The Red Sox are the comeback kids of the Majors through the first 10 weeks of the season, so it’s only fitting they’d overcome another deficit on Sunday to end their road trip right -- even though it meant ending some decade-long futility at Yankee Stadium.
Boston’s 6-5 win over New York clinched a three-game sweep for the Red Sox, their first in the Bronx since June 7-9, 2011. They lost nine of 10 overall against the Yankees last season, and they’d entered the weekend series having lost 11 in a row in the Yankees’ home ballpark.
“It was real nice,” shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. “We know we haven’t had a lot of success [vs. the Yankees] these last couple of years, but this team is different. We have a lot of winning players. You could see that with Kiké [Hernández] last night with that big RBI. Marwin [Gonzalez], these last couple of days, he’s been getting hot.”
Hernández and Gonzalez are a pair of 2021 newcomers who’ve won elsewhere (Hernández with the Dodgers, Gonzalez with the Astros) and don’t have an embattled history with the Yankees. Both players happened to come up big this weekend, first with Hernández’s go-ahead double on Saturday.
Gonzalez followed on Sunday with a two-run shot, just his second home run of the season, to tie the game in the seventh inning. He put together quite a series during his first taste of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, going 4-for-11 (.364) with five RBIs. He also made a clutch play in the field on Sunday, getting a forceout at second base on a sharply hit ball up the middle with the bases loaded.
“It was special, especially because we got the series,” Gonzalez said. “The ballpark was not full capacity yet, so I couldn’t say what it’s like. A full-capacity ballpark is obviously going to be better, you know, more energy. Let’s see next month.”
The energy wasn’t lacking in the ninth, though, as Red Sox closer Matt Barnes blew the save and appeared to be on the hook for the loss. Barnes, who had converted saves on Friday and Saturday, rung up Rougned Odor on a curveball that never really grazed the strike zone, stranding runners on the corners and sending the game to extras tied at 4.
There, Bogaerts put the Red Sox back on top for good with a two-out, two-run single. The Red Sox scored 11 of their 18 runs in the series with two outs.
“When we control the strike zone, we become dangerous,” Boston manager Alex Cora said.
Evidently, they’re also dangerous when facing American League East foes. Thanks in part to a 15-6 divisional record, they’re on the doorstep of the front-running Rays. The Red Sox are dangerous when they’re trailing, too, as they lead the Majors in come-from-behind wins (21).
Emerging from behind is the early story of the Red Sox’s season. It also defines this road trip, as they salvaged a 4-3 trek despite losing their first three games in Houston.
Some individual players are on the comeback trail, too, as Hernández’s clutch double on Saturday broke an 0-for-27 skid. Gonzalez was 2-for-32 (.063) entering the Series, and Bogaerts was hitless in 22 at-bats prior to this four-game win streak.
To see all of those cold streaks end, and to head home with a rare sweep over the ol’ archrival, makes for a great feeling on the cusp of the 60-game mark.
“I think this was a good statement that we made, coming in here and winning these three games,” Bogaerts said. “We were down, 3-1, but I think the best part of these last two wins is we came back from behind.”