Boston Red Sox

Red Sox blow lead in eighth, fall to Yankees, 5-4

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Red Sox blow lead in eighth, fall to Yankees, 5-4

NEW YORK - Aaron Hicks awoke a dormant offense with a two-run homer that sparked a five-run eighth inning, then threw out a runner at third in the ninth inning to help Aroldis Chapman get out of trouble, and the New York Yankees rallied to beat the Red Sox 5-4 Friday night and stop Boston's winning streak at eight.

Hanley Ramirez and Andrew Benintendi homered off Jaime Garcia, and Eduardo Rodriguez handed a 3-0 lead to his bullpen in the seventh. But in the first of 10 key games between the AL East rivals in 24 days, Didi Gregorius and Todd Frazier followed Hicks' home run with RBI singles and Ronald Torreyes hit a sacrifice fly as the Yankees took a 5-3 lead and rebounded to close within 3 1/2 games of the Red Sox.

Boston and New York met while 1-2 in the division this late in the season for the first time since 2011. A sellout crowd filled Yankee Stadium in anticipation, but it was quieted by Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez, who allowed two hits in six scoreless innings.

Matt Barnes pitched a hitless seventh that extended the scoreless streak by Boston's bullpen to 19 innings.

And then the drama began.

Pinch-hitter Brett Gardner was nicked on his back foot by a pitch from Addison Reed (0-1) leading off the eighth, a call originally missed by plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth and overturned on video review. Reed had gone 1,005 batters without hitting one since plunking the Dodgers' Dee Gordon on March 23, 2014.

Hicks returned Thursday from an oblique injury that been sidelined him since June 25, and he followed with a high drive down the right-field line that stopped the Yankees' shutout streak at 16 innings.

Gary Sanchez singled, went to second on a wild pitch and Aaron Judge walked.

Joe Kelly relieved, Gregorius blooped an opposite-field hit to left, and Frazier was strong enough to muscle another single to left on a pitch that jammed him. Torreyes added a sacrifice fly.

Adam Warren (3-2) allowed one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings, and Chapman walked the bases loaded with no out.

Benintendi, whose bases-loaded walk against Chapman gave Boston a July 14 win at Fenway Park, hit a sacrifice fly to left that Hicks caught in front of the left-field warning track. The strong-armed Hicks made a one-hop throw to Frazier at third base, and he tagged out former Yankee Eduardo Nunez trying to advance from second.

Mitch Moreland flied out, giving Chapman his 15th save in 18 chances.

Boston got off to a quick start when Mookie Betts walked with one out in the first and Ramirez drove a fastball into the Boston bullpen in left-center with two outs. Benintendi homered into the second deck in right field in the fifth. His 16th major league home run was his first off a left-handed pitcher.

Jackie Bradley Jr. to get MRI after hurting thumb on slide

Jackie Bradley Jr. to get MRI after hurting thumb on slide

CLEVELAND — Jackie Bradley Jr. will head back to Boston on Wednesday morning for an MRI after he hurt his left thumb sliding into home plate in Tuesday’s 9-1 win over the Indians. X-Rays taken after Bradley was removed from the game at Progressive Field were negative.

Bradley was racing home in the seventh inning and went into a feet-first slide angled to the outside of the plate when he hit his hand awkwardly on the ground. Catcher Yan Gomes didn’t get the tag down in time.

“I’m not worried about it, no,” said Bradley, who will return to Cleveland later Wednesday, but is not expected to play right away. “Right now, it feels alright. I guess, as good it can be kind of after the injury. But, I feel like I’ll be alright.”

Bradley, who earlier in the game hit his 14th home run of the season, decided to change his slide at the last minute.

“As I was coming around third, a few steps before home plate I wanted to slide headfirst because I could control it,” Bradley said. “I wasn’t going to slide anywhere near him. I was going to slide headfirst and just have my hand just kind of reach around. But as I was approaching I kind of could see him gather it. He started coming to kind of block off the plate, so I kind of had to redirect my slide. 

“I actually slid feet first, but I also slid to the outside part of the plate, tried to avoid the tag and then slapped my hand at the back of the plate. And as I slapped the back of the plate, his glove kind of got me in the forearm, and my thumb got caught with the ground and kind of bent in all directions I guess.”

Sox manager John Farrell wasn’t pleased with the lane Gomes allowed Bradley.

But it’s hard to see what Gomes did wrong, by the rules, which state “it shall not be considered a violation of [the rule] if the catcher blocks the pathway of the runner in a legitimate attempt to field the throw.”

Gomes didn’t end up fully blocking the base line and he made what looked like a normal effort to get the ball where it was thrown. 

The initial safe call was challenged by the Indians and was upheld. Farrell was going to ask the umpires to look at a different aspect had the call been overturned

“He’s got to give a lane, didn’t feel like there was a lane being given at all,” Farrell said. “He had to reach back and unfortunately it puts him in a position where the thumb is exposed.”

Can't rush Carson

Carson Smith isn’t going to be rushed back because of Matt Barnes’ trip to the disabled list. Smith may pitch with just one day of rest in between Triple-A Pawtucket rehab outings this week, but he’s not in a position to race back after so much time missed.

Mookie Betts learned from Isaiah Thomas

Mookie Betts learned from Isaiah Thomas

CLEVELAND — Mookie Betts was taken aback like everyone else when he saw the Celtics landed Kyrie Irving.

“Before the game, we were playing video games, kind of saw it go across the screen,” Betts said. “It was kind of shocking. I didn't think it was going to happen.”

The trade takes one of Betts’ friends out of Boston. He’s gotten to know Isiah Thomas a little bit. They had not spoken as of Tuesday night, but Betts said he expects to see at least a couple of Thomas' games this season.

“Everybody talks about his size and that type of thing, just his heart,” Betts said. “That's the main thing you see, the things that he went through this year as far as his family, he lost a tooth and all of those type of things. He lays it out on the line every day he goes, and he wants to be the best player in the gym and he shows it. That's what you'll miss as far as a big star leaving.”

They’re not best friends, but had gotten to know each other a little.

“When I talked to him, I got a chance to pick his brain and use it for myself,” Betts said.

As for how Irving will do in his new digs?

“I think he'll be fine, especially with Brad Stevens,” Betts said.

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