Ben Rice Cooks Red Sox with 3 Homers! NY 14 Boston 4

Rookie Ben Rice hit 3 homers as part of a Yankee offense that Exploded in the 5th inning to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 14-4 win on a HOT, MUGGY, HUMID afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

Rice led off the game with a homer, then hit a 3-run homer to top off a 7-run Yankee 5th and make it a 10-4 game, then hit another 3-run homer in the 7th to make it a 14-4 game. All of them were BOMBS — the first 2 were hit into the upper deck, the 3rd into the bleachers in right center.

Rice became the first Yankee rookie in history to hit 3 homers in a game.

Gerrit Cole left in the 5th at 90 pitches in the stifling HOT, HUMID conditions, down 4-3. But the Yankee batters turned the game around in the bottom of the 5th — everyone in the lineup ended up getting a hit on the day sans Juan Soto.

Tim Hill pitched 2.2 shutout innings for the win, and rookie Josh Maciejewski pitched 2 shutout innings to finish up.

“What a game,” said manager Aaron Boone on Rice’s performance. “And obviously to come out in the midst of what we’re going through and set the tone right away in the 1st inning with a homer, and then put together a legendary day.”

NY improves to 55-36, and pull back to 2 games behind Baltimore, which lost. Boston falls to 48-40.

1. Rice Cooks Leading Off

Josh Winckowski started for Boston — a 26-year-old, 6’4 righthander in this 3rd season. He entered the game with a 2-1 2.80 slash line, but Ben Rice greeted him in the bottom of the 1st by fouling off a 2-2 cutter, and then ripping a 91-MPH cutter to the upper deck in right for a 1-0 Yankee lead.

2. Cole Dragged by Heat and Nemesis Devers

Gerrit Cole, meanwhile, pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 1st, but then had a long 2nd inning — escaping a bases-loaded situation after allowing a single and a walk with 2 outs. But he struck out Ceddanne Rafaela to end it.

The long inning in the Hot, Humid conditions set Cole up for a rough inning in the 3rd — he allowed a 1-out double to David Hamilton, a 2-out RBI single to Rafael Devers, then walked the bases loaded, and allowed consecutive RBI singles to Masataka Yoshida and Reese McGuire for a 3-1 Boston lead. Cole finally got out of it by striking out Dominic Smith.

The Red Sox are designed to have 8 lefthanded hitters to face righty pitchers like Cole.

The Yanks tied the game in the bottom of the 3rd, and Cole rebounded by striking out the side 1-2-3 in the top of the 4th.

But Cole coughed up the lead on a homer to Rafael Devers with 1 out in the top of the 5th. That was it for Cole, as Boone relieved him at 90 pitches.

“Today was really hot,” said Cole afterwards. “At times I had trouble gripping the ball with sweat; I had trouble regulating. But I threw the ball pretty well to be honest.”

“8 lefthanders — I don’t know if I’ve faced that before,” added Cole “For the most part we did a good job getting the ball to safe areas. Pitch count just kind of got run up with not good enough command on the outside corner with the breaking balls. But through it all really making a lot of good pitches — so it was good to get through it and go as deep as I could. It was a grind.”

3. Verdugo Pimps Huge HR to Tie It

The Yanks, down 3-1 in the 3rd, tied it on an Aaron Judge infield single and Alex Verdugo 422-foot homer to center tying the game 3-3. Verdugo flipped his bat and walked it off against his old team the Red Sox — causing ire by many Red Sox fans on Twitter including Jarred Carabis.

4. Yanks Explode for 7-Run 5th

Winckowski didn’t last as long as Cole — he was relieved in the 4th in the HOT, HUMID conditions by Brennan Bernardino — and the Yanks got to him in the bottom of the 5th with a 1-out single by Aaron Judge and then a bunt single by Verdugo.

With 1st and 2nd, 1 out — the game was at its turning point as Anthony Volpe stepped up. The count went 2-2, Volpe fouled off a pitch, then ripped a shot to left center that bounced over the wall for a grounds rule double and a 4-4 tie!

Trent Grisham was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Austin Wells, pinch hitting, worked a walk to score a run and give the Yanks a 5-4 lead.

Oswaldo Cabrera then hit a line shot to right for a sac fly and 6-4 NY lead.

DJ LeMahieu came up bit with a line single to left for a 7-4 NY lead.

Chase Anderson was brought in to pitch, and Ben Rice topped off the rally with a BOMB into the upper deck in right for a 10-4 NY lead.

5. Rice’s 3rd Homer Makes it 14-4 in 7th

Chase Anderson pitched a shutout 6th but in the 7th the Yanks exploded for 4 more runs.

Trent Grisham hit a leadoff double, Oswaldo Cabrera hit a 1-out single to center, and DJ LeMahieu got another big hit — an RBI single to right to make it 11-4 NY.

And then Ben Rice made the day historic with a 3-run BOMB into the right centerfield bleachers for a 14-4 game!

6. Hill and Maciejewski Finish

Tim Hill pitched a shutout 6th and 7th.

Josh Maciejewski, a 28-year-old, 6’3 left hander from the Yankee farm system in his 3rd major league game, pitched a shutout 8th and 9th for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore


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