|Brett Gardner celebrating his grand slam Wednesday night. @Yankees.|
The Yankees completed their sweep of the brief two-game series against the Boston Red Sox with a 5-3 win on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, capped off by Brett Gardner's game-winning grand slam.
This was one the Yankees were waiting for since October 9, 2018 when the Red Sox eliminated them in the ALDS on their way to winning the World Series.
The Yankees have had an uneven start to their season, but they played some of their best baseball in this series.
On Tuesday night, the Yankees won 8-0, led by James Paxton, who had by far his best start of the season
The left-hander, who is in his first year with the Yankees, made the most of his first time pitching against the Sox in the pinstripes, as he threw eight shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk, while notching 12 strikeouts. He struck out six consecutive batters from his last batter faced in the sixth inning to the second batter faced in the eighth.
Paxton is just the third Yankee since 2014 to throw at least eight innings and allow two hits or fewer in a start, and his eight innings were the most by a Yankee starter this season.
It also was a great night for the Yankees' offense against Boston ace Chris Sale, who is off to a dreadful start this season, as he dropped to 0-4.
The Yankees got on the board in the fourth when DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit got RBI singles to make it 2-0.
In the fourth, Clint Frazier homered, his fourth of the season, followed by an RBI double for Mike Tauchman to make it 4-0.
Tauchman followed that up with a three-run homer in the sixth to make it 7-0.
This was Tauchman's first Major League home run and it was his first career multi-RBI game, as he had four.
Gleyber Torres hit a solo home run in the seventh to make it 8-0.
All nine Yankees hitters in the starting lineup got at least one hit.
On Wednesday night, Boston jumped out to the early lead against Yankee starter J.A. Happ when J.D. Martinez launched a solo home run to center field in the first inning.
In the second, catcher Christian Vazquez hit a two-run shot to make it 3-0 Boston.
Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi dominated, but the Yankees were able to get to him in the fourth when Frazier got an RBI double to make it 3-1.
Eovaldi threw six innings, allowing just that one run on three hits and a walk, with six strikeouts.
Boston probably would have loved to have him keep going, but he was at 104 pitches when he exited.
In the seventh, Boston turned to their bullpen, and Brandon Workman was first up.
Frazier opened the inning with a single, followed by a Tauchman walk. Gio Urshela struck out, followed by a walk to Romine to load the bases, and that was all for Workman.
The Red Sox then turned to their closer, Ryan Brasier for Brett Gardner and the top of the Yankees order. Brasier is basically Boston's closer, so they were playing the percentages of a high-pressure situation by bringing him in so early.
Gardner launched a bomb into the right field seats on an 0-2 pitch for a grand slam to make it 5-3 Yankees.
It was the 100th homer of Gardner's career, which began with the Yankees in 2008. He is the fourth Yankee all-time to hit a grand slam for his 100th career homer, joining Jacoby Ellsbury (April 28, 2017 vs. Baltimore), Matt Nokes (May 13, 1992 vs. Seattle), and Eric Soderholm (September 26, 1980 at Detroit).
The Red Sox tried mounting a comeback in the eighth against Yankee reliever Adam Ottavino as they loaded the bases, but Eduardo Nunez flew out to right to end the threat.
Aroldis Chapman came on in the ninth for the Yankees and retired the Sox in order to earn his third save of the season.
The Yankees improved to 8-9 and they will open a four-game series against Kansas City Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.
The Red Sox fell to 6-13, as the miserable start to their season continues.
Boston opened the season with an 11-game west coast trip in which they went 3-8. They lost three of four in Seattle, followed by dropping three in four in Oakland and two of three in Arizona.
When they finally had their home opener last Tuesday against Toronto, the thinking was Boston would get on track.
Instead, they split two with Toronto, followed by splitting a four-game set with Baltimore over the weekend.
These games at Yankee Stadium showed the Red Sox are a flawed team right now, and they're at the point that it's getting late early, as Yogi Berra would say.