Yankees aim to ride momentum into series finale vs. Red Sox

MLB

The New York Yankees survived two lengthy rain delays and finally got their coveted win over the Boston Red Sox.

After a long night at the ballpark Saturday, the Yankees will seek a second straight victory over the Red Sox when the rivals conclude a three-game series Sunday night in New York.

The Yankees are 1-7 in the season series and played the past two meetings with six players on the COVID-19 injured list, including Aaron Judge and Gio Urshela. In the first game without them, the Yankees were held to three hits in a 4-0 loss on Friday.

Saturday was a different story, however, as New York produced some timely hits in a rain-shortened 3-1 win.

Gerrit Cole struck out 11 and pitched six innings of one-run ball for the Yankees.

“I thought it was a big win,” Cole said. “I thought out of the seven losses (against Boston) to this point. There were a few games that we were in, maybe even could have finished off with a W and didn’t quite tip the scales … in our favor.”

DJ LeMahieu hit a game-tying RBI single in the fifth inning and Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres hit back-to-back homers in the sixth. Those homers proved more significant than usual, as the game ultimately was halted after the Yankees batted in the sixth.

Boston has dropped five of its past seven games and is looking to avoid its third straight series loss after its only run came on an RBI single by Christian Arroyo. The Red Sox were without Xander Bogaerts due to left wrist soreness, but the All-Star shortstop is expected to play Sunday.

The Red Sox also hope to capture the series while encountering better behavior from Yankee fans. Left fielder Alex Verdugo was hit in the back with a baseball before the bottom of the sixth inning, prompting manager Alex Cora to briefly pull his players off the field.

“This is just a game,” Cora said. “It’s a game. It’s not life and death and it’s not this drama and the fact that people come to the ballpark and they decided to throw a baseball to one of the players, I was in shock that that happened.

“I don’t care how much (expletive) you want to talk. I don’t care about the rivalry, anything like that,” Verdugo said. “At the end of the day, it’s just a game.”

Jameson Taillon (4-4, 4.90 ERA) will get the start for New York on Sunday. Since getting one out in his start in Philadelphia on June 12, Taillon is 3-0 with a 3.49 ERA in his past five starts.

Taillon last pitched a week ago in Houston when he allowed two runs and three hits in six innings while taking a no-decision. Before the start in Houston, he allowed one run on four hits in a season-high seven innings on July 6 at Seattle.

Taillon has a 2.19 ERA and a pair of no-decisions in two career starts against Boston. In his start against them with the Yankees, Taillon allowed three runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings on June 5.

Martin Perez (7-5, 4.04), who is coming off one of his shortest starts, closes out the series for Boston. Perez last pitched on July 10 when he allowed three runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings in an 11-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Since allowing five runs in 1 1/3 innings in an 18-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on June 13, Perez is 3-1 with a 2.74 ERA in his past five starts.

The left-hander is 2-3 with a 7.08 ERA in eight career starts against the Yankees.

–Field Level Media

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