Bronx, NY- Once it was nine games back in the loss column to the Boston Red Sox and that’s where the Yankees stood a month ago. Well, that was then and this is now because the Yankees are closing in on a AL wild card after their 6-4 win over Boston Tuesday afternoon in the day portion of a split doubleheader.
This was another tight win for the Yankees and their 67th game this season determined by two runs or fewer. More important, though, the Yankees took the first of three games in a series that could place them in a position and bypass the Red Sox in the wild card standings.
And a month ago it was inconceivable about any discussion of the Yankees and being a part of the postseason. They won their fourth straight game, and 16th of their last 21.
Luke Voit and his bloop go-ahead two run single to shallow center were the deciding runs. But it was another team effort from the Yankees, a Major League best 21-8 since July 17.
Andrew Velazquez, in his second consecutive start at shortstop, hit a two run single in the second inning off Boston starter Tanner Houck. Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery returned form the COVID-19 injured list and pitched 4.2 innings, allowing five hits, walked two and struck out six.
“Culmination of a lot of things,” Velazquez said about his huge hit. “That one hit alone made everything worth it. In that situation you are just trying to do your job. Just happy I was able to contribute.“
Jonathan Loaisiga earned his fifth save of the year and managed to escape a bases loaded jam in the seventh and final inning. His 19 scoreless relief outings this season of four or more outs are the second most in the Majors behind Boston’s Garrett Whitlock.
“We have put him in huge situations all year is these situations before and not surprised no more.” manager Aaron Boone said. “He’s got all the tools to be great out there and has all the confidence now.”
Right-hander Albert Abreu retired the only batter faced and earned his seccnd Major League win.
For certain, though, the Yankees have the confidence now and also saw the return of catcher Gary Sanchez from the COVID injury list. Sanchez went 0-for-3 at the plate.
Christain Vazquez hit a solo home run off Montgomery to lead off the fifth inning, his fifth of the season and first since June 27 against the Yankees.
Rich Mancuso: Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso
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