Boston rookie E-Rod halts Yanks’ playoff push for 10th win
NEW YORK (AP) John Ryan Murphy hustled into second base, took off his shin guard, then turned to the umpire and asked for time.
”You’re out,” Ryan said Tim Welke told him.
That’s about as good as it got for the Yankees’ offense against Eduardo Rodriguez.
Rodriguez became the first Red Sox rookie left-hander to win 10 games in 43 years, receiving help from two leaping catches by Jackie Bradley Jr., and Boston slowed New York’s march toward a postseason berth with a 5-1 victory Monday night.
The Yankees had a chance to clinch their first playoff appearance since 2012 with a win – what would’ve been their 10,000th franchise victory – and losses by Minnesota, Texas and the Angels.
But scoreboard watching was rendered unnecessary when Travis Shaw and Bradley each hit two-run homers off Ivan Nova (6-10). New York managed little offense after Alex Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly in the first ended Boston pitchers’ 29-inning scoreless stretch. New York dropped five games behind Toronto in the AL East with six to play.
New York has scored more than three runs just once in the first five games of this homestand.
”You’re going to have hot streaks and cold streaks. Right now we feel like we are battling. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to put good innings together,” Carlos Beltran said. ”Today was a day where we faced a guy who was pitching well.”
The Yankees’ fourth loss in 10 games came in front of 39,476 fans, the smallest crowd for a matchup in the Bronx between these rivals since May 27, 1999, according to STATS.
Eduardo Rodriguez (10-6) gave up seven hits, six singles, in supplanting John Curtis, who went 11-8 in 1972, as the most recent Boston rookie lefty to reach 10 wins. Rodriguez walked one and struck out five in six innings of what interim manager Torey Lovullo said would be the 22-year-old’s final start of the season. Lovullo said Rodriguez ”deserves a lot of consideration to be one of our mainstays next year.”
New York loaded the bases in the second on a single, walk and second baseman Dustin Pedroia’s fielding error, then Alex Rodriguez fell to one knee as he swung under a high fastball for strike three to end the threat.
”My best pitch,” E-Rod said. ”I tried to throw what I want and get a strikeout.”
Nova looked sharp early in his second start for Masahiro Tanaka, who is out with a right hamstring injury, allowing three hits while taking a 1-0 lead into the sixth.
He faltered after Xander Bogaerts doubled under the glove of diving third baseman Chase Headley with two outs in the sixth. Shaw, who had three hits, then lined the first pitch into the short porch in right field for a 2-1 Boston lead.
Bradley connected with two outs in the seventh and Blake Swihart aboard.
In left field, Bradley robbed Headley in the third, running back toward the wall and leaping on the warning track for a catch. Three innings later, he raced toward the line before jumping for an over-the-shoulder catch that denied Murphy extra bases.
”It was pretty amazing to see the footwork and see the reaction and see the route to the ball,” Lovullo said. ”I know on one of them, Murphy thought he had a double. Jackie’s amazing.”
Nova yielded seven hits and four runs in what most likely is the final start of his first year back from Tommy John surgery.
”I feel really good. I feel strong,” Nova said.
Tanaka passed his final hurdle, acing his fielding drills Monday afternoon. The Japanese hurler will start Wednesday in preparation for a possible wild-card game in one week.
Deven Marrero hit his first career homer, off Caleb Cotham in the eighth, to make it 5-1.
Red Sox: OF Rusney Castillo was given the night off because he had a slight upper right quadriceps strain. Lovullo said Castillo should play Tuesday. … David Ortiz was given a much needed day off, Lovullo said.
Yankees: Nathan Eovaldi (elbow inflammation) played catch for the third time since being shut down early this month. Manager Joe Girardi said he didn’t think Eovaldi would be on the roster if the Yankees are in the wild card, but it’s possible the right-hander could return in later rounds.
Rick Porcello (8-14) struck out 13 and allowed one run in eight innings against New York on Sept. 1 at Fenway Park, but was the loser in a matchup with the Yankees’ Tuesday starter Michael Pineda, who has yielded just one run over his past two starts.
Before the game, A-Rod helped Major League Baseball and the Major League Youth Foundation donate $1 million to the Boys and Girls Club of Miami-Dade to help kick-start its expansion project. Rodriguez has credited the club with having a great influence on him during his youth and has been a long-time supporter. The donation was part of Rodriguez’s settlement with the Yankees over the disputed $6 million marketing payment contemplated for his 660th home run.