BOSTON -- Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez provided big first-inning knocks, but they proved to be only appetizers for fireworks that were yet to come in a wild rivalry matchup that conjured memories of the intense battles played a decade and a half ago.Sanchez hit a pair of homers before
BOSTON -- Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez provided big first-inning knocks, but they proved to be only appetizers for fireworks that were yet to come in a wild rivalry matchup that conjured memories of the intense battles played a decade and a half ago.
Sanchez hit a pair of homers before a lengthy contest featured a home team comeback, and the benches cleared twice with a fracas that included punches from both sides. After all of that, the Yankees held on, logging a 10-7 victory over the Red Sox on Wednesday evening at Fenway Park.
Mired in a 2-for-36 start to his season, Sanchez broke out, cracking a two-run homer in the first inning, a double in the third and another two-run shot in the fourth. His efforts helped the visitors build a commanding seven-run lead.
"I felt good at the plate and I felt like I was making good contact," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "I wasn't getting the results I wanted. Tonight it was the opposite. I definitely got the results I wanted. Through all this time, you keep your head up and keep moving forward."
Boston's nine-game winning streak came to an end as starter David Price lasted one inning. The lefty exited for precautionary reasons due to what the Red Sox said was "a sensation" in his left hand. Price gave up four runs in a 35-pitch frame, pinning his team in a 4-0 hole.
"Red Sox, Yankees. That's what everybody wants," Price said. "That's what they got."
For the second consecutive game, Yankees pitchers surrendered a grand slam. This time, it was J.D. Martinez connecting off starter Masahiro Tanaka, who had limited Boston to a solo Hanley Ramirez homer over the first four frames. Martinez's blast to center field came as part of a five-run Red Sox fifth, trimming New York's lead to 8-6.
With benches and bullpens having cleared after Christopher Austin's hard third-inning slide into shortstop Brock Holt, tempers flared again in the seventh, as Austin was drilled in the left elbow by a 97.7-mph fastball from Joe Kelly.
"I felt like my slide into second base was a clean slide," Austin said. "I play the game hard. I thought there was absolutely nothing wrong with that slide. I had no thought that they were going to throw at me."
Austin violently shattered his bat on home plate and discarded his helmet, charging the mound, where he and Kelly exchanged punches.
"It's a pitch that got away on a cold night," Kelly said. "It's not like I have Greg Maddux command. We'll see what happens. I don't think I should be suspended. It wasn't a blowout game. We were still in that ballgame. We had a big rally the inning before."
Austin also landed a punch to the head of Red Sox third-base coach Carlos Febles, raising the possibility that the incident could carry over for another night.
"We've got another game here tomorrow. Who knows?" Stanton said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Big G: The Yankees drew positives from Stanton's final two at-bats of Tuesday's loss, noting that the slugger's timing appeared to be improving. The reigning National League MVP continued that progress in the first inning against Price, stroking a triple to the triangle in center field that chased home Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge. He added a run-scoring single in the sixth and another hit in the eighth.
Gary is scary: Sanchez said before Wednesday's game that he has been working with hitting coach Marcus Thames on several mechanical adjustments, while both manager Aaron Boone and general manager Brian Cashman said that their catcher would reclaim his offensive thump. They didn't have to wait long, as Sanchez became the fourth Yankee with a multihomer game this season, joining Stanton, Didi Gregorius and Austin.
"You run through a lot of his at-bats and he's hit a number of balls on the screws right at guys on the infield,' Boone said. "I feel like he just missed on some pop-ups and maybe was a little over-aggressive trying to get on track a little bit, but that's really all. I feel like he's been close now for a couple of weeks."
Slam ball: Tanaka retired 10 straight batters from the final out of the first inning through the end of the fourth, but his splitter got out of whack in the fifth inning. Tanaka said that he was unnerved by Jackie Bradley Jr.'s leadoff single, which opened up a frame that saw Boston bat around, including Martinez's grand slam to the center-field seats. This was the first time the Red Sox have hit grand slams against the Yankees in back-to-back games since Luis Rivera and Mike Greenwell did it in 1990.
"I think I was pitching on a good tempo in the second inning, third inning, fourth inning," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "Once I got that runner on base, I lost tempo or balance. That kind of led to that wild inning."
"We had a lot of good things today. Our offense was clicking from the get-go, especially with [ Gardner] in the leadoff spot, getting on base. We've just got to take that into tomorrow. That's the biggest thing. We got a great win tonight, and now we've just to keep it rolling into tomorrow." -- Judge
Right-hander Sonny Gray draws the starting call as the Yankees and Red Sox wrap up this installment of the rivalry on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Gray is coming off a winning effort against the Orioles in which he allowed three runs and four hits over six innings..
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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.