Red Sox Swept By Yankees, Lose Control of AL Wild Card as Bullpen Implodes Late in Final Home Game of Season

The Yankees were able to take it right back from the Red Sox in the top half of the eighth inning as Garrett Richards and Adam Ottavino imploded for four runs, helping New York sweep Boston in front of the Fenway crowd and the very pro-Yankee Sunday Night Baseball crew of Matt Vasgersian and Alex Rodriguez on ESPN.

After two straight singles from Jose Iglesias and Alex Verdugo to begin the bottom of the seventh, a wild pitch from Joely Rodriguez — who surprisingly relieved Clay Holmes — moved the two runners over. Boston then tied it up at 2-2 with a sac fly from Christian Vazquez.

Kyle Schwarber picked up some luck with two outs. First, a popup was dropped by Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu in foul territory — who had played stellar defense all night. When Schwarber popped it up in fair territory, it looked like an easy popup for Yankees right fielder Joey Gallo.

But the ball hit right off the glove of Gallo and bounced right onto the green grass of Fenway Park to plate Verdugo — although Schwarber was tagged out at second to end the inning.

Garrett Richards went back out for the eighth inning, but walked the first two batters he saw in Gio Urshela and DJ LeMahieu. Luckily for Richards, the pinch-runner for Urshela in Tyler Wade, was caught stealing second after he literally stopped running and did not slide when he was just a few feet away from second base. Anthony Rizzo doubled to put runners on the corners, which knocked Richards out of the game and brought in Adam Ottavino out of the Sox bullpen.

Facing Aaron Judge, it appeared as if Judge struck out on a foul tip. However, home plate umpire Joe West called it a foul ball after the catcher, Vazquez, dropped it on the glove to hand transfer — which replay shows he clearly dropped it on the transfer, not the actual ricochet of the foul ball. Judge, on the next pitch, cashed in with a two-run double into left-center to put New York up 4-3.

Stanton then mooted the poor call by West by clobbering a two-run shot over the Green Monster for his tenth RBI of the series and putting Boston’s deficit at three runs.

The Sox didn’t help themselves either in the bottom of the eighth. Rafael Devers doubled to lead off the frame, and J.D. Martinez lined a one-out single into left, but Bobby Dalbec struck out which was only followed by a Jose Iglesias popout to retire the side.

Both clubs would go run-less in the ninth, as Boston would be swept by the Bronx Bombers at home for the first time since 2015, and it comes in the thick of a Wild Card race.

Wild Card race:

The Sox sit one game behind the Yankees now, in the second Wild Card spot — while the Blue Jays sit just one game behind Boston.

(Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

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