Rodón K's nine to help Yanks to first Fenway DH sweep since '06

Bullpen combines for 9 1/3 scoreless innings across twin bill

September 13th, 2023

BOSTON -- Carlos Rodón’s debut season in a Yankees uniform has hardly gone as expected, but the lefty can take solace in this: he defeated the Red Sox in his first attempt.

Rodón recovered from a leadoff homer to strike out nine as the Yankees completed their first doubleheader sweep at Fenway Park in more than 17 years, posting a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday evening.

“It still hasn’t been very good, but today was a step in the right direction,” Rodón said. “I just want to build off that and move forward into this next start.”

New York won the first game of the split-admission twin bill, 3-2, behind Gleyber Torres’ two-run single. The Yanks hadn’t claimed a doubleheader in Boston since Aug. 18, 2006.

The sweep moved the Yankees (73-72) into a tie with the Red Sox for fourth place in the American League East. It also marked Aaron Boone’s 500th win, making him the eighth manager in franchise history to reach the plateau.

“I wish it would have come about a month ago,” Boone said. “It’s a cool number.”

Rodón has had more than his share of rough outings after signing a six-year, $162 million contract this past offseason, and Boone believes that his injury-interrupted campaign has likely been a factor.

It seemed to be shaping up as more of the same early on Tuesday, when rookie Ceddanne Rafaela pounced on Rodón’s first pitch for a leadoff homer, his first in the Majors.

But despite some more hard contact, Rodón found his groove, permitting just four hits and the one run in a five-inning effort. Rodón hadn’t faced the Red Sox at Fenway since 2018, when he was with the White Sox. He credited his secondary pitches, mixing in his curveball and changeup more.  

“My last start against Detroit, the fastball-slider combo seemed like it was getting pretty predictable,” Rodón said. “We needed to show a different look and scramble to something else this week. Knowing I was going up against Boston, they do a lot of homework, and they know what I feature.”

Boone said having a presence with secondary pitches will allow Rodón to expand the strike zone with his fastball and slider more, which they will focus on next year.

Said Boone: “It’s been a tough year for him. He’s been through a lot. Hopefully [there are] a lot of things learned, and he can finish this season with some momentum.”

Estevan Florial put New York on the board in the fifth with a run-scoring single, his first hit and RBI of the season chasing Boston starter Kutter Crawford. Jake Bauers drove in the go-ahead run on a sixth-inning fielder’s choice.

“It’s all you dream about, to come here and try to help the team,” Florial said.

The Yanks’ bullpen was stellar all day, combining for 9 1/3 scoreless innings in the doubleheader, permitting just six hits. Several newcomers contributed to toss four scoreless frames and hold the lead for Rodón, beginning with Zach McAllister, who worked the sixth.

“Both of these games today were good ballgames with a lot of big pitches within innings that could have swung it either way for both sides,” Boone said.

The Yankees originally selected McAllister in the third round of the 2006 MLB Draft, dealing him to Cleveland in August 2010 for outfielder Austin Kearns.

Since his last big league appearance for the Tigers in 2018, McAllister bounced from the Dodgers, Phillies, Cardinals and D-backs, still grinding for a chance to return to The Show.

“It’s come full circle for me,” McAllister said. “I got to every level but the big leagues when I was here last time, so to be able to throw in the pinstripes and be out there against Boston is something I’ll always remember.”

Anthony Misiewicz handled the seventh, pumping his fist after escaping with two runners on. He yielded the eighth to Matt Bowman, who hadn’t pitched in the Majors since 2019 with the Reds, and Nick Ramirez worked a perfect ninth for his first big league save.

“That was a big part of this game,” Rodón said. “The boys came in and shut the door in big situations. That’s a heck of a job for the bullpen today as well.”