BOSTON (CBS) — Entering the weekend, the Red Sox had lost 11 straight in Yankee Stadium. By Sunday night, demons were exorcised and Boston had sent a message.
The Red Sox swept the three-game set with their division rival in New York for the first time since 2011. With the two teams neck-and-neck for second place in the AL East to start the weekend, and the Red Sox starting their road trip 1-3 in Houston, it was important for Boston to have a good weekend of baseball. The Red Sox went on to have a great weekend of baseball, and made it clear to the Yankees that their hot start is no fluke.READ MORE: Stanton's Slam Lifts Yanks To 5-3 Win, WC Tie With Red Sox
“It was nice. Real nice,” shortstop Xander Bogaerts said after Sunday night’s 6-5 win. “We know we haven’t had a lot of success these last couple of years, but this team is different. We have a lot of winning players.
“We’re doing it as a team and that’s the fun part,” added Bogaerts. “We had everyone in the lineup contribute this series.”
Xander was the hero Sunday night, propelling Boston to the win with a two-out, two run single in the top of the 10th after a rare blown save by Matt Barnes just a few minutes prior. Marwin Gonzalez also played a big part in the comeback win, launching a two-run homer in the seventh to knot things up at 3-3.
On Saturday, it was Kiké Hernandez who sparked a three-run eighth inning for Boston with an RBI double to break up a 3-3 tie. Friday night was much less dramatic, with Rafael Devers launching a three-run dinger in the first inning to propel Boston to a 5-2 victory. That was the only time the Red Sox didn’t need to make a comeback to beat their rivals over the weekend.
Capping the series off with a win after trailing 3-1 made it all the more sweeter for the Red Sox.
“We know we’re a good baseball club. We have talented players and I think this was a good statement that we made, coming in here and winning these three games,” Bogaerts said. “We were down, 3-1, but I think the best part of these last two wins is we came back from behind.READ MORE: Yankees Beat Red Sox 8-3, Cut Lead To 1
“It’s not the best thing that you want to do as a team, but knowing you’re able to do it, and do it on the road in this place; I know how crazy this place can get, as you saw in the ninth inning. You can never count these guys out,” said Bogaerts.
You can never really count out the Red Sox, either. They now own 21 come-from-behind wins on the season, the most in baseball.
Let’s take that a step further. Of the 18 runs that Boston scored against the Yankees, 11 of them came with two outs.
“When we control the strike zone we become dangerous,” said manager Alex Cora. “We feel although we’re not swinging the bat the way we’re capable of, top to bottom we can do our job. …. Little by little you gain momentum and then the big boys are always dangerous. We’re just a good offense.”
In sweeping the series, the Red Sox sent the Yankees into fourth place in the division, and they now own a 5.5 game cushion over their rivals (with a six-game lead over the Blue Jays for second). They also silenced Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner, who before the series said he couldn’t wait to have Cora back in the Boston dugout. The Yankees still feel jilted from the 2017 ALCS, when the then sign-stealing Astros (with Cora on the bench) sent the Yankees home.
“Brett Gardner said a couple of words before the series started, so it kind of got us fueled up,” Bogaerts told ESPN after Sunday night’s victory.
“It’s very important, especially because that’s the way he is with us,” Marwin Gonzalez said of backing Cora. “He has our back, too. He’s the best manager that I have played for. You have to do that. He does it with us, so why not do it with him?”MORE NEWS: Potential Wild Card Game Preview On Tap For Red Sox, Yankees On Friday Night