What has been a mostly miserable season in The Bronx had a month’s worth of drama Saturday night — and for a change, the Yankees came out on top.
After losing their first seven meetings of the year against the Red Sox, the Yankees finally beat their rivals, 3-1, in six innings on a stormy night at the Stadium.
All it took was a rainstorm, some awful calls by the umpires, another strong outing from Gerrit Cole and a pair of homers from Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres.
“It was a good win to stop the bleeding, especially against the Red Sox,’’ Cole said.
At first, it hardly looked as if the Yankees were going to avoid a third straight loss. They had been shut out on Friday, and Saturday they didn’t get a hit off Boston right-hander Nathan Eovaldi until Greg Allen doubled to right-center with two out in the fifth inning.
But DJ LeMahieu followed Allen’s double with an RBI single to tie the game before back-to-back homers by Sanchez and Torres in the sixth gave them the lead.
With the weather worsening throughout the night, the game was called after a 52-minute rain delay following the sixth inning.
“It got pretty bad out there at the end,” manager Aaron Boone said.
The storm hit after the start of the game had been delayed by nearly an hour, though the weather at the time was fine.
At this point, though, the Yankees will take any break they can get.
“To finally push through against those guys was certainly nice,’’ Boone said. “Now we’ve got a big one [Sunday].”
After finishing the first half with a devastating loss in Houston, the Yankees came out of the All-Star break and lost six players to the COVID-19 injured list — and then were blanked by Boston on Friday.
Cole, however, delivered another solid performance, coming off a shutout in Houston and with Sanchez behind the plate because Kyle Higashioka is out with COVID-19.
After Cole stranded a runner at third in the first, the Red Sox got to him in the second when Christian Arroyo hit an RBI single to left to put the Yankees in another early hole.
Eovaldi hit Rougned Odor and Sanchez with pitches in the first, but then retired nine straight before Torres walked with two out in the fourth.
Cole was dominant after the second-inning hiccup. He gave up just one hit after Arroyo’s RBI single and retired 10 in a row before a walk to Rafael Devers with two outs in the sixth.
Hunter Renfroe followed with an infield single, and after a visit from pitching coach Matt Blake, Cole walked Jarren Duran to load the bases for Vazquez.
Cole got Christian Vazquez on another questionable check-swing third strike to end the sixth and keep it 1-1. Arguments from the Boston dugout led to the ejections of Boston bench coach Will Venable and catcher Kevin Plawecki.
The game was delayed again before the bottom of the sixth, when a fan threw a ball that hit Boston’s Alex Verdugo in left field. The Red Sox left the field momentarily as the fan was ejected.
Hirokazu Sawamura took over for Eovaldi to start the bottom of the sixth, and with one out, Sanchez took him deep to right to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead.
A fan appeared to reach over the fence, but the play was upheld after a review. The struggling Torres followed by also homering to right — his first homer since June 5.
Torres called the home run “really big.”
“With the situation we were in that inning, with a lot of rain and after Gary homered, it was motivation for us,’’ Torres said.
Play was stopped after the sixth inning and the Yankees got a much-needed victory.
“We haven’t played well against them,’’ LeMahieu said of the Red Sox. “Every game is a big game against them. We rose to the occasion.”