A Win Turns Into a Loss. Boston 6 NY 5 in 10 innings

Well that one really sucked.

Josh Donaldson fielded a hard-hit double play grounder that would have ended the game as a Yankee win — and momentarily dropped it — the ball coming out of his hand as he was throwing it. He picked it up and fired to 1st to get one out but it gave the Red Sox a final life. And a 2-out, 2-RBI walk-off single by Alex Verdugo followed. Boston 6 NY 5.

Donaldson made two spectacular defensive plays earlier in the game to save the Yanks, and even on the bobbled double-play ball, recovered to get one out. So you couldn’t blame him.

The Yanks had scored 2 (two) runs in the top of the 10th — both the inherited runner and another one. Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo were the hitting stars — both hitting doubles. Rizzo tried to steal 3rd base and was gunned down — but it was with 1 out so you couldn’t blame him.

Wandy Peralta took the loss. But you couldn’t blame him.

The Yanks had a 3-2 lead in the 8th when Alex Verdugo tied the game with a 2-out RBI single off Clay Holmes. But he pitched a 1-2-3 9th so you couldn’t blame him.

You really couldn’t blame anyone. But this one was so close to a win you can taste it.

NY drops to 61-24 .718. Boston improves to 46-39 — 15 games back in 2nd place.

1. Monty Brilliant

Good news was that Jordan Montgomery was brilliant. You certainly couldn’t blame him for the loss. The 6’5 lefty was given an arduous challenge — as every left hander is given when pitching at Fenway — facing a tough right-handed Red Sox lineup with the Green Monster looming behind him 250-feet away in left.

But Monty mowed down the Sox — 5.2 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 4 K’s, 1 walk. He allowed a run in the 2nd on a 2-out RBI single to Bobby Dalbec, and a homerun to Yankee killer Rob Refsnyder leading off the 6th but was otherwise brilliant — pitching 1-2-3 innings in the 1st, 3rd, and 4th, and an easy (one walk) 5th.

“I obviously want that cutter back to Ref,” said Monty afterwards. “But otherwise I feel pretty good about (the start). I feel like my sinker has been getting quick outs all year. It was really good tonite. I was moving on the mound pretty well. Minus that 2nd inning when I was leaving it up a little bit, I kind of buckled down and made sure I was missing down.”

Monty was helped in the 4th by back-to-back Gold Glove plays by the Yankee infield. Josh Donaldson barehanded a chopper and fired a missile to 1st for the 1st out, with a runner on.

And Isiah Kiner-Falefa made a spectacular play to his right at shortstop for the 2nd out.

2. Yanks Take 3-1 Lead

But Monty was down 1-0 heading into the 5th when Aaron Hicks tied the game with a homerun to right, batting left handed off right-handed rookie starter Kutter Crawford.

Boston brought in reliever Ryan Brasier to begin the 6th and the Yankees pounced. Gleyber Torres singled, Anthony Rizzo doubled him home.

And Josh Donaldson singled Rizzo home. NY 3 Boston 1.

3. Refsnyder Continues to Bash

But Rob Refsnyder made like Jose Altuve again — 2 for 5 on the night after a 4-5 performance the night before. Refsnyder led off the bottom of the 6th with a homer over the Green Monster to make it 3-2 NY.

Once upon a time Refsnyder was an intriguing Yankee rookie who hit hit hit in the minor leagues and some felt would be a .300 hitter in the majors. He was an ‘ok’ defensive 2nd baseman, but hit .302 in 43 at bats in 2015 and looked to be the Yankee 2nd baseman of the future.

Given a shot at the starting 2nd base job in 2016, he batted .250 in 152 at bats as a 25 yr old and soon lost the job. It was worse in year 3 — a .170 average in 88 at bats had him traded to Toronto for Ryan McBroom, a 6’3 lefty hitting 1st baseman.

Refsnyder bounced around for years:

  • Toronto waived him after the 2017 season.
  • He was picked up by Cleveland,
  • then picked up by Tampa,
  • then became a free agent and signed with Arizona.
  • He was purchased by Cincinnati, then released by them in 2019.
  • He signed with Texas in 2019 but was released by them within a year.
  • In 2021 he signed as a minor free agent with Minnesota and batted .245 in 129 at bats for them last year.

This winter he signed with Boston and has recently been spectacular — in 64 at bats. He’s 31 years old now.

4. Verdugo Strikes Against Holmes

Michael King relieved Monty to get the final out of the 6th, and retired the side easily and in order in the 7th so things were looking ok for NY — hanging onto their 3-2 lead heading into the 8th.

King got the first 2 outs of the 8th — striking out Refsnyder to start — and getting an out on a terrific diving catch by Judge in centerfield.

But King allowed a 2-out double to JD Martinez. Clay Holmes relieved and walked a batter before yielding the game-tying single to Verdugo.

Holmes rebounded to get Trevor Story to end the 8th and pitch a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 9th — helped by a terrific play by Josh Donaldson diving to his right to end the inning — which sent the game to extras.

5. Judge & Rizzo Put Yanks Ahead 5-3 in 10th

And that’s when Aaron Judge came up Big — more good news for the Yanks. Judge who had went 0-5 the night before and has been in a mini slump — ripped a Double to center to lead off the 10th, to drive in the inherited runner for a 4-3 NY lead.

Gleyber grounded out but Judge’s tag-team buddy Anthony Rizzo ripped another double, to right, to score Judge and it was 5-3 NY. Looking good!

Rizzo tried to steal 3rd to get in scoring position with 1 out but was thrown out.

6. Jeter Contributes to Boston Comeback

And so came the bottom of the 10th with Wandy Peralta on the mound. A leadoff single by guess who Rob Refsnyder was followed by a fly out, then RBI single by rookie shortstop Jeter Downs to make it 5-4.

It was Jeter Downs‘ first major league hit. Downs was a top prospect in the Boston organization — acquired from the Dodgers as a major piece (with Verdugo and catcher Connor Wong) in the Mookie Betts trade — until a terrible year last year when he batted .191 in AAA. This year he was batting .217 in AAA but has power —  16 homers in 235 at bats — before being brought up recently.

With Jeter on 1st, Refsnyder on 2nd, 1 out,  and NY up 5-4 –Wandy got the hard-hit double-play grounder by Xander Bogaerts to Donaldson to win the game for the Yankees. Not.

It came down to 2nd and 3rd, 2 outs — an out and the Yankees win; a single and the Red Sox win. Verdugo singled.


The Boxscore


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