The Magic of Clay Holmes. NY 3 Boston 2 in Game 1

Clay Holmes walked the bases loaded with 1 out in the 9th inning, then got a double play to end it on the first pitch to Alex Verdugo — a 97-MPH sinker — as the Yanks took the first game of a day-night doubleheader on a Tuesday afternoon in Boston, 3-2.

It made a winner out of Jhony Brito, who came on in the 4th inning to relieve Randy Vasquez and pitched 2.1 shutout innings, followed by shutout innings by Wandy Peralta and Tommy Kahnle.

NY got all its runs in the top of the 6th — an RBI double by DJ LeMahieu and 2-RBI single by Gleyber Torres.

“He bent but he didn’t break,” said DJ LeMahieu afterwards about Holmes. “He’s always one pitch away from that double play, and what a play by Gleyber and Volpe to turn it there.”

NY improves to 72-72 — back at .500, a game behind the BoSox, and 7.5 behind the Wild Card with 18 games to go.

1. Vasquez Pretty Good

Randy Vasquez started for the Yanks and pitched pretty well. He had a shutout going through 3 innings but in the 4th was touched for a leadoff homer by Rafael Devers to right center for a 1-0 Boston lead.

A batter later, Triston Casas doubled to left. Vasquez got Masahiro Yoshida to ground out to 2nd, moving Casas to 3rd. Vasquez then threw a wild pitch scoring Casas to make it 2-0 Boston, and then walked top prospect Wilyer Abreu and was gone.

Jhony Brito came in to get the final out of the 4th.

2. Brito Rope-a-Dopes BoSox for Win

Jhony Brito allowed consecutive 1-out singles in the 5th but got a double play to end the inning.

In the 6th, blessed with a 3-2 lead, Brito allowed a walk and a single after 2 were out, but got struck out Ceddanne Rafaela to end the inning.

Brito ended up the winner to go 7-7 4.69.

3. Yanks Get 3 in the 6th

Nick Pivetta started for Boston and had a shutout going thru 5 innings. Finally in the top of the 6th the Yanks got to him.

Everson Pereira was hit by a pitch to start the inning, Kyle Higashioka singled to left, and DJ LeMahieu doubled to left to make it a 2-1 game, Boston.

After Aaron Judge flied out, Gleyber Torres singled in Higgy and DJ to make it 3-2 NY.

4. Kahnle & Peralta Hold Court

Tommy Kahnle pitched a neat 1-2-3 inning in the 7th — ground out, ground out, and strike out of Alex Verdugo.

Wandy Peralta allowed a 2-out single in the 8th, but struck out Yoshida to end that inning.

5. Holmes Agita Train

And so it was to the bottom of the 9th, NY clinging to a 3-2 lead.

Clay Holmes got the first out — getting Abreu to ground out.

But then Holmes walked Rafaela (on 6 pitches), Enmanuel Valdez (on 5 pitches), and Reese McGuire (on 5 pitches) to load the bases.

With the Fenway Park crowd on its feet sensing blood — Alex Verdugo swung at 1st pitch — a 97-MPH slider — and grounded it to 2nd, where Gleyber Torres made a NIFTY pick, spin, and throw to Anthony Volpe at 2nd, who caught, stepped on 2nd, and quickly got it off to DJ LeMahieu at 1st — who stretched for the catch — nailing Verdugo by a step for the old ballgame.


  • Kyle Higashioka went 3 for 4 in the game to raise his season slash line to 10-34-.233 (.275 OBP) in 227 at bats.

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