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Hanley keeps raking as Sox edge Yanks

September 16, 2016

BOSTON -- The Red Sox didn't need a wild walk-off to beat the Yankees this time. Instead, they rode a batting barrage and a solid pitching performance by Clay Buchholz en route to a 7-4 victory on Friday night.Buchholz wiggled out of trouble early, getting Yankees phenom Gary Sánchez on

BOSTON -- The Red Sox didn't need a wild walk-off to beat the Yankees this time. Instead, they rode a batting barrage and a solid pitching performance by Clay Buchholz en route to a 7-4 victory on Friday night.
Buchholz wiggled out of trouble early, getting Yankees phenom Gary Sánchez on double-play balls that ended the first and third. In six innings, Buchholz scattered seven hits while allowing two runs. It was a nice bounce-back outing after his mishap in Toronto five days earlier.
"I thought he made a couple of really good fastball pitches in to Sanchez for a couple of ground-ball double plays early on," said Red manager John Farrell. "He'd bend a little bit, but stayed away from the big inning. He gave ourselves a chance to get the offense on track, and then we had a very good offensive night overall."

Buchholz bends, doesn't break
The win allowed the Red Sox to keep their two-game lead in the American League East. The Yankees fell six back in the division and are four games behind the Blue Jays and Orioles for the final AL Wild Card.
Hanley Ramirez, Thursday's walk-off hero, hit another moonshot to center, a solo homer in the third that gave Boston a 3-0 lead.
"We're just going out there, relaxing, play hard, creating some rallies and scoring as many runs as we can," said Ramirez.
The Yankees inched to within a run on Sanchez's two-run double in the fifth, but Boston off-set that with a two-run rally in the bottom of the sixth.
Ramirez, David Ortiz (47th double), Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts all had multihit games. Jackie Bradley Jr. smashed a solo shot to right in the seventh for some more insurance.
"I think we just have a lot of faith in one another," said Bradley. "We know if we don't get the job done the next person behind us will, and with that mindset, nobody has to play the hero game."
Yanks' playoff aspirations stalled by rivals
Hanley stays hot: Ramirez continued his sizzling and powerful stretch with his 10th homer in his last 19 games, and sixth in the last nine. His shot to the bleachers in center traveled a Statcast-projected 442 feet.

"He's on fire right now," said Bradley. "He's torching the ball. He's hitting the ball all over the place. He's hitting the ball in clutch situations. He's been the guy this past week and it's been fun to watch." More >
Gary's wall ball: The Yankees left runners in scoring position in both the second and third innings against Buchholz, but Sanchez broke their unlucky streak with a high drive to left that hit the top of the Green Monster, chasing home Mark Teixeira and Mason Williams easily. Other than that, the Yanks had trouble getting a big hit when they needed it, finishing 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

"We had a couple of opportunities to get a big hit and weren't able to do it, but we gave ourselves some chances again," Chase Headley said.
Bradley belts one off lefty: The fact that Bradley's homer came off southpaw Chasen Shreve was significant. Bradley had been in a rut against lefties, hitting .154 with no homers, two RBIs and a .377 OPS in his last 54 plate appearances against them dating back to July 27. The long ball was No. 25 on the season for Bradley, giving the Red Sox four players with at least that many.

Hooked after five: Yankees right-hander Luis Cessa had thrown just 64 pitches through five innings, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he thought it was the right time to start mixing and matching with his inexperienced bullpen, noting that Cessa's fastball had seemed to be leaking back over the plate. Big Papi greeted left-hander James Pazos with a booming double and right-hander Jonathan Holder served up a sacrifice fly to Travis Shaw and Sandy Leon's RBI ground-rule double as the Red Sox pulled away.

"They're all young. These guys have got to step up, though," Girardi said. "That's what we're asking them to do. I thought Holder did a pretty good job; he gets that unfortunate hit that he gives up to Leon, but I thought he did a pretty good job."
Koji dealing:Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless eighth inning and has been nearly flawless since coming off the disabled list, giving up three hits, no runs and no walks while striking out six in five appearances.

"Tonight, we're starting to see a little bit of uptick in the finish to his pitches, which is encouraging," said Farrell. "We felt like it was going to take some outings to build the arm strength further. But what he's done is he's located extremely well. He hasn't missed with his split in the middle of the plate."
Ortiz's double gave him 1,187 career extra-base hits, as he moved past Frank Robinson for 11th on the all-time list.
In the first inning with two outs, Betts attempted to steal second base but was called out. The Red Sox challenged, and after a one-minute and 46-second review, the call was overturned to safe. The Red Sox maintained their challenge.

Yankees: Right-hander Bryan Mitchell (1-1, 6.14 ERA) will make his third start of the season on Saturday, looking to bounce back after he was chased after just 2 1/3 innings by the Dodgers, who thumped him for six runs (two earned) and eight hits. Mitchell has made three previous appearances at Fenway Park but this will be his first start.
Red Sox: Lefty David Price will try to continue his best stretch as a member of the Red Sox when he pitches Saturday's 1:05 p.m. ET game. In his last seven starts, Price is 7-0 with a 2.16 ERA.
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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.