Here are the key takeaways …
– The Yankees go off to a red-hot start in the first inning. After back-to-back singles from DJ LeMahieu and Anthony Rizzo, Aaron Judge smashed an RBI double to left-center, giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead just three batters into the game. A Giancarlo Stanton groundout doubled that lead, and Gleyber Torres added one more run on an RBI single, making it 3-0 before Gerrit Cole even took the mound.
– The Yankees added three more runs off of Nathan Eovaldi in the third inning. With two on and none out, Stanton slashed a cutter on the inside part of the plate over the wall in right-center to blow the game open at 6-0. Eovaldi allowed two more Yankees to reach base in the inning, and with that his night was done after just 2.2 innings. Hirokazu Sawamura came in and got Kyle Higashioka to pop up on the infield, but the ball fell harmlessly between Kyle Schwarber and Rafael Devers to make it 7-0.
Eovaldi was charged with seven earned runs on seven hits with two walks and no strikeouts while recording just eight outs.
– Staked to a 3-0 lead before taking the mound, Cole had some control issues early, walking three in the first three innings, but he also struck out three during that span and induced a beautiful 6-4-3 double play in the first to get through the first three innings without allowing a hit or a run.
Cole may not have had his absolute best stuff on the mound Friday night, but he held the Sox scoreless through five. The sixth inning was another story, though, as Devers tagged Cole for a three-run homer inside the right field foul pole.
Cole’s night ended after six, as he allowed the three earned runs on five hits, striking out six and walking three. He threw 94 pitches on the night. He now has 237 strikeouts on the season, 11 behind Ron Guidry (1978) for the Yankees’ single-season record.
-Right after the Sox clawed back into the game, Torres pushed the Yankees’ lead back to five runs with a solo shot to dead center field off of Martin Perez in the seventh, the eighth homer of the season for the Yankees’ second baseman.
– The Sox put a couple of men on in the seventh against Clay Holmes, but Wandy Peralta got out of the jam by striking out Bobby Dalbec swinging, keeping the Yankees’ lead at 8-3.
Peralta and Holmes gave the Yankees two combined innings, and Chad Green was able to close things out in the ninth.
With the win, the Yankees moved within one game of the Red Sox for the top Wild Card spot in the AL.
The Yankees and Sox go at it again on Saturday afternoon at 4:10 p.m.
Nestor Cortes will take the ball against right-hander Nick Pivetta.