The Red Sox were given another life on Sunday night and they didn’t waste it.
Matt Barnes was on the verge of blowing the save and taking the loss against the New York Yankees when home plate umpire Gabe Morales handed him a gift.
The go-ahead run on third base and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Barnes threw a 3-2 curveball that missed the outer part of the plate by at least a few inches. But Morales pumped his arm to signal strike-three and sent the game into extra innings, much to the dismay of Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza and third base coach Phil Nevin, who were each ejected arguing the call.
With renewed hope in the top of the 10th, Xander Bogaerts smacked a two-run, two-out double to left-center to send the Red Sox home with a 6-5 win and a three-game sweep of their American League East rivals.
It was the Sox’ first sweep of the Yanks since 2018, but their first sweep at Yankee Stadium since 2011.
1. The series represented a sizable shift in the landscape of the AL East, which was supposed to be the Yankees’ division to lose this year after they made it to within a game of the World Series in 2020 and watched the Tampa Bay Rays lose a handful of key members from their pennant-winning squad.
Instead, it’s the Red Sox (36-23) who have surprised and will exit the Bronx just one game behind the first-place Rays (38-23) and 5.5 games ahead of the Yankees (31-29), who are all the way down in fourth place and are struggling to generate offense.
In the middle of an intense stretch of games against some teams expected to contend in the AL, the Red Sox started a road trip 0-3 and finished with four straight wins as they head home for a new series against the Astros.
2. Marwin Gonzalez was in a slump, his average had fallen to .190 and his OPS at a paltry .554 when the Red Sox entered New York this weekend. But manager Alex Cora believed in his utility man, who started all three games at Yankee Stadium. Gonzalez connected on a game-tying two-run homer in the seventh inning on Sunday and finished the weekend with four extra-base hits and five RBIs. He also made another spectacular play at second base, quickly handling a deflected grounder off Xander Bogaerts’ glove and throwing it to first in time for the out. Expect Gonzalez to continue to get opportunities in the infield.
3. Christian Arroyo came off the bench with a leadoff double to start the eighth inning and later came around to score what was the go-ahead run at the time.