The Associated Press BOSTON (AP) — Andrew Benintendi’s hit bounced a handful of times before finding its way into center field for the winning run and a big four-game sweep over the rival Yankees.
The Red Sox now find themselves in firm control of the AL East.
Benintendi’s RBI single with two outs in the 10th capped Boston’s rally from three runs down in the ninth against New York closer Aroldis Chapman, and the Red Sox completed a four-game sweep with a 5-4 victory Sunday night.
“Any 10-hopper that goes through for a hit feels pretty good,” the usually quiet Benintendi said, breaking into a grin. “Everybody knew how big the series was. We came in and did what we wanted to do. We kind of stole this one.”
Boston opened a 9½-game lead atop the division over the Yankees, who lost their season-high fifth straight.
“It feels like another great win, obviously it was against our rivals,” Boston’s J.D. Martinez said.
Mookie Betts hit his 26th homer for Boston (79-34), which has won eight of nine games and owns the majors’ best record.
The Yankees hadn’t been swept in a four-game series by the Red Sox when they entered a series 30 or more games over .500 since Hall of Famer Ted Williams’ rookie season in 1939, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“A tough way to obviously end a tough weekend, but we can’t let this define what’s been a great season,” manager Aaron Boone said.
Matt Barnes (4-3) worked a perfect inning in the top of the 10th.
For the Yankees, it was a stunning reversal of the Boston Massacre in 1978 when the Yankees came to town and swept the Red Sox en route to erasing a large lead and capturing the AL East.
“We lost these four games here, but what I can tell you is that we’re gonna keep battling. We’re gonna keep playing ball,” Chapman said through a translator. “There’s no looking back.”
Tanaka duels with Price
Red Sox starter David Price took a shutout into the seventh, giving up two runs and four hits with five strikeouts and three walks.
Playing on a beautiful mid-summer night with a sellout crowd amped from the opening pitch, Price and Masahiro Tanaka were locked in a scoreless duel before Betts hit a hanging cutter completely out of Fenway Park over the Green Monster in the fifth.
Price, tagged for 12 runs over 4⅓ innings in his other two starts against the Yankees this season, left to a rousing ovation with two on and nobody out in the seventh.