The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 6-0 at Yankee Stadium on Friday night for their second win in a row. This is the second time in their last 20 seasons that the Yankees have won six of their first eight games against the Red Sox. The first time was in 2012.
In the past three games, the offense had an impressive .284 average and six homers. Kelly Johnson had a .333 average and one homer in the past three games. The Yankees were led offensively in Friday’s game by Johnson’s two RBIs and Brian McCann’s two RBIs.
Vidal Nuno had his best start of his up and down campaign. He only allowed two hits and struck out five in his 5.2 innings pitched after allowing four and eight runs in his last two starts. He picked up his first win at Yankee Stadium in his 16th start of his career.
Nuno lowered his ERA from 5.88 to 5.42 as a result of getting his pitches to go exactly where he wanted them to and having his fastball average at least 90 MPH for the first time in his short career.
“He located the ball extremely well tonight,” Girardi said. “He bounced back. That is what you need guys to do. He fights. He goes out and competes. You know that he is not going go be intimidated by the situation and he gives you all he had.” Nuno said that he tried to get quick outs and help the team win.
Derek Jeter, who turned 40 on Thursday, had two hits and a run scored by the end of the third inning. He hit his 3,390th hit of his Hall of Fame career in the third inning and scored his 1,903rd run in the first inning after Mark Teixeira hit a sacrifice fly.
It appeared that the Yankees would score at least a run in the third inning, but Red Sox starter Brandon Workman got Teixeira and Carlos Beltran out with the bases loaded. Luckily, the missed opportunity did not end up hurting the Yankees in this game.
In the fourth inning, Kelly Johnson hit his two-run homer to deep right center to drive in McCann to make the score 3-0. Brett Gardner made it back-to-back homers as he hit a homer to right for his seventh of the season. Gardner hit eight homers all of last season. The last time that the Yankees hit back-to-back homers was back on May 2 against the Tampa Bay Rays.
McCann, who was brought in to drive in runs and hit homers while taking advantage of the short porch in right, is starting to show more of his power. He gave the Yankees two insurance runs in the eighth inning as he hit a long two-run homer into the upper deck in right. Teixeira, who was one of three Yankees to have two hits, scored on McCann’s homer.
Dellin Betances came in after Nuno was taken out of the game, and he threw 1.1 innings while striking out two, allowing one hit and one walk. He is on track to be the first set up man All-Star on the Yankees since David Robertson in 2011. Betances now has a 1.39 ERA and 74 strikeouts in only 45.1 innings. He has remarkably struck out 43.5 percent of the batters he has faced.
Adam Warren pitched a perfect eighth inning. He was able to strikeout the dangerous David Ortiz with a 95 MPH to end the inning.
The Yankees hit three homers in one game for the first time since May 17. Hitting three homers in a game doesn’t happen all the time, but this could be a sign that the Yankees will start hitting with more power.
Johnson has hit all five of his homers at Yankees Stadium, and he has hit better recently as he has had more playing time with Yangervis Solarte’s struggling. Johnson’s playing more could be beneficial because he definitely has power as a result of slugging 16 homers in each of his past two seasons and a career-high of 26 homers in 2010.
The Yankees are two games behind the first place Toronto Blue Jays. In Saturday’s game at 7:15 p.m., Masahiro Tanaka (11-2, 2.11 ERA) will pitch for the Yankees and Jon Lester (8-7, 3.14 ERA) will get the start for Boston. Tanaka, who is coming off his second loss of his career, will look to get his second win against Boston.