Mookie Betts and company jumped all over Jason Hammel.
It was more than enough with Chris Sale on the mound.
Sale struck out 12 in six innings Youth Matt Duchene Jersey , Betts, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts homered, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 10-5 on Friday night.
Betts’ 100th career homer sparked the AL East leaders to four runs in each of the first two innings. Sale earned his 100th win.
”If you get four runs before you take the mound it’s nice,” he said. ”Just go out there and you’re able to pitch and not worry about being too cute or too fine, just throwing strikes.”
Sale also made a nice running catch of Mike Moustakas’ foul popup in front of the Red Sox dugout in the sixth, calling off catcher Sandy Leon and third baseman Eduardo Nunez.
”As pitchers, we don’t get the best rep for being athletes,” Sale said. ”It was just fun, run by, scream a little bit and get the guys going.”
Sale’s 16-inning scoreless streak was snapped by Alcides Escobar’s two-out RBI single in the second, but that was it for the skidding Royals against the ace left-hander. Sale (9-4) has allowed one run and 10 hits over 20 innings in his past three starts.
”We take care of him,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. ”Whenever we can save right now is going to benefit him and us in the future. His breaking ball was great. The fastball whenever he wanted to was up to 99 (mph). He was outstanding again.”
Boston stretched its win streak to four with its ninth victory in 11 games overall. It leads the majors with 60 victories and a .674 winning percentage.
Betts drove Hammel’s third pitch over the center-field fence for his fourth leadoff drive this season.
Brock Holt added a two-run single as Boston batted around in a four-run first.
Martinez and Bogaerts each hit a two-run shot in the second. It was Martinez’s major league-leading 27th homer, and Bogaerts improved to 6 for 11 with two homers and seven RBIs versus Hammel (2-11).
”It just wasn’t his night,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. ”I mean he didn’t have anything going for him.”
Hammel was pulled after the second. The veteran right-hander has surrendered 23 runs, 21 earned, and 28 hits in 12 innings in his past three starts. He leads the AL in losses, and his ERA is up to 6.16.
”Probably throwing more angry balls right now than actual pitches so kind of become a thrower instead of a pitcher due to just frustration,” Hammel said. ”It’s a tough lineup and if you miss they make you pay which you saw today.”
Moustakas hit a two-run homer in the eighth for Kansas City, which has dropped seven straight and 19 of 22. Burch Smith pitched four scoreless innings in relief of Hammel.
The Royals are 37 games below .500 for the first time since finishing the 2006 season with a 62-100 record. Since June 1, they have been outscored 165-72 while losing 26 of 31.
Red Sox right-hander Tyler Thornburg pitched for the first time since October 2, 2016, with the Brewers. He missed last season after shoulder surgery. He allowed one run in the seventh.
Royals slugger Lucas Duda tripled in the seventh inning. It was his first three-base hit since July 17, 2011.
The Royals claimed left-hander Enny Romero off waivers from the Pirates. Rookie right-hander Trevor Oaks was optioned to Triple-A Omaha. The Royals also transferred right-hander Blaine Boyer (lower back strain) from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
Royals prospect Seuly Matias was named to the All-Star Futures Game on July 15 in Washington. The 19-year-old outfielder has a minor league-leading 24 home runs with Class A Lexington. The Red Sox representative is right-hander Bryan Mata, who at 19 is the youngest pitcher in the Class A Carolina League, where he is 5-2 with a 3.14 ERA.
Red Sox: INF Dustin Pedroia (left knee inflammation) returned to Boston to be evaluated by the medical staff. ”For them to see firsthand how he was reacting to certain drills, certain movements Mike Condon Jersey , he felt that it was productive,” Cora said. … LHP Drew Pomeranz (biceps tendinitis) will make a rehab start Saturday with Triple-A Pawtucket. … RHP Stephen Wright (left knee inflammation) likely won’t be activated before the All-Star break. … 1B Mitch Moreland (back spasms) was not in the lineup again. He has not played since one at-bat Tuesday, but Cora said he likely would start Saturday.
Red Sox: LHP David Price starts Saturday for the first time since being removed after allowing eight runs in 3 1/3 innings Sunday against the Yankees.
Royals: RHP Brad Keller gets the ball for Kansas City. He pitched a six-hitter at Seattle in his previous start, but lost 1-0.
Packed house, summer heat, Red Sox–Yankees for the best record in baseball.
So, CC Sabathia, did it feel like a really big night in Bronx?
”I wish I could tell you it did,” he said, ”but it didn’t.”
Instead, he just pitched as if the calendar read October, rather than June.
Sabathia shut down the high-scoring Red Sox, Greg Bird hit two home runs and Aaron Judge connected off a college teammate as New York bopped Boston 8-1 on Friday evening to edge ahead in the AL East.
Not since the famed Bucky Dent playoff game in 1978 had the Yankees and Red Sox met so late in a season when they owned the two top marks in baseball, the Elias Sports Bureau said. Home runs decided this matchup, too, with Miguel Andujar also going deep for New York.
”I mean, we’re a good club,” New York manager Aaron Boone said. ”We’re a confident group, we know we can play with anyone.”
The biggest crowd of the year at Yankee Stadium was in the spirit as lines formed outside the gates more than 3 1/2 hours before the start. The pro-Yankees chants began prior to the first pitch, the anti-Boston shouts soon followed.
Sabathia (5-3) helped end Boston’s four-game winning streak, less than a month from his 38th birthday. He gave up one run and six hits in seven innings, and improved to 6-0 in his last seven starts against the Red Sox.
The big lefty bounded off the mound to field Mookie Betts‘ tapper and throw him out to end his outing. Slowed by knee problems in the past, a pumped-up Sabathia kept in motion and jogged to the dugout.
”High-stepping right there, you mean?” he said.
Betts and Andrew Benintendi hit consecutive doubles in the fifth for Boston’s run in the opener of a three-game series.
”It’s important,” Betts said. ”As long as we make it to the playoffs, anything can happen.”
Steve Pearce Ryan Dzingel Jersey , acquired a day earlier from Toronto, batted cleanup in his debut for Boston. He doubled on the first pitch he saw and also singled off Sabathia.
”I was actually kind of jittery my first at-bat, so it was good to get that out of the way,” Pearce said.
”It would have been nice if we got the win, so that kind of overshadowed what I did at the plate. But I felt comfortable,” he said. ”It was a great atmosphere.”
Eduardo Rodriguez (9-3) gave up five early runs. Boston fell to 3-4 against its rivals this season, and 12 more games are left.
Judge connected for his 21st homer, a two-run drive in the seventh off Justin Haley. The former Fresno State players eagerly chatted for a while behind the cage during batting practice – after facing each other for the first time in the majors, the rookie reliever angrily kicked at the mound dirt as Judge circled the bases.
”We were really good friends, and it’s a joy to see him having success,” Judge said. ”We respect the competition. He might strike me out tomorrow, and I’ll tip my cap to him, and it’ll be see you down the road.”
Gleyber Torres hit his first career triple and scored on Andujar’s single in the second. Torres added a sacrifice fly in a four-run fourth, capped by back-to-back homers from Andujar and Bird.
Bird added a solo drive in the eighth. The Yankees lead the majors with 131 home runs.
”No matter who you facing, if you miss on the plate that’s what’s going to happen,” Rodriguez said.
3B/1B Brandon Drury was called up from Triple-A and likely will see action with Boston starting left-handers the rest of the weekend. Acquired from Arizona, he began the season as the starting 3B, but went on the DL in early April with blurred vision and migraines. He provides a righty-hitting option at 1B. The team considered promoting Tyler Austin, but he has back trouble.
HE’S A HIT
New York Giants star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. took batting practice with the Yankees. Showing a sweet swing, he homered over the left-field wall.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia and knuckleballer Steven Wright will see a doctor Monday. Both are on the 10-day disabled list.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (strained hamstrings) threw 48 pitches in a simulated game at the spring complex in Tampa, Florida. He’s expected to pitch in a minor league rehab game in the middle of next week, then could rejoin the Yankees.
Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (7-4, 2.56 ERA) is 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA against the Yankees. He has struck out Judge more than any other pitcher – 10 times in 15 at-bats.
Yankees: RHP Sonny Gray (5-5, 4.93) is 1-5 lifetime against the Red Sox. Since joining New York, he’s 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA in three starts vs. Boston.