The Yankees put together a five-run eighth inning to defeat the Red Sox, 5-4, in the first game of a three-game set. >> Box score
The Yankees, who were down 3-0 heading into the eighth inning, got the spark they needed from Aaron Hicks as he belted a two-run homer to put them on the board.
After a Gary Sanchez single and Aaron Judge walk, Didi Gregorius roped a single to left to tie the game up at three. Todd Frazier would give the Yankees the lead with a single while Ronald Torreyes would add insurance with a sacrifice fly to make it.
Aroldis Chapman made things interesting in the top of the ninth as he walked the bases loaded with no outs. However, Hicks began a double play as he gunned down Eduardo Nunez who was trying to reach third on a sacrifice fly. Mitch Moreland would hit a fly ball to center for the final out of the game.
The Yankees are now 3.5 games back of the Al East lead.
Another day, another miserable failure with runners in scoring position. Until the eighth inning.
Finally, the Yankees showed some of the mettle that boosted them to the top of the AL East in the early part of the season. The Yankees had been sleep-walking through much of their games since the All-Star break until Aaron Hicks delivered a two-run home run into the short porch in right field. From there, the flood gates opened and the Yankees seemingly dropped in hits at will.
The offense doesn't get the chance in the eighth without the effort from Garcia to keep the game close and Adam Warren's 2 1/3 inning scoreless appearance. The Yankees managed to hang on after a shaky appearance from Chapman, thanks to a great defensive play from Hicks.
The five-run eighth is something the Yankees offense has to build on and if they cannot do so, then I'm not sure what will get them motivated.
The Yankees continue a series with the Red Sox at 4:05 p.m. on Saturday. Luis Severino (9-4, 2.91 ERA) will face off against Drew Pomeranz (11-4, 3.36 ERA) at Yankee Stadium.