NY (26-10) broke a tie with Boston for first place in the AL East and has sole possession of the best record in the majors for the first time since July 27, 2012. Now the next man up Celtics are heading back to the eastern conference finals for the second straight year, following their 114-112 win over the Philadelphia 76ers last night, completing a five game dispatch of the Sixers, who were favored to win the series.
The sinking Sox, now 8-9 since a 17-2 start, are in second place for the first time since March, when they were 1-1.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora said the team had planned to be aggressive with Kimbrel because he hadn't pitched since Saturday. He made good on his word last night, when the Yanks were threatening and Matt Barnes did not look sharp.
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Cora said they wanted Kimbrel to face Gardner even before the inning began. Is the bullpen a problem going forward with the season? "But we'll talk about it". "I think we all have a lot of confidence in each other that we can get the job done". The Celtics have home court advantage because they finished the regular season ahead of Cleveland, thanks to having Kyrie Irving leading the charge before he got hurt just before the playoffs. "So, that was (Kimbrel's) spot". "Just didn't get it high enough", Kimbrel said. Gardner then belted a triple over center fielder Mookie Betts to give the Yankees the lead. We weren't trying to give him anything to hit.
Four pitches later, Judge launched Kimbrel's 1-2 fastball into the netting over Monument Park beyond the center field fence. The Yankees have won their past 11 home games (since April 21), extending their franchise mark for the current Yankee Stadium. And he's never recorded a five-out save.
Though it's only May and nothing was really at stake, it was a playoff-type atmosphere, one where Cora forced Kimbrel out of his comfort zone by inserting him into a game with runners on the corners and one out. He simply needed his closer to come through in the eighth.
"From what I know, David has been playing video games his whole life", Cora told reporters. "Just wasn't able to do it tonight".
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So where does this leave the Red Sox?
The Red Sox led 6-5 heading into the bottom of the eighth when the Yankees put two on with one out, and that prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora to bring in Kimbrel to try and get a five-out save, a plan that backfired nearly immediately when the first batter Kimbrel faced tripled to drive in two runs and give the Yankees the lead. Hanley Ramirez delivered it. Ramirez' two-run monster shot to left in the seventh looked like a killer blow. It was a no-doubter, and he admired it then pumped his chest after rounding third. On both hits, the Yankees' dugout erupted in celebration. "Tanaka stayed in to start the sixth and allowed a leadoff double to Xander Bogaerts, who scored Boston's fourth run when Eduardo Nunez lifted a sacrifice fly to greet Green.Video: "BOS@NYY: "Benintendi cranks a no-doubter to right" Obviously we're doing something special here", Tanaka said.
The upper decks at Yankee Stadium actually bounced, just like they do in October.
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