BOSTON — This is why the Yankees talk about staying hungry. These are the memories that have had them talking since spring training about not letting up. Saturday night, a dropped ball on what could have been an game-ending double play and an extended 10th inning allowed the Red Sox to rally for a 6-5 walk-off win over the Bombers at a packed Fenway Park.
Wandy Peralta, who had not been scored on in his last seven appearances gave up three runs, two earned, including a two-run single to Alex Verdugo as the Red Sox got their second walk-off win of the season. Verdugo came to the plate after Josh Donaldson fielded and then dropped the ball on what would have likely been a double play.
The Red Sox, who have had to start three rookies in this series because of injuries to their rotation, mobbed Verdugo in right field after he hit a two-run walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th. It was the Red Sox second walk-off win of the season and the fourth time the Yankees have been walked off this season. The Bombers had their three-game winning streak snapped, but they maintain the best record in baseball and hold a 15-game lead over the Red Sox and Rays, who are tied for second in the division.
The Red Sox celebrated beating the Yankees like they did last October’s AL Wild Card Game win over the Bombers. It’s been rare that a team can beat the Yankees bullpen, which has the second best ERA in the big leagues this season.
“I mean it’s just terrible for us when we go into a game and want to do the best we can out there, we want to battle and do our job. Today that wasn’t the case,” Peralta said through Yankees interpreter Marlon Abreu. “Like I said, just, you know, a bad feeling.”
He gave up a leadoff single to former Yankees prospect Rob Refsnyder, advancing the ghost runner to third, but Christian Vazquz’s fly ball to right was too shallow and the Red Sox held the runner at third because of Gallo’s arm. Jeter Downs, named after the former Yankee Hall of Famer, singled on a grounder that got past a devising Gleyber Torres at second base driving in the tying run.
Clay Holmes came in with one on and two out in the bottom of the eighth to face Xander Bogaerts. He walked the Red Sox shortstop and then gave up a ground ball through the hole at shortstop to Verdugo to tie the game. It was just the third of 17 inherited runners he has allowed to score this season.
Michael King, who had come in with two out and two on in the sixth inning and gotten Trevor Story in, had given up a two-out double to J.D. Martinez to set up what the Yankees had hoped would be a four-out save for Holmes. That run was the first run charged to King since June 26.
Jordan Montgomery shrugged it off as a fluke.
“No one’s perfect. Clay gave up an infield hit. We don’t shift and that’s a routine play and Verdugo just hit it where we weren’t, obviously,” Montgomery said. “He might have been trying to do that and that’s a good piece of hitting if he was.
“So (the bullpen) will keep making pitches and keep being great.”
Montgomery allowed two runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out four over 5.2 innings. It was 13th start (out of 17) in which he allowed two runs or fewer.
The lefty had given up a lead off single to Xander Bogaerts in the second and allowed him to score on Bobby Dalbec’s single to give the Red Sox a quick 1-0 lead. He retired eight straight and worked around a one-out walk to Dalbec in the fifth. He gave up a leadoff, first-pitch home run to Rob Refsnyder in the sixth and back-to-back, two-out singles to Bogaerts and Verdugo to end his night.
Aaron Hicks hammered his sixth of the season, a 392-foot shot to right-center field off Red Sox right-hander Kutter Crawford in the fifth inning. Torres scored in the sixth on Anthony Rizzo’s double to take the Yankees first lead of the night. Rizzo, who was back in the lineup after missing four straight games with back spasms, scored on Donaldson’s single.
In the 10th Aaron Judge smashed a line-drive double to score ghost runner Jose Trevino from second to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead. Rizzo smacked a one-out double to the right-field corner to score Judge and then was thrown out trying to steal third. Giancarlo Stanton struck out to end the inning.