Benintendi homers twice as Red Sox drub Yankees
NEW YORK -- Many among the packed stands at Yankee Stadium might have cringed at the sight of Andrew Benintendi sending two pitches from Luis Severino soaring into the seats.
An exception might have been Benintendi’s family, especially his 85-year-old grandfather, a Brooklyn native who grew up rooting for the New York Yankees.
Benintendi continued his torrid month by hitting two three-run homers as the Boston Red Sox posted a 10-5 victory over the Yankees on Saturday.
“Today, two beautiful swings for the six RBIs,” Boston manager John Farrell said.
In front of the ninth sellout crowd of the season in New York, Benintendi put on an impressive power display and tied a career high by driving in six runs for the second time. He also had his third career multi-homer game, helping the Red Sox rebound from blowing a three-run lead Friday and win for the ninth time in 10 games.
The home runs continued the tear for the left fielder. Since sitting out two games on Aug. 1-2 while mired in a 4-for-23 slump, Benintendi is batting .484 (15-for-31) with four homers and 11 RBIs after hitting .222 during July.
“More than anything, pitches that he’s gotten on the plate, he hasn’t missed,” Farrell said. “I can’t say anything’s fundamentally changed. He’s got a beautiful swing. He’s a natural lefty hitter. Prior to the date we were talking about, he was just missing some pitches that he otherwise squared up.”
By not missing those pitches against Severino, Benintendi achieved three notable things in the rivalry, according to STATS.
He became the youngest (23 years old, 36 days) Boston player with at least six RBIs against the Yankees and the eighth Red Sox hitter with at least six RBIs against New York.
Benintendi also became the first rookie in baseball history to hit two three-run homers against the Yankees. He also joined Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx as the second Boston player to belt two three-run homers against the Yankees. Foxx achieved it twice -- on Sept. 7, 1938, at Fenway Park off Red Ruffing in a rain-shortened game and on Oct. 1, 1938, when he hit a grand slam and three-run homer at Fenway.
“I didn’t know that,” Benintendi said. “I guess that’s cool.”
Benintendi also continued to get good results against Severino (9-5). After hitting the two homers, he is 6-for-11 off the hard-throwing right-hander.
“He throws hard, he’s got hard off-speed,” Benintendi said. “You know whatever’s coming is going to be hard. It’s not easy to make an adjustment, but velocity kind of helps.”
Besides Benintendi’s historic showing, Mookie Betts added a two-run single in the third and rookie Rafael Devers contributed a two-run double in the fifth.
Benintendi’s big day also helped Drew Pomeranz (12-4) win a career-high sixth straight decision as he allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings.
The left-hander escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fourth by allowing only one run and rebounded from allowing Gary Sanchez’s two-run homer
He also struck out struggling slugger Aaron Judge twice and got the right fielder to hit into a double play in the fifth.
The Yankees dropped 4 1/2 games behind first-place Boston in the American League East and lost for the seventh time in 11 games.
Severino saw his four-game winning streak come to an emphatic halt by producing the worst outing of his career. He allowed career highs of 10 runs (eight earned) and eight hits during 4 1/3 innings.
“He wasn’t executing his pitches today,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He made some mistakes. The location I think of some fastballs and some sliders today. He’s been so good and executing so well, and we haven’t seen that for a while. But it just shows that he’s human.”
Chase Headley and Jacoby Ellsbury added solo shots in the ninth well after Benintendi put the game out of reach.
The Yankees opened a 2-0 lead on Sanchez’s homer down the right field line with two outs in the first, but the Red Sox put together an 18-minute third inning and sent nine to the plate.
With runners on first and second, third baseman Todd Frazier misplayed Eduardo Nunez’s ground ball, making the error while transferring the ball from his glove to his hand. Two pitches later, Betts lined a single to left to tie the score.
Benintendi then lined a 1-1 fastball into the center-field seats for a 5-2 lead. After the Yankees scored on Ellsbury’s bases-loaded grounder in the fourth, the Red Sox sent nine to the plate in a 24-minute fifth.
Benintendi made it 8-3 when he lifted a 1-0 fastball into the right-center bleachers and Devers doubled to center field against Giovanny Gallegos to bring in two more runs.
NOTES: The Red Sox placed 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee inflammation) on the 10-day DL and the Yankees put RHP Masahiro Tanaka (right shoulder inflammation) on the DL. Boston manager John Farrell said it’s too early to determine if Pedroia will be out for the season. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he doesn’t expect Tanaka to miss much more than the 10 days. ... The Red Sox recalled LHP Robby Scott from Triple-A Pawtucket and the Yankees recalled RHP Giovanny Gallegos from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. ... Boston LHP David Price (left elbow inflammation) completed a long-toss session for the second straight day by making throws from 120 feet without any pain. ... LHP Jordan Montgomery, who is scheduled to oppose Boston LHP Chris Sale on Sunday, was struck by a ball on the right side of his head when he was signing autographs during batting practice.