Voit's two homers deny Sox chance to clinch
NEW YORK -- This is a different Yankees team than the fatigued group that rolled their bags out of Fenway Park following a fourth straight loss in early August, as the Red Sox have learned through the first 18 innings of their visit. Moving closer to full strength with some fresh faces mixed in, these division rivals would almost certainly make for a compelling postseason series.
Luke Voit homered twice as part of a career-high four-hit performance, supporting Luis Severino's sterling seven-inning outing. The Yankees kept the beer and bubbly shelved in the visiting clubhouse for a second consecutive evening, preventing the Red Sox from celebrating the American League East with a 10-1 rout on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
"We don't want them to clinch here," Voit said. "They're our rival and we're going to try to do everything we can. We've been cold as a team and we haven't been our New York Yankees. It's huge to get [Aaron] Judge and Didi [Gregorius] back healthy, and Gary [Sanchez] and [Aroldis] Chapman. It's scary how good this team is going to be. We're looking to do some damage in the playoffs."
With 11 games left in the regular season, the Yankees hold a 2 1/2-game lead over the A's for the top AL Wild Card spot.
Miguel Andujar hit his 25th homer as the Yankees battered familiar opponent David Price and Severino bounced back from an inconsistent second half to compile one of his best starts in weeks. Severino snapped a three-start winless streak, capping his six-hit, six-strikeout effort with a curveball that froze Mookie Betts for a called third strike.
"Every time we face the Red Sox, it's a huge series, huge game," Severino said. "I think facing a team like this brings out the best in everybody. My mindset today was to go over there and go after everybody. My last start before this wasn't that bad. I was feeling good, too, so I know I'm getting on track again."
Boston's only run off Severino came on Sandy Leon's fifth-inning single. With the Yankees eyeing a potential AL Wild Card Game, Severino could be bypassed in favor of Masahiro Tanaka or J.A. Happ, both of whom have pitched more consistently of late. But manager Aaron Boone said that the Yanks will need all three to pitch well if they intend to be the last team standing.
Price has lost all six of his starts at Yankee Stadium since joining the Red Sox, thumped for six runs (four earned) and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. Andujar opened the scoring with a second-inning homer and third baseman Eduardo Nunez muffed an Aaron Judge grounder that chased home another two runs.
The barrel-chested Voit cleared the right-field wall with an opposite-field shot in the fourth, then went deep again to the same area in the sixth for a two-run blast, charging around the basepaths with his top jersey button undone as Price was dispatched to the showers. Price has allowed 33 runs in 30 1/3 innings (9.79 ERA) when pitching for Boston in the Bronx.
• Voit bench presses 135 pounds with one arm
"We wanted to take it to these guys," Voit said. "Obviously probably down the line in the playoffs we're going to face them again. We want to get hot at the right time going into those games and it's nice to have a big night. We have to get this offense rolling. It's been dragging the last couple of weeks. That was a big game for us."
• Chapman reinstated from disabled list
Aaron Hicks added a two-run triple off Joe Kelly, part of a three-RBI performance. Justus Sheffield, the Yankees' top-rated prospect according to MLB Pipeline, recorded the final three outs in his Major League debut. Sheffield loaded the bases on two singles and a walk before getting Betts to ground into a game-ending double play.
"I was trying to breathe as much as I could, trying to settle down," Sheffield said. "Didi was out there and telling me to slow down and breathe. That's what I just kept doing. I knew that sooner or later if I kept doing that, I was going to make the right pitch."
• Judge photobombs pregame dugout report
Voit's second homer gave the Yankees a Major League-leading 245 blasts for the season, equaling a franchise record set by the 2012 squad. With nine homers since joining the Yanks, Voit is one deep drive shy of becoming the 12th player on the roster with a double-digit home run total, which would set a Major League record.
"We have gotten it from a lot of different people," Boone said. "Obviously we've needed that. With Miggy kind of kicking in the door and taking that job early in the season and running with it, the role he's played. And then Voit; if you would've said a couple months ago that he'd be playing this kind of role and hitting for this kind of power with us, I don't think anyone saw it coming."
HE SAID IT
"My legs felt like Jell-O. The first thing I was thinking is, 'Don't trip on the mound. Just don't trip.'" -- Sheffield
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
After Voit had rounded the bases for his sixth-inning home run, the umpires called for a review to see if a fan in the front row had interfered with the ball. The call on the field was confirmed, with the flight of the ball appearing to carry into the seating area. Neither of Voit's home runs were Statcast™ darlings -- the second came off his bat at 94.1 mph and traveled 343 feet -- but he and the Yankees certainly aren't complaining.
"Tonight it was a little windier, so you didn't know," Voit said. "I thought I got that last one more than I did and it barely went out. Luckily it went over. You watch every guy hit a ball to right field, they're always looking at the outfielder and judging it. There's definitely cheap home runs, but you've got to take advantage of it."
The Yankees will try to prevent the Red Sox from celebrating the AL East title for a third consecutive evening on Thursday as the rivals meet at 7:05 p.m. ET in an MLB Network Showcase Game. Tanaka (12-5, 3.47 ERA) will start for New York, having allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of his past 11 starts, posting a 2.15 ERA over that span. Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (12-4, 3.53 ERA) has the ball for Boston.