The Boston Red Sox rallied from a two-run deficit in the eighth inning to maintain their utter domination of the New York Yankees with a 4-3 victory over the Bronx Bombers on Thursday.
Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the penultimate inning, the Red Sox scored three runs to secure a three-game sweep of their bitter rivals and improve to 8-0 against the Yankees this season.
The perfect run marks the first time Boston (36-24) has started the season with eight straight wins over the New York franchise since 1912.
The Red Sox also opened a two-game lead over the Yankees at the top of the American League East division after starting the series a game behind.
J.D. Drew ignited the rally with a run-scoring single, Jason Bay then tied the game with an RBI single before Mike Lowell delivered the go-ahead sacrifice-fly.
Jonathan Papelbon nailed down the final three outs for his 16th save of the year.
“It was electric. You could feel it,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona told reporters. “I’d like to sit up here and say it never means more than it means, but it’s hard not to get excited. I know the fans probably love it.”
The Yankees (34-26) appeared to have finally figured out their American League East rivals when they took the lead with three runs in the seventh, capped by a two-RBI double from Alex Rodriguez.
However, prized starter C.C. Sabathia got into trouble in the next inning when he allowed a lead-off single, a walk and then an RBI single before being relieved by Alfredo Aceves.
Pitching in his first game as a part of the historic rivalry, Sabathia was charged with all four runs and struck out six in seven innings.
“It definitely stings a lot,” Sabathia said. “We lost a ball game we probably should have won. But the bottom line is we have a lot of games left.”
Luckily for the Yankees, they have a two-month break before they face the Red Sox again on Aug. 6.
ATHLETICS 4, TWINS 3
At Oakland, California, Rajai Davis slapped an RBI single in the ninth inning as the Oakland Athletics rallied from a late three-run deficit to beat the Minnesota Twins.
Adam Kennedy hit a tying two‑run homer in the three-run eighth for the A’s, who finally solved Minnesota starter Nick Blackburn before splitting the four-game series on a soft hit by Davis.
Also on Thursday it was:
• Rangers 1, Blue Jays 0
• White Sox 4, Tigers 3
• Rays 11, Angels 1
• Indians 4, Royals 3
• Mariners 5, Orioles 2
AP, MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN
Aaron Cook pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning as the Colorado Rockies won their eighth straight game by holding off the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 in another National League sweep on Thursday.
Ian Stewart homered and scored three times for the Rockies, who won three in a row at Miller Park after completing a four-game sweep at St Louis this week.
Colorado has won eight straight on the road and is 10-4 under manager Jim Tracy, who took over for the fired Clint Hurdle on May 29.
Ryan Braun hit a three-run homer in the ninth for NL Central-leading Milwaukee.
Also on Thursday it was:
• Phillies 6, Mets 3, 10 innings
• Cardinals 6, Marlins 5
• Pirates 3, Braves 1
• Astros 2, Cubs 1, 13 innings
• Diamondbacks 2, Giants 1
• Nationals 3, Reds 2
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