Hanley Ramirez, Christian Vazquez celebrate the catcher's game-winning home run, Sunday night. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)The Red Sox are in first-place.



As Jackie Bradley Jr. said after witnessing the event from a few feet away, while waiting in the on-deck circle, “One pitch in, one pitch out.”

Christian Vazquez

Christian Vazquez

As Jackie Bradley Jr. said after witnessing the event from a few feet away, while waiting in the on-deck circle, “One pitch in, one pitch out.”

It seemed simple. And maybe that’s why Christian Vazquez was able to hit Dellin Betances’ 97 mph fastball onto Landsowne Street to propel the Red Sox to an 8-7 win over the Yankees, Sunday night. It was a ball the catcher proclaimed was the longest home run of his young life.

For Red Sox Chili Davis it certainly didn’t seem complicated. And that’s why he offered Vazquez some important advice before going up to face Betances with two outs in the seventh inning and the game tied.

“Just trying to get him aggressive,” Davis said. “Just basically said, ‘Hey, I don’t think this guy is going to respect you. He’s going to come right at you early. Let it go. Let it fire.’ Just trying to get him aggressive early in the at-bat, which he was. He got the first-pitch heater and he jumped on it.”

Two nights before, Ortiz had launched a two-run homer over the left field wall on the first pitch he saw from Betances. But that came on a curveball. This one was the very pitch the reliever threw Sunday night, and wasn’t going to be the same approach with the light-hitting catcher up.

“He’s not going to fool around,” Davis said. “David [Ortiz] knew curveball was coming because that’s how he’s pitches David. But for someone like Christian, or someone he doesn’t really know or hasn’t done what David has done, what is he going to do? He’s going to try and get ahead.”

“There’s not guessing in this game. Every time I try to guess, I guess wrong,” said Ortiz. “You pick what you think you can hit. If you don’t hit breaking balls you don’t pick breaking balls. If you don’t hit fastballs you don’t pick fastballs. … Let me tell you, whenever you step up to the plate with a bat, you have a chance. That was a 98 mph fastball. That [expletive] ended up on the moon.”

For Vazquez, it was just his second major league home run. But it was also a step toward becoming the kind of hitter many in the Red Sox clubhouse believe he can evolve into.

“He’s been working extremely hard,” Ortiz said of Vazquez. “Trust me, I believe that the same thing that happened with Yadier [Molina] is going to happen with him because he works extremely hard on his hitting. He doesn’t work just on his defense. He works on everything. At some point I wouldn’t be surprised he figured it out and started hitting on a daily basis consistently.

“I’m not worried about his hitting. I love what he does behind the plate. For me, I don’t care if he ever gets a hit. I like what he does at the plate. You guys see the difference when he’s behind the plate. It’s unbelievable.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

It was the moment David Price would want to remember on a night he would probably prefer to forget.

David Price finished his up and down outing in a positive fashion. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

David Price finished his up and down outing in a positive fashion. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

It was the moment David Price would want to remember on a night he would probably prefer to forget.

With the game tied at 6-6, and two outs in the seventh inning, Alex Rodriguez strode the plate for the Yankees. This was the batter who had already torched the Red Sox starter for a two-run homer and two RBI double (both coming on fastballs) earlier in the Sunday night tilt between the Red Sox and New York.

So, with Price sitting at 94 pitches, Red Sox manager John Farrell went to the mound to check on his starter. When the conversation was over, Farrell had left in the southpaw.

It was a maneuver usually not executed by Farrell, who makes a point to only go to the mound if he is taking out the pitcher. The exceptions during the manager’s tenure are limited to Ryan Dempster and John Lackey, both coming in 2013.

“He asked me if I was going make three good pitches in that situation and I told him ‘Absolutely,'” Price said. “I appreciate him leaving me out there in that situation against a guy who’s hit the ball against me well twice that night, so it’s good.”

“I just wanted to check with him,” Farrell said. “We had [Junichi Tazawa} ready, but for a starting pitcher to work for those days in between each start, we’re in a tie ballgame, he had every right to go out for that seventh. And like I said, his pitch count was still well in check. If there was a runner on, we’re probably making a move there against Rodriguez. In that spot, wanted to give him an opportunity to win and you know what, it worked out.”

The move paid off.

Rodriguez worked the count to 3-2 before finally grounding out to second baseman Dustin Pedroia on a 92 mph fastball to end the at-bat. And after Christian Vazquez’s two-run homer gave the hosts the lead for good later in the seventh, Price was able to walk away with his fourth win of the season. (To see video of the ground out, click here.)

It was some consolation for Price after allowing six runs over his seven innings, pushing the lefty’s ERA up to 6.14.

“He’s a guy I’ve thrown the ball well with my entire career,” Price said of Rodriguez, who came into the game 14-for-59 (.237) with a homer against the starter. “I don’t know what his numbers are but I feel like i’ve thrown the ball pretty well against him. For [Farrell] to stick with me right there I definitely appreciate it.”

“David is not going to say he doesn’t want to face anyone, just the competitor he is,” the manager said. “But that was a pivotal moment. He’s a big-time performer, despite some of tonight’s outcomes. But like I said before it was a matter of going out and checking on him. An opportunity for him to complete one more inning and hopefully give us a chance to win and like I said it works out.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox catcher, whose two-run homer off of Dellin Betances gave the Sox the lead for good over the Yankees.

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Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox catcher, whose two-run homer off of Dellin Betances gave the Sox the lead for good over the Yankees.

[0:00:00] ... right Christian congratulations. That's got to be the biggest moment even young Major League careers that. Oh my god Mendoza was decided you know who knows. I was trying to you know do my best did and so does your. But you knew who was coming out of the bullpen and you know what he does he throws a lot of fastballs was. Was that though we your approach if you went up there your thinking he's gonna throw your first pitch fastball and if he throws the spider looking for you're gonna driller. You know all the trying to you know all star into before you get some balls put into chili Davis so less you know is the father there. Did hit a bomb so did. The path and went over everything and that's good coach and it there. Brewers and how about Travis shy started with. First pitch curve balls in the third time Travis native all the pay for you know assortment of him before he you know. After the home ...



Christian Vazquez decided to go all David Ortiz Sunday night.

Hanley Ramirez and Christian Vazquez celebrate the catcher's two-run homer, Sunday night. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Hanley Ramirez and Christian Vazquez celebrate the catcher’s two-run homer, Sunday night. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Christian Vazquez decided to go all David Ortiz Sunday night.

Two games after Ortiz jumped on a first-pitch slider from Dellin Betances for a game-winning home run, Vazquez executed a similar feat. On Betances very first pitch of the game — a 97 mph fastball — the Sox catcher launched his second career home run over the left field wall for a two-run, seventh-inning, game-changer.

The Vazquez broke open a tie ballgame, helping hand the Red Sox an 8-7 win, and series sweep, over the Yankees. It was the first time the Sox swept the Yanks since Sept. 13-15, 2013.

With the Orioles losing to the White Sox, the Red Sox find themselves with sole possession of first-place in the American League East this season, improving to 15-10.

The Vazquez wallop helped ease the anxiety left behind by another subpar Fenway Park outing by starter David Price.

The starter’s ERA now standing at 6.14 after allowing six runs on eight hits over seven innings. It was the third time Price has allowed five or more runs this season, having given up 21 runs in 22 2/3 innings at Fenway Park.

The two biggest hits of the night against Price came from Alex Rodriguez, who jumped all over a 93 mph fastball for a two-run homer in the third inning, and a 94 mph heater for a two RBI double in the fifth.

Price was able to improve to 4-0 thanks to the Vazquez homer, but also due to Travis Shaw’s two-run homer in the fifth inning that knotted things up at 6-6.

For a complete box score, click here.

Closing Time note

Price didn’t have a strikeout through the first four innings. For his entire career, he had never gone through a start without fanning at least one batter. The only appearance he had in which there were no K’s came in his one-batter outing against the Red Sox during the 2008 American League Championship Series.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

– Koji Uehara got out of a jam in the eighth inning after allowing the Yankees to crawl with a run on a run-scoring wild pitch. But Uehara came back to strikeout pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran to end the threat. Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth to lock down his eighth save with a 1-2-3 frame.

– Dustin Pedroia rebounded from going 0-for-8 to start the series by claiming three hits, boosting his batting average to .324. The only other Red Sox to come away with multiple-hit games were Xander Bogaerts (3) and Shaw (2).

– Every member of the Red Sox starting lineup claimed at least one hit, with John Farrell’s team finishing with 13 for the game.

– After the Red Sox had fallen behind thanks to Rodriguez’s third-inning homer, Hanley Ramirez helped knot things back up with a two-run, bases-loaded single later in the inning.

WHAT WENT WRONG

– Price’s outing.

SwensonGranite_RSPoftheW

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Hanley Ramirez and Christian Vazquez celebrate the catcher's two-run homer, Sunday night. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Hanley Ramirez and Christian Vazquez celebrate the catcher’s two-run homer, Sunday night. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Christian Vazquez decided to go all David Ortiz Sunday night.

Two games after Ortiz jumped on a first-pitch slider from Dellin Betances for a game-winning home run, Vazquez executed a similar feat. On Betances very first pitch of the game — a 97 mph fastball — the Sox catcher launched his second career home run over the left field wall for a two-run, seventh-inning, game-changer.

The Vazquez broke open a tie ballgame, helping hand the Red Sox an 8-7 win, and series sweep, over the Yankees. It was the first time the Sox swept the Yanks since Sept. 13-15, 2013.

With the Orioles losing to the White Sox, the Red Sox find themselves with sole possession of first-place in the American League East this season, improving to 15-10.

The Vazquez wallop helped ease the anxiety left behind by another subpar Fenway Park outing by starter David Price.

The starter’s ERA now standing at 6.14 after allowing six runs on eight hits over seven innings. It was the third time Price has allowed five or more runs this season, having given up 21 runs in 22 2/3 innings at Fenway Park.

The two biggest hits of the night against Price came from Alex Rodriguez, who jumped all over a 93 mph fastball for a two-run homer in the third inning, and a 94 mph heater for a two RBI double in the fifth.

Price was able to improve to 4-0 thanks to the Vazquez homer, but also due to Travis Shaw’s two-run homer in the fifth inning that knotted things up at 6-6.

For a complete box score, click here.

Closing Time note

Price didn’t have a strikeout through the first four innings. For his entire career, he had never gone through a start without fanning at least one batter. The only appearance he had in which there were no K’s came in his one-batter outing against the Red Sox during the 2008 American League Championship Series.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

– Koji Uehara got out of a jam in the eighth inning after allowing the Yankees to crawl with a run on a run-scoring wild pitch. But Uehara came back to strikeout pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran to end the threat. Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth to lock down his eighth save with a 1-2-3 frame.

– Dustin Pedroia rebounded from going 0-for-8 to start the series by claiming three hits, boosting his batting average to .324. The only other Red Sox to come away with multiple-hit games were Xander Bogaerts (3) and Shaw (2).

– Every member of the Red Sox starting lineup claimed at least one hit, with John Farrell’s team finishing with 13 for the game.

– After the Red Sox had fallen behind thanks to Rodriguez’s third-inning homer, Hanley Ramirez helped knot things back up with a two-run, bases-loaded single later in the inning.

WHAT WENT WRONG

– Price’s outing.

SwensonGranite_RSPoftheW

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford