Yanks edge rivals, keep pace in East
BOSTON -- Stephen Drew drove in two runs, Brett Gardner added some insurance with a late homer and the Yankees spoiled Rick Porcello's 13-strikeout performance with a 3-1 victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday at Fenway Park.
Porcello scattered five hits and one earned run over eight innings, but he was ticketed for the loss by two big hits, Drew's two-run double in the fifth inning and Gardner's two-out solo shot in the eighth.
"For us, it's huge to capitalize on that," Drew said. "We're not always able to, but when you can, it's huge. In these types of games, and especially the way he was pitching."
Yankees starter Michael Pineda picked up the victory with six innings of one-run, four-hit ball, striking out seven. Andrew Miller worked the ninth for his 29th save as the Yankees remained 1 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays in the American League East.
"We're fighting for the first spot in the league, so I really want to continue pitching like that and help the team," Pineda said.
The Red Sox threatened in the eighth against Dellin Betances, but Mookie Betts was caught stealing third on a call that was confirmed by replay and then David Ortiz struck out for the fourth time.
"We tried to capitalize on the opportunity, but obviously that didn't work," Betts said. "They just took care of business after that."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
How do you Drew? Having battled all season with the Mendoza Line, Drew has caught a hot streak, reaching base safely in seven straight plate appearances coming into Tuesday. Drew hit into a double play in his first at-bat, but he atoned in the fifth, raking a two-run double to the wall in left-center field off Porcello. Drew is now hitting .205, and the Yanks plan to continue playing him regularly at second base down the stretch.
"You know, this guy continues to work and work and work," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's been very professional the way he goes about his business."
Porcello's punchouts: Porcello's uptick in strikeouts was dramatic on Tuesday, nearly doubling his previous high this season of seven. Nine of Porcello's strikeouts were looking, as he continually put his two-seamer on the corners. Since coming back from the disabled list, Porcello has allowed one earned run in 15 innings.
"It's just the late movement that I've been looking for all year, really," said Porcello. "That's it. Just locating it and executing the pitches. To me, the biggest thing was just getting ahead of hitters and establishing strike one, and that sets up the entire at-bat." More >
Dealin' Dellin: Pineda turned things over to the bullpen after six strong innings, and Boston threatened in the seventh against Justin Wilson as Brock Holt stroked a two-out single under Didi Gregorius' glove at shortstop. Blake Swihart greeted Betances with a hit, but the right-hander rallied to strike out the red-hot Jackie Bradley Jr. on three pitches -- two knee-buckling curveballs and a 99-mph fastball.
"I love being in those situations," Betances said. "Here in Boston obviously is always fun. The atmosphere is always awesome. No matter how hard I make it seem at times, I love coming in situations like that."
Betts off base? Trailing by two runs in the eighth, the Red Sox called for a one-out double steal with Betts standing on second base. As Betts slid into third ahead of the throw from catcher Brian McCann, his leg appeared to kick up from the bag, leaving third baseman Chase Headley a split-second window in which he could tag Betts. Boston challenged the ruling, but third-base umpire Vic Carapazza's original out call was confirmed after replay review.
"I felt like I was safe the whole time," Betts said. "As I was sitting there, I felt my foot start moving, and I wasn't moving it. So I felt like when [Headley] rolled over, he was pushing me off the bag, and whether it was intentional or unintentional, I felt like I was pushed." More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Porcello's 13 strikeouts are tied for the most by a Red Sox pitcher against the Yankees at Fenway Park. Pedro Martinez accomplished the feat on May 30, 2001.
Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (10-6, 3.62 ERA) will take the ball on Wednesday as the Yankees complete their three-game series with the Red Sox at 4:05 p.m. ET. Tanaka is coming off a victory in his last start on Friday in which he held the Braves to three runs over seven innings in a 15-4 win at Atlanta.
Red Sox: Lanky lefty Henry Owens takes the ball for the finale of this three-game series on Wednesday, with the first pitch scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET. The rookie held his own at Citi Field in his last start, allowing five hits and one earned run over five innings against the Mets.
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