The Associated PressBOSTON (AP) — Aaron Judge helped chase David Price early by hitting a home run to a part of Fenway Park where balls rarely travel.
Gary Sanchez did him one better.
The Yankees catcher, who tested his manager’s confidence with a sub-.200 batting average and poor defense for most of the season, hit two homers, the second a 145-meter shot clear out of the ballpark that sent New York to a 6-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night and tied their AL Division Series at one game apiece.
“Just a monster night,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “You know he’s capable of that. We all know he’s capable of that. That’s kind of what we’ve been waiting for to some degree, where he can take over a game on offense.”
One night after Chris Sale earned his first career playoff victory, Price fell to 0-9 in 10 postseason starts and was booed off the field after five outs by a Fenway crowd hoping to see the Red Sox protect the home-field advantage they earned with an AL East title and club-record 108 regular-season wins.
Instead, Masahiro Tanaka helped the wild-card Yankees claim the first victory by a road team in a Division Series game this year and gave them a chance to advance to the AL Championship Series with a pair of wins at home, where they are 7-0 over the past two postseasons.
Games 3 and 4 are at Yankee Stadium on Monday and Tuesday nights, with Game 5 back in Boston on Thursday, if necessary.
“We can’t wait,” Judge said. “We know our fans are waiting for us to come back home, especially with the series tied 1-1.”
Judge homered for the third straight playoff game, a 135-meter shot that landed in the back row of seats above the Green Monster, high above the 116-meter marker and about 10 feet to the left of the pole flying an American flag blowing straight out.
It was the longest home run of the postseason — for about five innings.
That’s when Sanchez aimed one in the same direction, sending it out of the park and onto Lansdowne Street. A few feet away, a plaque commemorates the six home runs in the 106-year history of Fenway Park that have cleared the back wall to the other side of the flagpole.
“Everybody knows that Judge has way more power than me,” said Sanchez, who joined Yogi Berra as the only catchers in Yankees history with multihomer postseason games. “But a homer is a homer. And if we have the opportunity to score runs like that, you know, even if it’s 300 feet, I’ll take it.”
Sanchez also had a solo shot in the second inning to give New York a 2-0 lead. Price then walked back-to-back batters with two outs and gave up Andrew McCutchen’s RBI single on what could be his last pitch in a Red Sox uniform.Speech