Price struggles again in Bronx; Voit, Yanks top Red Sox 10-1
NEW YORK — Luke Voit hit two homers off David Price, Miguel Andujar popped another one barely into the right-field seats and the New York Yankees stalled Boston’s division-clinching celebration by beating the Red Sox 10-1 on Wednesday night.
Luis Severino (18-8) pitched seven innings of one-run ball, and the Yankees had no need for All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman on the day they activated him from the disabled list. Chapman had been out since Aug. 21 with left knee tendinitis. He watched the end of the game from the dugout.
Mookie Betts had two strikeouts and no hits in his return to Boston’s lineup. He pulled a possible grand slam just foul in the ninth before grounding into a game-ending double play. The AL MVP contender sat out Tuesday after injuring his left side two days earlier, but came back to bat leadoff as the designated hitter.
The Yankees will try to send Boston packing Thursday with the AL East still undecided. The Red Sox lead the division by 9 1/2 games and entered this three-game series needing one victory to lock up the division.
New York started Wednesday with a 2 1/2-game lead over Oakland for the top AL wild card. The Yankees had dropped 10 of 17 before rallying to beat the Red Sox 3-2 on Tuesday night in Aaron Judge’s return from the DL.
Voit’s two homers cleared the right-field fence by about two yards combined. The second was close enough that umpires reviewed it on video for potential fan interference.
The stout slugger bowled back into the dugout after the second shot, grinning amid a barrage of high-fives and fist bumps. It was Voit’s second multihomer game with New York, and he has nine homers in 29 games since being acquired from St. Louis. His next homer would give the Yankees a major league-record 12 players with at least 10 home runs.
Fans chanted “Luuuuuke!” after Voit singled in the eighth for his career-high fourth hit.
Price (15-7) entered the game 5-0 with a 1.56 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star break, but he has rarely been that sharp at Yankee Stadium. He allowed a career-high five homers over 3 1/3 innings in his last appearance in the Bronx on July 1, and he came into Wednesday with a 4.75 ERA at the park over 20 starts — the worst mark for him in any stadium where he’s pitched at least 10 times.
Price surrendered three homers this time, each aided by Yankee Stadium’s short right-field porch. Andujar hit his 25th just over the wall for a 1-0 lead in the second, and Voit added solo shots in the fourth and sixth to nearly the same spot.
Price was also charged with two unearned runs after third baseman Eduardo Nunez whiffed on Judge’s bases-loaded grounder in the second.
Boston trailed 6-1 when manager Alex Cora pulled Price following Voit’s second homer with one out in the fifth. Yankee Stadium fans jeered as Price walked slowly to the dugout.
Severino made his second straight encouraging start, ending a second-half slide that had jeopardized his status atop the rotation. He entered Wednesday with a 6.35 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before the game that Masahiro Tanaka or J.A. Happ could start the AL wild-card game instead of Severino, depending on what happens the rest of the season.
Severino hollered and pumped his mitt after ending his outing by freezing Betts with a 2-2 slider.
The 23-year-old Andujar entered the night one homer behind Chicago’s Daniel Palka for most by an AL rookie. Andujar also hit his 41st double and is the first rookie ever to play more than half his games at third base and total at least 25 homers and 40 doubles.
Andujar added an impressive running catch in foul territory in the sixth, channeling Willie Mays with an over-the-shoulder basket catch while bumping into shortstop Didi Gregorius.
Left fielder Sam Travis robbed Andujar of another likely extra-base hit, slamming into the wall on a running grab in the seventh. Brock Holt replaced Travis the next inning, and the team said it was for precautionary reasons without specifying an injury.
New York has hit 245 home runs this season, matching the franchise record set in 2012. The Yankees are on pace for 263 homers, one shy of the major league record set by the 1997 Seattle Mariners.
Boston’s Sandy Leon had an RBI single to make it 4-1 in the fifth. It was his first hit since Aug. 23 and ended an 0-for-30 skid.
J.D. Martinez had three hits for the Red Sox to raise his average to .331. Betts leads the majors with a .335 mark.
Top Yankees prospect Justus Sheffield loaded the bases in the ninth but escaped for a scoreless inning in his major league debut.
A banner marking Boston’s AL East championship was accidentally unveiled in Somerville, Massachusetts, on Monday morning. A trio of friends said they found the banner on a road after it apparently fell off a delivery truck. They held onto the banner for two days, hoping they could exchange it for tickets or a meet-and-greet with players. Instead, they returned it to Fenway Park on Wednesday and returned empty handed.
Red Sox: Nunez asked for a pinch-runner after running out an infield single in the ninth. He’s been dealing with right knee soreness recently. … Cora said ace Chris Sale will start Friday at Cleveland, lining him up to face Baltimore next Wednesday and then throw a simulated game or bullpen session on the final weekend of the season. Sale is still building back up after missing time with a left shoulder issue.
Yankees: Boone wants to get Chapman in full swing before the postseason. His goal is to get Chapman back into a traditional closer role, then use relievers Dellin Betances, Zach Britton, David Robertson and Chad Green in more fluid roles starting as early as the fifth inning, depending on matchups.
Tanaka (12-5, 3.47 ERA) starts against Boston LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (12-4, 3.53). Tanaka has a 2.09 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break. Rodriguez has allowed one run or fewer in five of his past six starts.