Neil Walker hit a three-run homer with one out in the seventh inning, and the New York Yankees held on for a 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox, preventing their rivals from clinching the American League East crown on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees set up their winning rally when Aaron Hicks and Gary Sanchez drew walks off Brandon Workman (6-1). Boston manager Alex Cora lifted Workman for Ryan Brasier, who fell behind Walker and lost the lead when the first baseman lifted a full-count slider into the second deck in right field.
It was Walker’s 10th homer, and he became the 11th Yankee to reach double figures in long balls this year. The Yankees tied a major league record in becoming the fifth team to achieve the feat. Walker’s homer nearly wasn’t enough as the Yankees were charged with two errors in the ninth while Zach Britton stumbled before recording his second save with the team.
“More than anything, we’re looking forward to getting back to playing the brand of baseball that we know we’re capable of,” Walker said.
“When you get a guy like Aaron Judge back in the lineup and he’s sitting in that two-hole, it really stretches out the rest of the lineup. We feel like our best baseball is right around the corner.”
A fielding error by second baseman Gleyber Torres put runners at first and third with one out, and a throwing error by Britton on a play at second allowed the Red Sox to make it a one-run game.
Britton finally closed it by turning a double play on Ian Kinsler.
JA Happ remained unbeaten as a Yankee, allowing only an unearned run on J.D. Martinez’s sacrifice fly in the third, but he left trailing 1-0 after six innings.
Chad Green (8-2) pitched a perfect seventh and David Robertson worked around a one-out triple to Martinez in a scoreless eighth.
Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge returned to the starting lineup and went 0-for-4. Heavy rain pushed back the start time six hours but allowed Judge to take swings in a simulated game and get medically cleared to face live pitching for the first time since breaking his right wrist July 26 against Kansas City.
The Yankees (92-58) moved 2 1/2 games ahead of Oakland in the wild-card race. The A’s lost 9-7 to the Los Angeles Angels late Tuesday.
Nathan Eovaldi allowed two hits in six scoreless innings and nearly helped the Red Sox win their 10th division title and third straight division crown. Boston (103-48) gets two more chances to secure the title at Yankee Stadium for the second time in three years.
The Red Sox played without Mookie Betts, who injured his left side Sunday. Cora said Betts would have played if the field had not been wet from the afternoon downpour.
Dodgers extend division lead on Taylor’s walk-off HR
Chris Taylor hit a game-ending home run in the 10th inning on Tuesday as the Los Angeles Dodgers extended their lead in the National League West to 1 1/2 games with a dramatic 3-2 victory over the visiting Colorado Rockies.
With one out in the 10th, Taylor unloaded on a 2-2 pitch from Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino (6-4) for his 17th home run of the season and his first career walk-off homer.
After the division lead changed hands between the Dodgers and Rockies over each of the previous three days, Los Angeles earned back-to-back victories in the showdown series at Dodger Stadium.
The series finale is scheduled for Wednesday, which is also the last matchup between the teams this season.
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits over seven innings. He walked five, his second-highest walk total this season, while striking out three. The Los Angeles bullpen added three scoreless innings, with Dylan Floro (6-3) striking out the only two batters he faced to earn the victory. Rockies starter Kyle Freeland also gave up two runs, allowing five hits over 6 2/3 innings with four walks and four strikeouts.
The Dodgers grabbed a first-inning lead for the second consecutive game against the Rockies. Matt Kemp delivered a two-out RBI single to score Manny Machado but was thrown out by Rockies right fielder Gerardo Parra when he didn’t get back to the first base bag on time. A pair of Dodgers defensive miscues on one play allowed the Rockies to tie the game 1-1 in the third inning. Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner let DJ LeMahieu’s ground ball get under his glove, and Taylor overran the ball in left field. Garrett Hampson scored on the play.
The Rockies took a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning on a mammoth 447-foot home run from Charlie Blackmon off Kershaw. It was Blackmon’s 27th of the season and his longest home run this year.
Rockies Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado made a miscue in the fifth that allowed the Dodgers to tie the score 2-2. His flip throw back to the bag to get Auston Barnes rolled into foul territory up the left field line, and Barnes scored after an infield single from Taylor.
Arenado made a second error on a wild throw in the seventh inning, giving the five-time Gold Glove winner 14 errors on the season.
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