By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — The Northeast saw some intense weather on Wednesday night, as some extreme heat was swept away by an enormous storm system. The weather impacted baseball games, of course, with two divisional rivals having very different nights in their home ballparks.

For the Red Sox, the picturesque lightning strikes made for some impressive photographs.

Lightning at Fenway Park. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

Lightning at Fenway Park. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

And the lengthy rain delay created one of those late-game near-empty stadium atmospheres that doesn’t come along too often.

For the Yankees, well … the rain brought misery. A whole lot of misery.

Let’s first look at Boston. The double rainbow — it’s so intense — before the game was a promising sign of good things to come, no doubt.

After a 30-minute rain delay pushed the start time back, the weather looked ominous from about the second inning on. But Fenway Park must have had some kind of weather dome over it, as all of the severe weather seemed to pass by directly to the north or south. When the steady rain did finally reach Fenway, the Red Sox needed to get through the top of the fifth with the lead in order to make it an official game, in the case of postponement.

Thanks to a phenomenal play by Kiké Hernandez, they did exactly that:

That play moved the game into the bottom of the fifth, with the Red Sox owning a 3-1 lead — thanks to a third-inning three-run homer from J.D. Martinez.

The teams played on through the rain, with the Red Sox adding two more runs in the fifth and the Royals plating a runner in the top of the sixth. Then it headed into a long delay, with play resuming after 11:30 p.m. From there, the trio of Darwinzon Hernandez, Josh Taylor and “Nasty Boooyyyyyy” Matt Barnes pitched three scoreless innings, Hunter Renfroe hit another absolute bomb, and the Red Sox won their sixth straight baseball game, this one by a score of 6-2.

The win was the Red Sox’ 50th of the season. They’re 50-31, 19 games over .500, owners of the best record in the American League, and — thanks to another loss for the skidding Rays — owners of a three-game lead in the AL East.

Things are going great for the Boston baseball team.

Down in the Bronx, though … things are going differently. Very much so.

Wednesday night started off as a good one for the Yankees, as they jumped all over Shohei Ohtani, taking a 7-2 lead in the first inning and chasing the Angels’ starter after just two-third of an inning. With Ohtani batting in the leadoff spot for this game, his removal in the first forced Joe Maddon to play musical chairs with the L.A. lineup all night; that leadoff spot went 0-for-4 with a walk for the rest of the night.

After enduring a 42-minute rain delay in the third inning, the Yankees — like the Red Sox — wanted and needed to get through the top of the fifth with the lead in order to be in good shape in the event of a postponement. Luis Cessa did surrender a solo homer to Jared Walsh to lead off the fifth, but it seemed mostly meaningless at the time, as it merely cut the Yankees’ lead to 7-4. Cessa got out of the inning, the tarp came out, and the Yanks were in business.

Another rain delay followed — this one lasted 91 minutes. When Brett Gardner hit a solo homer in the eighth to make it an 8-4 Yankees lead, it seemed like the win was in the bag for New York.


Aroldis Chapman entered the non-save situation. He walked Taylor Ward. With one out, he walked Max Stassi. Then he walked Anthony Rendon.

Up stepped Walsh, who had hit that “meaningless” dinger earlier in the night. He did this:

Aaron Boone took Chapman out of the game to at least try to preserve the tie, but Lucas Luetge couldn’t do that. Luetge allowed three hits and a walk in his two-thirds of an inning of work. The Angels scored three runs off him and somehow, improbably, impossibly won the baseball game.

In a season filled with awful losses for the Yankees, this one immediately claimed the top spot.

After getting swept by the Red Sox over the weekend, the Yankees have now lost two of three to the Angels, with a series finale set for Thursday. After putting together a 4-1 stretch in the middle of June, they’re now 3-6 since Friday. They sit in fourth place in the division, 8.5 games behind the Red Sox. And they’re 5.5 games out of a wild-card spot, too.

Things are bad in the Bronx. And if (really, it’s when, but we’re trying to be nice here) the Yankees find themselves sitting far out of playoff position when the regular season ends, they’ll likely look back upon this week as the moment it all officially came undone.