The Associated PressBOSTON (AP) — Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts had some special guests in town to see Boston open a critical series against the AL East-leading New York Yankees.
They got to the park too late to see his three-run homer in the first inning.
So Bogaerts hit another — a solo shot in the eighth to give the Red Sox a 19-3 lead and seal a historic pounding of their longtime rivals.
“The last at-bat I saw my mom there and I was like, ‘I’m going to try,’” said Bogaerts, who also had his uncle and Little League coaches in the stands. “I was happy I did. It will just be special having them here ... and having them enjoy watching me play and doing productive stuff for the team.”
Bogaerts, born in Aruba, had four hits in all Thursday night as the Red Sox erupted for their biggest victory over the Yankees in the 117-year history of the rivalry.
Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. had three hits apiece; Bradley, Michael Chavis and J.D. Martinez each had two of Boston’s 10 doubles. Eight players had at least two RBIs for Boston, tying a major league record.
The Red Sox have won three of their first four in a stretch of 14 straight games against the Yankees and Tampa Bay, the two teams ahead of them in the division. But they remain 10 games behind New York, a half-game behind the Rays and 1½ behind Oakland in the race for the second AL wild card.
“It’s a good time for everyone to be contributing,” Bogaerts said. “If we keep it up for two months I think we’ll be in very good shape, but it’s hard to do.”
In the worst start by a Yankees pitcher against the Red Sox, Masahiro Tanaka (7-6) allowed 12 runs on 12 hits and three walks in 3⅓ innings. It was the second-most earned runs ever allowed by a Yankees pitcher — Carl Mays gave up 13 in a complete game against Cleveland in 1923.
Rick Porcello (9-7) had his problems, giving back two runs in the second after being spotted a 7-0 lead. Kyle Higashioka added a solo homer in the fifth to make it 12-3. But the Red Sox right-hander managed to finish six innings, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out five and walking one.
Boston has scored double-digit runs in each of Porcello’s last five outings — the first major league pitcher to get that much support since 1896. He is 4-1 in his past six starts despite giving up 30 runs in 29 innings.
“It’s been absolutely incredible,” Porcello said. “It seems like the last three or four games I pitched we put up damn near 20 runs. Run support is huge. And when we’re scoring like this, you do the best you can not to screw it up.”
Tanaka, who had won four straight decisions, walked Mookie Betts and Rafael Devers to start the first before Bogaerts hit a 451-foot homer over the Green Monster and onto Lansdowne Street below.
Tanaka allowed three singles to load the bases and, with two outs, Bradley and Betts hit consecutive two-run doubles to make it 7-0. Devers homered leading off the five-run fourth, when Boston chased Tanaka.
Yankees starters have allowed 40 runs over their last five games, something they hadn’t done since 1912.
“It’s been each guy this time through,” manager Aaron Boone said. “So, it’s been one hiccup for every one of the guys that’s come in succession.”
Cruz cracks 3 homers in laugher
CHICAGO (AP) — This time, the Minnesota Twins bashed their way to a runaway win.
The slumping Chicago White Sox were no match for Nelson Cruz and company.
Cruz hit three of Minnesota’s five homers and finished with five RBIs, helping the AL Central leaders beat the White Sox 10-3.
Max Kepler and Miguel Sano also connected as Minnesota (62-40) totaled at least five homers for a major league-record ninth time this season, according to STATS. Jose Berrios (9-5) pitched seven effective innings for his first win since June 6.
“It’s not easy,” Cruz said. “To be able to hit three is a blessing.