BOSTON — A persistent rain might have rescued the Yankees from the ignominy of being no-hit by Rick Porcello, but it could not spare them from the rest of their miseries on Thursday night.
The Yankees got a brief, erratic outing from pitcher Sonny Gray, bungled several plays in the field and were helpless at the plate as they dropped the finale of their first series of the year with the rival Red Sox, 6-3.
It was an eventful series for a pair of teams with World Series aspirations. The Red Sox meted out a 14-1 thrashing in the opener, the Yankees rebounded with a 10-6 brawl-filled victory, and then Porcello threatened to fire the first no-hitter against the Yankees since 2003.
The lanky right-hander, working around a 45-minute rain delay after the fifth inning, held the Yankees without a hit into the seventh inning before Aaron Judge ended it with a double over the head of center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
Giancarlo Stanton followed with an infield single, but Porcello quashed any hopes that the Yankees would bash their way back into the game. He retired Didi Gregorius on a soft fly ball and then struck out Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks.
Porcello, who grew up in Morristown, N.J., continued his mastery of the Yankees at Fenway Park: He has a 1.29 earned run average in seven such career starts. He allowed just the two hits, hit a batter, struck out six and had no walks.
While Porcello was sharp, Gray struggled to command his pitches.
He hit Hanley Ramirez in the first inning — Ramirez left with a bruised hand, though X-rays were negative — and walked two in the second. He left trailing by 6-0 without having retired a batter in the fourth — the second time in three starts Gray has failed to get an out in the fifth inning.
But Gray had plenty of accomplices.
Stanton overran a ball down the left field line, turning an innocuous pop fly into a ground-rule double. Tyler Wade bounced a throw home past catcher Gary Sanchez. And Sanchez greedily tried to throw out Bradley advancing to third after Sandy Leon swung over a breaking ball in the dirt. Not only was Bradley safe, but so was Leon at first.
The error by Wade was the 13th by the Yankees in 13 games this season. The 13 errors are the most in the American League and second most in baseball.
“It’s something that needs to be a little better,” Manager Aaron Boone said.
The way Porcello was carving up the Yankees, the only thing that seemed capable of slowing him was the increasingly steady drizzle. At the end of the fifth, the game was put on hold with Porcello having thrown just 60 pitches. Many managers, especially in damp, cold conditions early in the season, are hesitant to send a starting pitcher back out after a rain delay as a precaution against injury.
But Porcello showed no ill effects — breezing through the sixth by getting Wade on a grounder, striking out Ronald Torreyes and Brett Gardner.
“You hope that when he comes back out he’s not as sharp,” first baseman Neil Walker said. “But he was pretty good after the rain delay — he was mixing his pitches and hitting his spots all night.”
The Yankees did push across three runs in the ninth inning after two walks and an error loaded the bases and Sanchez unloaded them with a three-run double off reliever Marcus Walden. But Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel was summoned and quickly restored order, retiring Hicks on a groundout and striking out Walker and Wade to end the game.
Published at Fri, 13 Apr 2018 04:00:54 +0000