BOSTON (AP) — J.A. Happ pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning, Edwin Encarnacion homered and the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 5-1 on Saturday.
Happ and four relievers combined on a five-hitter for the AL East leaders.
J.D. Martinez homered off Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman with two outs in the ninth. The Red Sox began the day six games behind Oakland for the second AL wild-card spot.
Happ (12-8) allowed two hits in 6 1/3 innings, striking out seven and walking one.
After losing 6-1 at Fenway Park on Friday night, the Yankees were aided by a bright mid-afternoon sun that played tricks with Red Sox fielders on back-to-back doubles in a four-run fourth.
DJ LeMahieu opened the inning with a single off Ryan Weber (2-3), Boston’s third pitcher of the game. Aaron Judge struck out, but Martinez then lost Didi Gregorius’ flyball to right field in the sun, the ball flicking off his glove and rolling to the wall.
Gary Sanchez greeted reliever Colten Brewer by lofting a flyball down the right-field line. As three Boston fielders — first baseman Mitch Moreland, second baseman Brock Holt and Martinez — converged on the ball, it dropped just inside the line and bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double, scoring LeMahieu and Gregorius.
Martinez, normally Boston’s designated hitter, played the outfield while Jackie Bradley Jr. got a day off.
Encarnacion hit the next pitch for his 32nd home run and 11th with the Yankees for a 4-0 lead.
The Yankees added a run in the ninth when Sanchez was hit a pitch with two outs and Encarnacion followed with an RBI double to deep center field.
The Red Sox used eight pitchers, a day after employing seven in their win.
AIN’T IT GRAND
Xander Bogaerts’ fourth-inning single was the 1,000th hit of his career. He is the 32nd player to reach the milestone for the Red Sox, but just the third to do so before turning 27, joining Hall of Famers Tris Speaker and Bobby Doerr.
Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (right shoulder rotator cuff inflammation, lat injury) threw 50 pitches plus five more in the bullpen Friday in a second rehab outing with Double-A Trenton. Manager Aaron Boone said the team will map out a plan for what’s next for him… 3B Gio Urshela (left groin injury) will likely be active for Sunday’s game but Boone isn’t sure if he will start…RHP Dellin Betances (right shoulder impingement, lat injury) had his first rehab outing Friday for Trenton and is expected to pitch again on Monday… OF Aaron Hicks (right flexor strain) had another MRI, which checked out well. But Boone said Hicks’ season could be in jeopardy after a setback in his rehab.
Red Sox: Manager Alex Cora said that LHP David Price (cyst left wrist) was scheduled to throw from flat ground.
RHP Masahiro Tanaka (10-8, 4.42 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Yankees, opposed by RHP Rick Porcello (12-11, 5.63).
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