J.D. Martinez homered over the Green Monster, Nathan Eovaldi pitched eight scoreless innings and the Boston Red Sox survived a rough outing by closer Craig Kimbrel and held on for a 4-1 victory over the New York Yankees on Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox won for the 22nd time in 27 games and moved a season-high 8 1/2 games ahead of the Yankees. They have outscored the Yankees 23-9 in winning the first three games of the series.
Martinez hit his major league-leading 33rd homer and gave the Red Sox a 3-0 lead when he lifted a 1-1 fastball from Yankees rookie Chance Adams (0-1) over the left field fence.
Martinez’s latest homer upped his major league-leading RBI total to 91. He has 11 RBIs in his last 12 games, 20 in his last 22 and 36 in his last 33.
The Yankees have lost s season-high four straight games.
In his second start since joining the Red Sox in a trade with Tampa Bay on July 25, Eovaldi (5-4) followed up Rick Porcello’s 86-pitch one-hitter with a masterpiece of his own.
The former Yankee mixed in an effective cutter along with his fastball and held the Yankees to three hits. He extended his scoreless innings streak to 18 and improved to 4-0 at Fenway.
The Yankees did not get a runner in scoring position until Giancarlo Stanton opened the seventh with a double. It was their first runner in scoring position since the ninth inning of Thursday’s 15-7 loss.
Stanton also hit a two-strike double with two outs in the ninth off Kimbrel and Didi Gregorius followed with an RBI double to right. The Yankees loaded the bases on walks to Aaron Hicks and Gleyber Torres but the game ended when Greg Bird flew out.
Earlier, Mitch Moreland hit his 13th homer, a two-run drive over the right-field fence to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Sandy Leon added an RBI double on a ball that hit the foul line in left in the seventh. The hit was originally ruled a foul ball, but the call was overturned when the Red Sox challenged.
Adams had his contract purchased to make the start for J.A. Happ, who was placed on the disabled list Thursday with hand, foot and mouth and disease. The right-hander, who was once New York’s top pitching prospect, allowed three runs on three hits in five innings.
Adams threw 83 pitches and recorded his first career strikeout on Boston star Mookie Betts. Betts struck out three times and ended the day with a .341 average.
Adams became the first Yankee to start at Fenway in his major league debut since Randy Keisler in Sept. 2000.
—Field Level Media