BOSTON -- Aaron Judge's deep fly ball landed shy of putting two runs on Fenway Park's ancient hand-operated scoreboard, making the Yankees the last team in the Majors to be shut out this season, but they were still able to appreciate a pair of strong pitching performances from Carsten Sabathia
BOSTON -- Aaron Judge's deep fly ball landed shy of putting two runs on Fenway Park's ancient hand-operated scoreboard, making the Yankees the last team in the Majors to be shut out this season, but they were still able to appreciate a pair of strong pitching performances from Carsten Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka.
With Jackie Bradley Jr. bringing Judge's deep eighth-inning drive back, New York took a 3-0 loss and settled for a split of Sunday's day-night doubleheader and the four-game set with the Red Sox. They posted a 3-0 victory behind Sabathia's six sharp innings in the afternoon contest before falling in the nightcap, with David Price outdueling Tanaka.
"I thought we pitched pretty well," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It's a tough place to come and play, and we ended up 2-2. We're going in the right direction. Part of that was getting our bullpen back on track and getting some people back and healthy. We did that this weekend."
Girardi said that each team gave a game away; Albertin Chapman walked in the winning run on Friday night, marking New York's 18th blown save of the year, while Matthew Holliday hit a game-tying homer off Craig Kimbrel in the ninth on Saturday before the Yanks outlasted Boston in 16 innings.
That set the stage for Sunday's makeup of an April 25 rainout. Sabathia was not originally scheduled to pitch in this series, but the Yankees moved him up amid concerns about their fatigued bullpen. The veteran lefty provided the distance they craved, blanking Boston on two hits in a 97-pitch effort.
"You still have to go out and pitch," Sabathia said. "Obviously you know having a doubleheader today, the bullpen is going to be tough, and playing however many innings we played [Saturday] night. You want to go out and give some length and help the team out."
Despite five walks, catcher Austin Romine raved about the bite on Sabathia's two-seamers, which induced ground balls to escape early jams, as well as the swing-and-miss stuff on his slider. Sabathia struck out three.
"Anytime after a game like [Saturday] night, your starter goes out and gives a performance like that, it's going to help us in the long run," Romine said. "I think CC, every time he goes out there, he's going to give you everything he's got. It was fun."
Tyler Clippard, Chad Green and Chapman each worked a scoreless inning to help the Yankees win consecutive games for the first time since June 12. Through Sunday, New York relievers have allowed just one earned run over their last 23 innings.
"I see guys bouncing back, making pitches, getting aggressive in the zone and executing pitches," Romine said. "It comes down to execution and right now they're getting back on the right foot. They're making pitches when they need to make them."
Tanaka has a 3.00 ERA in his last five starts and lamented just one pitch - a hanging slider that Mookie Betts launched for a two-run homer, snapping Boston's scoreless streak at 24 innings. Boston went just 3-for-38 with runners in scoring position in the series.
"Overall, I felt like I did pretty well," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "The stuff was there, but it's that one hanging slider. You want to take that back, but you can't. Price was pitching a hell of a game too."
Judge said that the series split was "not good," noting that the Yankees wanted to make up ground on the first-place Red Sox, but Girardi believes the next series against the Twins and Mariners are just as important.
"I think you try to win every series," Girardi said. "We didn't win this series, but we didn't lose it. You try to win every series, and if you do that, good things will happen."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.