Devers Homers Twice, Bullpen Strong As Red Sox Top Yanks

Cole (10-5) started strong for New York, but was pulled after five innings, giving up three runs off six hits, striking out eight and walking two.

Devers Homers Twice, Bullpen Strong As Red Sox Top Yanks

BOSTON (AP) — For the second straight night, the Yankees tried to protect a one-run lead against the Red Sox.

For the second straight night, Boston found a way to rally past its longtime rival.

Rafael Devers hit two home runs, including a go-ahead blast in the fifth inning, to help the Red Sox best Yankees ace Gerrit Cole for the second time this season at Fenway Park in a 6-2 win Friday night.

Devers followed his two-run homer with a three-run shot in the seventh — the 100th of his career.

“That’s the kind of games we need in order to continue to win ballgames to be where we want to be,” Devers said through a translator. “Everybody contributed. Everybody has a role and they completed it.”

The Red Sox, who rallied from a 1-0 deficit for the second game in a row, earned their ninth victory over New York in 11 meetings this season. Boston, which has won its last four overall, has come from behind in 31 of its AL-leading 60 wins. The Red Sox also maintained their one-game AL East lead over Tampa Bay and increased their lead to nine games over the third-place Yankees.

Yacksel Rios (3-0) got the victory, pitching two scoreless innings to cap a strong night from the bullpen after starter Eduardo Rodriguez left in the second inning after experiencing migraine symptoms. Five Boston relievers combined to allow one run off four hits the rest of the way.

“It was a team effort from top to bottom,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “We didn’t win the game early on, but we were winning innings.”

Cole (10-5) started strong for New York, but was pulled after five innings, giving up three runs off six hits, striking out eight and walking two. He has surrendered five home runs at Fenway this season.

“They did make him work. That’s the one thing they did,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “They had some long at-bats against him. … Even though they weren’t able to break through on him, they were able to ding him.”

Rodriguez was walking back to the mound after giving up the game’s first run, an RBI double to Brett Gardner, when he put his hands on his hips and doubled over.

He was attended to by trainers before walking off the field on his own power alongside Cora, who put his arm around him. Rodriguez was replaced by Phillips Valdez. He hit the second batter he faced but struck out the side to limit the damage to a run.

Rodriguez’s line for the night was one run off three hits, one strikeout and a walk.

Cole was spot on in a win over Boston last week. He looked to be in command early Friday, dialing up a four-seam fastball that consistently topped 100 mph.

The pitch was there for him in the third inning when he was nursing a 1-0 lead and the Red Sox got two on with one out. He used two triple-digit heaters to punch out both Xander Bogaerts and Devers on 3-2 pitches.

But things changed in the fifth when Kiké Hernández got on with a one-out single. Jarren Duran then battled for six pitches before driving a liner into center that bounced into the seats for a ground-rule double.

Bogaerts was next and lifted a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Hernandez. Devers then made it 3-1, lifting his 25th homer of the season just over the top of the Green Monster.


Yankees: C Gary Sánchez left with mid-back spasms. Boone said they’ll check his status Saturday… Pitchers Nestor Cortes and Jonathan Loaisiga were reinstated from the COVID-19 IL. To make room on the roster, RHP Darren O’Day was transferred to the 60-day IL and RHP Nick Nelson was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. 3B Gio Urshela could be activated for Sunday’s finale. OF Aaron Judge and C Kyle Higashioka may be ready for the opener of New York’s series at Tampa Bay.

Red Sox: Placed RHP Hirokazu Sawamura on the 10-day IL with right triceps inflammation and recalled Valdez from Triple-A Worcester.


At 24, Devers is the first Red Sox player under the age of 25 with 25 home runs and 25 doubles before August. He’s also the 33rd player to hit 100 home runs with the Red Sox, but only the third to do so before 25. Ted Williams (127) and Tony Conigliaro (124) are the others.


Yankees: RHP Jameson Taillon (5-4, 4.60 ERA) will make his 19th start of the season. He earned his fifth win last week against Boston, tossing 5 1/3 scoreless innings.

Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (9-5, 3.57) leads Boston starters in wins, ERA, innings (108.1) and WHIP (1.20).

(© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Megill Earns 1st Win, Alonso Homers Twice As Mets Blank Jays

The Mets are 5-1 in Megill’s six starts.

Megill Earns 1st Win, Alonso Homers Twice As Mets Blank Jays

NEW YORK (AP) — Tylor Megill tossed six scoreless innings for his first big league win and got his first career hit, Pete Alonso homered twice and the New York Mets defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 on Friday night.

Megill (1-0) allowed two hits, walked one and struck out five as the rookie right-hander lowered his ERA to 2.10 a few hours after the Mets bolstered their injury-plagued rotation by acquiring Rich Hill from Tampa Bay. New York has eight starters on the injured list, including ace Jacob deGrom.

The Mets are 5-1 in Megill’s six starts. The only loss was last Saturday, when Megill tossed six scoreless innings before the bullpen gave up nine runs over the final two innings of a 9-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“It started with him joining us with the need that we had and then he went from one good start to another good start,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. “This guy’s here and he’s here to stay and has put us in position to win a lot of games already.”

Megill’s ERA through his first six big league starts is the fourth-lowest in team history, behind only Terry Leach (1.73), Nolan Ryan (1.98) and Dillon Gee (2.09).

“Just shows to myself that my stuff plays at this level,” said Megill, who hadn’t pitched above Single-A before this season. “I just go out there every time and fill (the strike zone) up, let them hit, let my defense work.”

Megill said he hadn’t yet collected any mementoes from the win but had already secured the ball from his hit, an opposite-field single in the fifth off Matz. The crowd of 28,126 gave him a warm ovation as he stood at first base.

“For a moment, I didn’t realize it was going on, just because I blacked out from getting a hit,” Megill said. “It was pretty cool. Something I’ll remember forever.”

Alonso continued his post-Home Run Derby surge, hitting a two-run shot off former teammate Steven Matz (8-5) in the first inning before adding a solo blast off Ryan Borucki in the eighth.

After each blast, Alonso carried a stuffed horse through the Mets’ dugout.

“The horse was in the dugout and I hit two homers,” Alonso said. “I think it’s working so far.”

Alonso has four homers in the last four games and 10 homers in his last 22 games.

“I feel like every single year, I want to be able to peak at the end of the season and really perform when it matters,” Alonso said. “I feel really good at the plate right now.”

The Blue Jays got just one runner beyond first base against Megill and a trio of relievers. Bo Bichette drew a one-out walk in the first and stole second as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. struck out but was stranded when George Springer — who was pursued by the Mets in the offseason before signing a six-year deal worth $150 million with Toronto — popped out to shortstop.

Seth Lugo tossed a one-hit seventh, Trevor May threw a perfect eighth and Edwin Diaz snapped a streak of three straight blown saves by striking out one in a perfect ninth for his 20th save.

The shutout loss was just the second of the season for the Blue Jays, who fell to the Kansas City Royals 2-0 on Apr. 18.

“I don’t care what kind of offense you’ve got, pitching is the name of the game,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “We always talk about that and their guy was really good today, for sure.”

Matz, a Long Island native who was drafted in the second round by the Mets in 2009 and spent six years with the big league team, allowed four hits and three walks with five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.


Rojas said before the game he didn’t know when Rich Hill would slot into the rotation. The Mets do not have starters listed yet for Sunday’s series finale against the Blue Jays or Monday’s doubleheader against Atlanta.


The Mets aired highlights of Matz’s six seasons with the team as he warmed up for the bottom of the first. The video included photos of the pitcher meeting with first responders, and a clip of his grandfather cheering him on during Matz’s big league debut June 28, 2015, when he went 3 for 3 with four RBIs and earned the win by tossing 7 2/3 strong innings.

The montage ended with the words “Welcome Back Steven” on the screen. Matz received a warm ovation as he doffed his cap before a few notes of his traditional warmup song, “Call Me The Breeze” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, played over the loudspeaker.

“Definitely had some emotions, had a lot of family there,” Matz said. “But after the first inning (he was) able to settle down and go to work.”


Blue Jays: C Danny Jansen (right hamstring) was placed on the 10-day injured list. Jansen, who missed 23 games earlier this season with the same injury, was hurt Wednesday. Montoyo said Jansen “pulled it pretty good” and there was no timetable for his return. … OF Corey Dickerson (left foot) is moving closer to a rehab assignment. Dickerson has yet to play for the Blue Jays, who acquired him from Miami on June 29.

Mets: DeGrom (right forearm) threw for a third straight day. … IF Jose Peraza (broken right middle finger) wore a protective splint to field grounders during batting practice, but still can’t throw. … RHP Carlos Carrasco (right hamstring) threw a side Thursday and is a candidate to make his Mets debut either Sunday or Monday. He may also make a third rehab start on one of those days. … 2B Jeff McNeil (left leg) didn’t play. Rojas said it was unlikely McNeil would start Saturday. … RHP Robert Stock (right hamstring) was shifted to the 60-day injured list to make room for Hill.


Blue Jays: LHP Hyun Jin Ryu (9-5, 3.32 ERA) is 5-1 with a 1.23 ERA against the Mets — his lowest ERA against any opponent he’s faced at least five times.

Mets: RHP Taijuan Walker (7-3, 2.99 ERA) faces his former team, for whom he went 2-1 with a 1.37 ERA in six starts last season.

(© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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