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Friday, May 7, 2021

New York Yankees manage to tie the score, but can’t finish it in the 9th inning against Boston Red Sox

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Gary Sanchez singled with one out in the ninth inning, tying the score, but the New York Yankees could not push him across to win in the first game of the AL Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox.

The Yankees failed to convert on two walks, forcing pinch-runner Jacoby Ellsbury to steal second base, and Jacoby Ellsbury made it look easy. Eduardo Nunez tagged up on a swinging bunt attempt and scored without a throw, extending the game with the tiebreaking run, as the Yankees dropped to a 3-2 deficit in the best-of-seven matchup.

David Price got Andrew McCutchen to fly out to right field, and Kyle Barraclough ended the game with a strikeout.

It was a difficult loss for the Yankees, who could have won this game with better hitting. Even with a string of runners to work with, the Yankees looked ineffective. All eight walks against left-hander Drew Pomeranz came on 2-strike counts. Sanchez and Didi Gregorius, who had two hits apiece, managed to reach base just once.

Aaron Judge added a two-run homer in the second inning, but also struck out twice. The Yankees got a leadoff single and base hit in their final two at-bats against Price.

Masahiro Tanaka lasted seven innings and gave up two runs, but just one of those was earned. Boston, meanwhile, strung together four hits in the first inning, its first of the series. Mookie Betts hit a line drive single up the middle, pulling Boston to within a run, but a ground ball was up the middle that fell for an error, allowing Xander Bogaerts to reach base.

That set the tone for the game, as the Red Sox racked up four runs off Tanaka in the first inning. Boston built a 3-0 lead, as part of its seven hits and nine total bases.

The bottom of the first was scoreless, but the Yankees didn’t have it as easily as the Red Sox. The Yankees stranded six runners, going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. The Red Sox, on the other hand, stranded just one runner.

Andrew Benintendi led off the second inning with a double and scored on Betts’ single. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit into a double play, allowing Betts to reach third, but then had a grounder up the middle get by Gregorius and then score Betts.

Bird drove Betts home with a ground out, and Betts crossed home after his single. Betts scored when the Red Sox got another break. Aaron Hicks misplayed the ball, which was initially ruled a fielder’s choice. But it was overturned when replay showed the ball bounced off the runner, Bradley Jr., and fell into first base. The game was a quick 1-0 game, as Washington beat the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series.

The offense, which started slowly, was excellent the rest of the way. Betts and Bradley scored in the fourth inning and Bogaerts scored a ninth-inning sacrifice fly.

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