EditorsNote: Adds quotes
Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez hit early solo home runs off David Price, and the New York Yankees evened the American League Division Series with a 6-2 victory over the host Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Saturday night.
The series shifts to New York for Game 3 on Monday, followed by Game 4 on Tuesday.
Judge gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead 10 pitches into the game when he drove Price’s 2-1 cutter into the Green Monster seats above left field. Judge’s 445-foot drive was his third straight homer in the postseason and seventh of his career.
Sanchez made it 2-0 by homering into the same seats as Judge with a 399-foot drive that landed closer to the left field foul pole. It was Sanchez’s sixth career homer off Price, and the catcher added a three-run homer in the seventh.
“You know he’s capable of that. We all know he’s capable of that,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of Sanchez. “That’s kind of what we’ve been waiting for to some degree, where he can take over a game on offense. He was huge, obviously, tonight.”
Price fell to 0-9 as a postseason starter and was lifted after allowing Andrew McCutchen’s RBI single off the Green Monster with two outs in the second.
“It’s tough. You know, just after we won Game 1 to go out there and have that opportunity to go up 2-0,” Price said. “And to throw the baseball the way that I did, it was definitely tough.”
Price (0-1) allowed three runs on three hits in 1 2/3 innings. He dropped to 2-9 overall in the playoffs after throwing 42 pitches.
Price also fell to 2-7 in any start against the Yankees with the Red Sox and produced his fourth career start (postseason or regular season) of two innings or less. Despite the struggles, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said postgame he won’t move Price to the bullpen.
“He’s one of our starters,” Cora said. “Just a bad outing today. It just so happened it wasn’t his day. He didn’t make pitches. We trust him. He’s bounced back before. We’ll talk to him to make a few adjustments. And we’ll go from there.”
Despite various opportunities against Boston’s bullpen, the Yankees did not add on until putting two on with one out in the seventh off Eduardo Rodriguez.
Judge opened the inning with a single to first baseman Mitch Moreland when Rodriguez did not cover first base. Luke Voit followed with a walk but was out at second on Giancarlo Stanton’s grounder to third.
Stanton hit a grounder to third baseman Eduardo Nunez, who made a high throw to second baseman Ian Kinsler. Voit was originally called safe, but the call was overturned as Kinsler stayed on the bag.
Four pitches later, Sanchez hit a 2-1 fastball 479 feet onto Lansdowne Street beyond the Green Monster to make it 6-1.
“If we have the opportunity to score runs like that, you know, even if it’s 300 feet, I’ll take it,” Sanchez said through an interpreter. “Anytime we score and we’re helping the team, I’m going to take those.”
New York’s Masahiro Tanaka (1-0) allowed a solo homer to Xander Bogaerts in the fourth among three hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked one in a 78-pitch outing.
After allowing the homer, Tanaka issued a four-pitch walk to Nunez but struck out Kinsler to end the fourth. He then finished the outing by getting Mookie Betts on a lineout.
Dellin Betances pitched a scoreless sixth by getting three groundouts but allowed an RBI double off the Green Monster to Kinsler with one out in the seventh. Betances finished the inning and kept the score at 6-2.
Zach Britton pitched a scoreless eighth, and Aroldis Chapman tossed a scoreless ninth.
—Field Level Media