BOSTON — As far as series splits go, they don’t get any more satisfying than the one the Red Sox pulled off over Rivalry Weekend.
Consider the way it started when the Yankees marked Boston’s injury-related starting rotation with losses on Thursday and Friday.
Consider how it ended as the Red Sox roared back with two straight comebacks after recovering from an early four-run deficit and turning the tables to take the 61-25 Yankees to Sunday night’s baseball at Fenway Park with 11 -6 to defeat .
“I don’t think anyone would have bet that we would have split it after the first two,” said Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. “They would definitely lie, especially after the first two games. We’re definitely happy with a split, especially considering how the first two games went. It felt like it was quickly getting out of control.”
That same night, the Red Sox lost Rafael Devers and his giant slugger mid-series to back problems. He sat the remainder of the weekend and the Boston bats racked up two impressive straight wins without him.
“With the guys that we have on the injured list and the at-bats that we put together today, the defensive plays that we did, it was an all-around positive result from that two-for-two series,” Red Sox right wing Pivetta said . “I find that extraordinary.”
In fact, Pivetta’s teammates lifted him after he was shot at for six runs in the first three innings to put his team into a 6-2 hole.
“It was really, really fun to watch and I loved every part of it,” said Pivetta.
After losing 8-0 in their first eight series to teams from the American League East, it was satisfying for the 47-39 Red Sox to finally share one, especially against the wagon known as the 2022 Yankees.
“I’ve been saying all along that we have a good team, but they have to keep working to get better,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. “We play in a difficult league. We were defeated in the division. We know that. But we feel like we can play with anyone.”
Although the Red Sox, barring a miracle, won’t close the 14-game deficit they have in the division with the Yankees, those two wins were important for psychological reasons.
The teams will meet 12 more times this season and there is a chance they will face off in October.
You could feel the momentum shift in the series just by listening to the crowd rush (37,291 in the finals) as the Red Sox scored nine unanswered runs from the third through the seventh inning.
When JD Martinez smashed an equalizing shot with two runs to the right to level it on 6 in the fifth, Fenway got as loud as it gets in July.
“It’s fun,” Cora said. “The last two nights have been noisy, intense. When boarding at 1 [for a 7 p.m. game] and there are many people outside [the park], that means a lot. It’s like, ‘Yeah, get ready, it’s supposed to be a fun night.'”
And it was. Especially for Martinez, who ended his home run drought with 25 games and 103 plate appearances. Given Devers’ absence, Martinez’s timing was spot on.
“He’s a hit,” said Cora. “Like I said, they’re going through [tough] extends. One thing about him, he’ll keep working at his craft. The fact that he drives the ball into the center right is a good sign.”
If Martinez’s mash was the signature moment, Trevor Story’s bases-clearing double high off the center wall in the seventh was the hit that defeated him.
Before Story’s big hit, Christian Vázquez, who came in for Devers at number 2, helped with a solo shot over the Monster in the third and an RBI double against the Monster in the fifth, making it a two-game and setting Martinez up .
“Everyone did their job for the most part,” Bogaerts said.
After the game, the Sox took a lucky flight to St. Petersburg while preparing for their final road trip before the All-Star break. First, they have four against the Rays at Tropicana Field. And then three at Yankee Stadium. This with a healthier roster.
Chris Sale makes his season debut Tuesday night. Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Whitlock could be back from their IL assignments by the weekend.
“Nothing changes for us,” said Cora. “We just have to keep playing and getting better.”
After a satisfying split, things are suddenly looking a little better for the Red Sox.