The Boston Red Sox have opened up their American League East-leading lead to five games as they defeated the second-place New York Yankees 5-1 on Sunday.
Jackie Bradley Jr.’s three RBI paced the Red Sox while the pitching staff combined to allow just three hits on the afternoon.
Boston took two-of-three at home from the surging Yankees, who were fresh off a four-game sweep of the cross-town rival New York Mets last week.
Bradley opened the scoring for the Red Sox in the second inning with a two-run triple off Gray, who had given up a pair of singles to Xander Bogaerts and Sandy Leon to descend into trouble.
It was a bad omen for Gray, who had received an average of just two runs of support from the Yankees offense since his arrival from Oakland.
He would get just one run of support during his five innings as he labored for 106 pitches but managed to hold the Red Sox to those two early runs.
The Yankees though couldn’t find a way to get to Boston starter Rick Porcello. Brett Gardner provided the Yankees’ breakthrough in the top of the fifth inning, driving a solo home run just over the short wall in right field, his 20th of the year to halve New York’s deficit.
That was the only blemish of Porcello’s day though as he allowed just three hits on the afternoon in six innings of work. It was a return to form for the righty, who entered Sunday’s game with a 7-14 record and 4.59 ERA. Those are shocking numbers from a pitcher that won the AL Cy Young Award last season.
Before the Sox could get to their bullpen, the offense provided a bit more insurance in the bottom of the sixth when Bradley delivered a two-out, run-scoring single off Adam Warren for his third RBI of the day.
Warren was replaced by former closer Aroldis Chapman, who was pitching before the eighth inning for the first time since 2012 and in the sixth inning for the first time since 2011. He made simple work of Brock Holt, striking him out on three pitches that clocked in at 98, 99 and 100 miles per hour before getting through the seventh unscathed.
Boston would put the game in the eighth inning when Sandy Leon doubled in a pair of runs off Tommy Kahnle
It was more than enough as the Yankees couldn’t touch the Red Sox bullpen. They were set down by Brandon Workman, Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel with ease as they were held hitless in the final three innings. Among the final outs, Aaron Judge struck out once again, extending his MLB-record streak to 37-straight games with a punch out.