NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Hicks awoke a dormant offense with a two-run homer that sparked a five-run eighth inning, then threw out a runner at third in the ninth inning to help Aroldis Chapman get out of trouble, and the New York Yankees rallied to beat the Red Sox 5-4 Friday night and stop Boston’s winning streak at eight.
Hanley Ramirez and Andrew Benintendi homered off Jaime Garcia, and Eduardo Rodriguez handed a 3-0 lead to his bullpen in the seventh. But in the first of 10 key games between the AL East rivals in 24 days, Didi Gregorius and Todd Frazier followed Hicks’ home run with RBI singles and Ronald Torreyes hit a sacrifice fly as the Yankees took a 5-3 lead and rebounded to close within 3½ games of the Red Sox.
Boston and New York met while 1-2 in the division this late in the season for the first time since 2011. A sellout crowd filled Yankee Stadium in anticipation, but it was quieted by Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez, who allowed two hits in six scoreless innings.
Matt Barnes pitched a hitless seventh that extended the scoreless streak by Boston’s bullpen to 19 innings.
And then the drama began.
Pinch-hitter Brett Gardner was nicked on his back foot by a pitch from Addison Reed (0-1) leading off the eighth, a call originally missed by plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth and overturned on video review. Reed had gone 1,005 batters without hitting one since plunking the Dodgers’ Dee Gordon on March 23, 2014.
Hicks returned Thursday from an oblique injury that been sidelined him since June 25, and he followed with a high drive down the right-field line that stopped the Yankees’ shutout streak at 16 innings.
Gary Sanchez singled, went to second on a wild pitch and Aaron Judge walked.
Joe Kelly relieved, Gregorius blooped an opposite-field hit to left, and Frazier was strong enough to muscle another single to left on a pitch that jammed him. Torreyes added a sacrifice fly.
Adam Warren (3-2) allowed one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings, and Chapman walked the bases loaded with no out.
Benintendi, whose bases-loaded walk against Chapman gave Boston a July 14 win at Fenway Park, hit a sacrifice fly to left that Hicks caught in front of the left-field warning track. The strong-armed Hicks made a one-hop throw to Frazier at third base, and he tagged out former Yankee Eduardo Nunez trying to advance from second.
Mitch Moreland flied out, giving Chapman his 15th save in 18 chances.
Boston got off to a quick start when Mookie Betts walked with one out in the first and Ramirez drove a fastball into the Boston bullpen in left-center with two outs. Benintendi homered into the second deck in right field in the fifth. His 16th major league home run was his first off a left-handed pitcher.
The Yankees drew 46,509 in their eighth home sellout, matching their total in each of the last two seasons. They had 16 in 2014, Derek Jeter’s final season.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia could be headed to the DL for the third time this season. Pedroia’s left knee was too inflamed for him to play, two days after he went 0 for 4 as a DH at Tampa Bay in his first game since July 28. … LH David Price, who hasn’t pitched since July 22 because of left elbow inflammation, threw in the outfield from 120 feet, then threw more intensely from 60 feet on flat ground, including breaking balls.
Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (right knee inflammation) hopes to miss just one turn. He was put on the 10-day Friday, a move retroactive to Wednesday, when he had cortisone, platelet rich plasma and Synvisc injections. LHP Jordan Montgomery was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and will take Sabathia’s turn Sunday. … 2B Starlin Castro (strained right hamstring) and 1B Greg Bird (right ankle surgery) are likely to start minor league injury rehabilitation assignments next week.
RHP Luis Severino (9-4) starts Saturday for the Yankees and LHP Drew Pomeranz (11-4) for the Red Sox. Severino has won four straight starts and is unbeaten in his last six outings. Pomeranz is 5-0 in his last eight starts.
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