Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees

Red Sox survive insane finish, near collapse in wild win over Yankees

The Red Sox were three outs away from a normal win over the Yankees on Friday. Instead, they had to survive an insane finish and two extra innings. 

While there were dramatic moments on Friday night in the Bronx, most fans would simply describe the first eight innings of the rivalry game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees as no more than another heated chapter added to their long history.

Rafael Devers got Boston ahead early in the first inning as he put the first pitch he saw over the fence for a 2-0 lead. Giancarlo Stanton took the lead back for New York in the third inning, however, with a three-run blast. Christian Vazquez tied it up at 3-3 with a solo blast in the next inning, though, and then Bobby Dalbec put the Red Sox back ahead with another solo shot in the top of the seventh.

Then came the bottom of the ninth inning. And everything went off the deep end.

Red Sox survive insane finish to beat Yankees in Game 1 of series

All Tanner Houck had to do was get three outs. But after an infield single from Gleyber Torres, he hit Matt Carpenter with a pitch in a two-strike count. That brought Isaiah Kiner-Falefa to the dish and he tried to sacrifice with no outs registered yet. Instead, his poor bunt went right to Houck, who tried to turn and get the lead runner at third — but the throw was wild, allowing Torres to round third and score to tie the game.

After an intentional walk, though, Houck tightened up, getting a double play that started with the out at home before then getting D.J. LeMahieu to ground out and end the inning.

Admittedly, the top of the 10th inning was quiet in comparison. The Red Sox loaded the bases but the Yankees had two outs and Clay Holmes got the inning-ending strikeout. As for the bottom of the inning, the calamity resumed.

Aaron Judge grounded out to start the inning without advancing the ghost runner before Anthony Rizzo was intentionally walked. Houck, still on the bump, then had a perfect double play ball hit by Stanton up the middle, but he reacted to try to make the play himself and ended up busting the play, loading the bases. But again, he got the double play as Torres grounded into it.

That led us to the bottom of the 11th. Alex Verdugo flied out to start the inning but did advance the ghost runner, Xander Bogaerts, to third base. After a groundout yielded nothing, Michael King just needed one more out. But ahead 0-2 against Bobby Dalbec, he put a pitch in the dirt that got away from Jose Trevino. Savvy as ever, Bogaerts saw his window and took off for home.

He likely would’ve been safe regardless, but adding to the insanity, Trevino dove back for home but forgot to bring the ball with him as Bogaerts scored the go-ahead run.

On the surface, the bottom of the 11th was pedestrian as well but Red Sox fans were certainly holding their breath as Ryan Brasier, not the most reliable of arms, came out of the bullpen. He got the final three outs without the ghost runner ever moving, though, recording the final out with a strikeout as Aaron Hicks couldn’t hold up on a check swing in a full count.

Things have not broken Boston’s way over the past week or so, particularly when they make defensive errors as they did on Friday night. So to come out on top in such a crazy game, particularly against the Yankees in the Bronx, has to be a boost to the Red Sox confidence.

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