Miscues from Yankees’ bullpen, Josh Donaldson lead to late loss in Boston

The Yankees came into the third game of this series after two pretty dominant showings. Though the Red Sox took an early lead, the Yankees rallied back, like they have so often. But the Michael King-Clay Holmes bridge to the end of the game failed for once, and even though New York got two runs in the 10th inning, Boston was still able to rally back with three runs to get the walk-off win. Can’t win ’em all, I suppose.

Kutter Crawford started for the Red Sox and began with a strong first inning that included swinging strikeouts of Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo. Jordan Montgomery also managed a scoreless first, though JD Martinez hit a long fly ball to center that looked like it could have been a home run.

Crawford made Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson look bad on two swinging strikeouts to start the second inning, but many of his pitches were outside of the zone. Matt Carpenter and Aaron Hicks worked walks to give the Yankees their first baserunners, but Isiah Kiner-Falefa popped out to Trevor Story to end any threat. He looked a little over-eager and anxious, as he’s tended to from time to time in 2022.

Xander Bogaerts led off the bottom of the second with a single, and then advanced on an Alex Verdugo ball to Donaldson that took an incredibly high bounce. Donaldson did well to get one out – there was no chance of a double play ball.

Although Story flew out, the bottom third of the order came through for Boston, as Bobby Dalbec singled to drive in Bogaerts and make it 1-0, Boston.

Judge got the Yankees their first hit with a third-inning single, but that was all they could muster against Crawford in that half. Their second hit came in the top of the fourth off of yet another ball that was lost by the Red Sox. Matt Carpenter hit one to short left field that looked like it should have easily been caught, but Dalbec couldn’t see where it was and it dropped. However, the inning ended there because Carpenter tried to get to second base and was thrown out.

Monty kept cruising through the fourth, aided by a fantastic play by IKF to get to a tough ball and throw out Bogaerts. The Boston shortstop was incorrectly called safe at first, but replay quickly showed that he was out.

Getting dominated by the likes of Kutter Crawford is no fun, so it’s quite fortunate that Hicks led off the fifth with a solo home run to draw the score even.

Hicks’ sixth homer of the season tied the game up at one run apiece.

After IKF struck out looking, Kyle Higashioka hit a hard single. For whatever reason, though, he decided to try to steal second base with Judge at the plate and was out by a mile. He was the first baseman that Kevin Plawecki has thrown out so far this season. Judge then struck out swinging for the second time to end the frame.

Crawford was pulled after completing five innings, and he did well, throwing a career-high in pitches and finishing with six strikeouts. He was replaced by Ryan Brasier, who promptly gave up a leadoff single to Gleyber Torres. Rizzo followed up with a hard-hit ball to center that Duran dove for and missed, allowing Torres to score and Rizzo to reach second. It was yet another bad defensive play by the Red Sox this series.

Donaldson followed up with a single to drive in Rizzo – 3-1, Yankees. Boston manager Alex Cora pulled Brasier at this point for Matt Strahm.

Strahm was greeted by a Carpenter single that Rob Refsnyder dove for and appeared to briefly catch then drop. However, Hicks struck out swinging and IKF hit an easy groundout to Story to end the rally.

The former Yankee Refsnyder quickly shortened the lead to one run in the bottom of the sixth by launching a home run over the Green Monster on the first pitch Monty threw. Christian Vázquez and Martinez made loud outs to the outfield, prompting a visit from pitching coach Matt Blake, and then Bogaerts and Verdugo followed with singles.

With the tying run in scoring position, manager Aaron Boone didn’t try to get too cute, and he pulled Montgomery for Michael King. The All-Star candidate induced Story to fly out to Hicks to end the rally. Monty finished with 5.2 innings pitched, two earned runs, and four strikeouts. With only 74 pitches, it would have been nice if he could have pitched longer, but it was clearly time for him to go based on the hard contact the Sox were making.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox bullpen kept the Yankees at bay. John Schreiber pitched the seventh for the Sox, and he made quick work of Higashioka, Judge, and Torres. Tanner Houck followed with a clean eighth inning and looked dominant, with strikeouts of Stanton and Donaldson. It was Stanton’s third strikeout of the game.

King stayed on for the bottom half of the seventh inning and had no issues with the bottom third of the Boston order, including pinch-hitter Franchy Cordero, who batted for Plawecki. The right-hander stayed on for the eighth and seemed like he’d be in position to deliver the 3-2 lead to the ninth. He struck out Refsnyder looking to start the frame, and Vázquez hit a ball to center that Judge dove and caught, earning him some MVP chants at Fenway that were audible on TV.

Martinez, however, followed up with a blistered double, bringing in Clay Holmes for the four-out save. He walked Bogaerts, and Verdugo laced a single between Donaldson and IKF to tie the game, giving Holmes just his second blown save of the year.

With Houck still in the game for the ninth, Gallo worked a leadoff work in his first plate appearance of the game. Hicks nearly hit into a double play to follow but was just able to beat the throw to first. IKF hit a tapper back to Houck, and he threw to second to just barely get Hicks, while IKF got first base. DJ LeMahieu pinch-hit for Higashioka with two outs, but grounded out.

Holmes shook off the shaky eighth and came back in prime form for the ninth. He pitched a quick scoreless inning, aided by nice plays from IKF and Donaldson to grab tough balls.

That meant extra innings, and the Yankees didn’t waste time scoring their automatic runner with Judge at the plate. Despite his struggles his series, the big outfielder mashed a double into the gap, scoring Jose Trevino easily.

Torres grounded out to second, moving Judge to third, and Rizzo followed up with a double of his own, driving in Judge and getting the Yankees a much-appreciated insurance run. Rizzo tried to steal a third base for dubious reasons and was thrown out, and Stanton concluded the inning with his fourth strikeout – he looks just awful at the plate right now. Still, the score was 5-3 and the Yankees stood in prime position to win their 62nd game of the year.

Southpaw Wandy Peralta entered trying to close the game down. Refsnyder singled to move automatic runner Duran to third. Vázquez flew out to Gallo, but not deep enough for Duran to try to score. That brought up top prospect Jeter Downs, who entered as a pinch-runner for Martinez in the eighth. He snuck a single just past the infield for his first career hit, cutting the lead to one run and putting runners on first and second.

Bogaerts then hit what looked like a potential double play ball to Donaldson, but he bobbled it and was barely able to throw him out at first; now, there were runners on second and third and two outs. The lefty Verdugo, who tied the game in the eighth, came to bat and hit a single to right field. Gallo’s throw home was wide, and with the speedy Downs running, was probably fruitless anyway. Both runners scored, giving Boston the 6-5 win. Victory was a proper defensive play by Donaldson away. So it goes.

The series concludes tomorrow night on ESPN, with Jameson Taillon facing off against Nick Pivetta. First pitch will be at 7:08 pm ET.

Box Score

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