Torres homered twice as New York moved a season-high 32 games over .500 at 71-39 and improved to 4-0-1 in doubleheaders this year with its first twin-bill sweep of the Red Sox since August 2006. The Yankees won the day game behind Domingo Germán (14-2), then improved to 9-0 when using Chad Green as an opener and remained unbeaten in their last 17 home series (15-0-2). They have been a key factor in the decline of the Red Sox, winning 10 of 14 games against their rival.
“It seems like it has flip-flopped from last year, where they are at right now, where we are right now,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.
New York sustained yet another injury when Edwin Encarnación broke his right wrist when hit by a pitch from Josh Smith in the eighth inning of the opener.
Boston held a players-only meeting between games.
“Everybody’s frustrated,” reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts said. “Not every year is going to be like last year. We have to just figure out a way.”
Sale and Cora were ejected during a seven-run fourth inning by plate umpire Mike Estabrook, livid over his strike zone. Both screamed as they walked off.
“I felt like he kind of changed the landscape of the game. There’s got to be something that can be done about this,” Sale said. “It’s a little tough when at this level you give those guys in those situations extra strikes and extra outs. Yeah, I’ve got to do a little bit better job of locking it in and getting my job done, not worrying about what’s going on back there with him, but nonetheless, it’s tough.”
Sale (5-11) tied his career high by allowing eight earned runs in 3 2/3 innings and fell to 0-4 with a 9.90 ERA against the Yankees this season. He was 29-12 with a 2.56 ERA for the Red Sox when he signed a $160 million, six-year contract in March but has a 4.68 ERA since.
LeMahieu homered on Sale’s fifth pitch and hit a three-run drive for his career-best 17th and a 7-1 advantage.
New York took a 2-1 lead on four singles, the last by No. 8 hitter Breyvic Valera. Cora, not pitching coach Dana LeVangie, went to the mound with the intent of getting tossed by Estabrook.
“It was only one purpose. I wasn’t talking about mechanics or anything,” Cora said. “Just let me know when he’s coming, and I’m going to let him know how I feel.”
What did Cora say?
“You see all this traffic here? One pitch changed the whole inning,” the manager recalled as the PG-rated version.
Cora pointed nearly two dozen times at various Yankees runners and the plate as he returned to the dugout.
“They’re human. They miss calls,” Cora said. “And sometimes we bark at them and then we look at video. It’s like, oh, he was right.”
Brett Gardner hit a two-run single as an agitated Sale forgot to back up the plate, and LeMahieu lined a changeup into the first row of the right-field seats.
“I think I like that right-field wall, for sure,” LeMahieu said.
Aaron Judge followed with a double, and when bench coach Ron Roenicke went to the mound to change pitchers, Sale shouted at Estabrook from a distance and also was ejected.
Among his grievances, Sale cited a 2-2 fastball to Judge (“it was almost down the middle”), a called third strike against J.D. Martinez that ended the top of the first (“just God awful”), a 3-1 pitch from Germán to Xander Bogaerts in the fourth (“not even close”) and a called third strike in the fifth that caused Betts to squawk (“and Mookie doesn’t say anything to anybody).”
“Nothing’s going to happen to him, I’m sure,” Sale said in a subdued voice, hands in the pockets of his red shorts. “I’m sure I’ll get fined. I’m sure A.C. will get fined, all for things that I think we can be justified by.”
Germán allowed five hits in seven innings, including homers to Andrew Benintendi in the second and Jackie Bradley Jr. in the fifth. He is 8-0 against the AL East this year.
In the night game, Tauchman singled off Barnes (3-4) to break a 4-4 tie, making a winner of Tommy Kahnle (3-0). Zack Britton struck out Rafael Devers to escape a bases-loaded jam in the eighth, and Aroldis Chapman pitched around Martinez’s fourth walk for his 29th save in 34 chances.
Devers hit his career-high 22nd homer, a two-run drive. Torres has homered three times in this series and has 23 this year.
Red Sox left-hander Brian Johnson pitched three innings in his first appearance since June 22 after being sidelined by an unspecified, non-baseball-related medical matter.
Yankees: CC Sabathia (right knee) had a platelet-rich plasma injection and anticipates playing catch next week … SS Didi Gregorius has not played since rolling over his left wrist fielding a ball Wednesday.
Daddy’s back: Boston LHP David Price (7-5) and Yankees LHP J.A. Happ (8-6) both return from paternity leave to start the series finale.
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