Mike Fitzpatrick, The Associated Press •.
Brock Holt had one thing in mind: He was swinging for the fences.
After all, the game was decided long ago. And everything else went Boston's way all night, so why not this?
For the Red Sox, it marks their first trip to the League Championship Series since 2013 - when they won their most recent World Series title - and 10th appearance since divisional play began in 1969. Dominant closer, three-run lead, what could go wrong?
"It's unbelievable", adds Didi Gregorius of the Stadium atmosphere.
The Yankees, who had many bigger names in their 'pen, had a 4.91 ERA in relief in the series - but most of that was concentrated in a disastrous Game 3.
Porcello needed only 25 pitches to get through New York's lineup the first time and entered the fifth inning with only 40 pitches.
Holt went 4-for-6 and finished off his cycle with a two-run homer off Yankees backup catcher Austin Romine in the ninth.
"You get a little antsy when a position player is on the mound. So whoever needs me".
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"I think it's going to be fantastic".
"I don't know if [the players] took it personally". And besides his stellar performance defensively in the ninth, Vazquez hit his first homer since June in the fourth, putting the Sox up 4-0. That's probably the first time I've ever tried to do that. "Yeah, the fans are going to be loud, but I'm looking forward to pitching with that!" "Everybody was rooting for him".
With the stakes at their highest, however, the Yankees never left the yard in two home games versus Boston. We have a bad night, we don't get to play. Gary Sanchez crushed a double (are we sure this guy hit.186 this year?), and after an 89-foot infield single by Torres, Brett Gardner brought in Sanchez for the Yankees first run. The 2015 All-Star also doubled home a run in the eighth and finished with five RBIs. "Both games in Boston were good games, but we come here to win". By the time the inning was over, the Red Sox had a 3-0 lead they never relinquished.
They scored three in the third off Sabathia (0-1), and it started with a sacrifice fly by Martinez.
Despite the minor blip in the radar, Severino will look to build off his solid, yet shortened Wild Card start - when he tossed four innings of shutout ball while striking out seven and allowing two hits. Just, I don't know. "It was a special moment for me".
"I was fine with the way CC was throwing the ball", Boone said.
Going with Eovaldi was one of several choices that paid off for Cora.
Last year, it was the Yankees who reached the AL Championship Series before their surprising run ended with a Game 7 loss to the Astros. He left with the bases loaded and nobody out in the fourth and was charged with six runs and seven hits.
"He got his normal pitches routine", Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.