BOSTON — It’s still unclear what the Yankees roster is going to look like in October, as they wait for key players to potentially return from injury.
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The lineup is a mess and there are holes in the bullpen, but the Yankees have won four straight as their lead in the AL East was the thinnest since the start of May.
“We’re getting better, getting healthier and more help is on the way,” said Aaron Boone as they beat the Red Sox for a second night in a row on Wednesday, this time in front of a sold-out crowd 5-3 at Fenway Park. .
The win allowed the Yankees to maintain a six-game lead over the second-placed Blue Jays, who defeated Tampa Bay.
“We know what time of year it is and we know we have to put our best foot forward,” Boone said. “So it’s nice to see people really come together because we’re still tying this together.”
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In these two games, it hardly mattered that the Red Sox finished last in the division.
After nearly coming back in the 10th inning on Tuesday, Boston rallied again in the bottom of the eighth and nearly made it a game of one run before the Yankees grabbed the break to end the innings.
With the Yankees taking a two-run lead, JD Martinez had previously beaten a throw from Gleber Torres to avoid going into an innings-ending double play, which would have allowed Alex Verdugo to score and reduce Boston’s deficit to one run. . But the Yankees challenged the play and replays showed that Martinez stepped right in front of the base, never touched the bag, and was kicked out.
Boone called the play “huge”.
Despite Clay Holmes allowing a run for his third consecutive outing, the Yankees finished ninth.
And while Aaron Judge remained on 57 homers, he got enough offense from his reduced lineup, as Nestor Cortes conceded just one run in five-plus innings after losing time with a strained groin on his second start.
Torres took the win with another productive game at the plate.
The second baseman’s resurgence continued in the fifth inning with his RBI single, which turned into a Keystone Cope’s home run for some inept defense by the Red Sox, who made three errors on the night leading to four unearned runs.
In fifth, Torres sang right to drive into Aaron Hicks and then catcher Conor Wong took Verdugo’s throw to the right and, in an effort to get Torres, who had previously gone too far, returned the ball to right field. Thrown away.
This allowed the judge to score easily and a hustle Torres circled the bases and slid home safely.
Torres had a role in the Yankees’ final part of the night, when Abraham Almonte fouled his long fly ball into the center at the top of the ninth, allowing Tim Locastro to score after pinching for Giancarlo Stanton.
Cortés got out of trouble in the second and then retired nine in a row at one point.
Boston got a run in the left field corner in the bottom of fifth on Wong’s double, who scored a goal from first to Rob Refsneider.
Jose Trevino’s double high from Green Monster scored to make Isiah Kiner-Falefa 4-1.
Cortes went to start the bottom of the sixth after running Verdugo and Clarke Schmidt entered and played two scoreless innings. Jonathan Loisiga got stuck in a jam in the eighth, allowing a run before a rally-killing double play by Martinez.
But the Yankees were able to keep their second-half struggle ahead in the rearview mirror with only 19 games to play.
He has won eight out of 10 since dropping six of the first seven in the month.
“I think our confidence never waned,” Cortes said. “I know we have gone through tough times and I think it has kept us strong. What we are doing now shows what kind of team we are. I think we’ve got our progress.”