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.
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.