MLB: The Yankees and Red Sox set up epic AL Wild Card meeting with tight wins
New York, New York - The Yankees beat the Rays 1-0 in their season finale to now make a date for a one-game AL Wild Card playoff against their storied, legendary rivals, the Boston Red Sox.
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge (29), who’s more known for his home run hitting, managed a walk-off rolling single towards second base that scored pinch-runner Tyler Wade for the game-winning run. That was Judge’s only hit of the game as he went 1-for-4 on the day.
The Yankees altogether only racked up four hits, opposed to Tampa’s five in total, making this affair a pitcher’s duel.
Jameson Taillon started on the mound for the Yanks, while Michael Wacha did the same for the Rays, but neither pitcher could get any offense behind him to earn a win in their last start of the regular season.
Taillon lasted three and one-third innings, striking out two and allowing two hits. Wacha pitched five innings and also struck out two, but only allowed one hit.
Instead, relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman struck out two batters in the ninth, to get the win for New York, improving his record to 6-4 while Josh Fleming falls to 10-8 with the loss.
The Red Sox enjoy some late-game magic of their own
Meanwhile, the Red Sox prevailed over the Washington Nationals 7-5 on Sunday, sweeping their final regular-season series and punching their ticket to the postseason.
Boston needed to win this game just to get into Tuesday’s actual one-game playoff and avoid having to go through either the Mariners or the Blue Jays.
Third baseman Rafael Devers went 4-for-5, including two home runs, one of which was a ninth-inning blast that gave his team the win in the end.
The Nationals got out in front first, building a small 2-0 lead until the Red Sox got on the board in the fourth inning thanks to Devers’ first homer.
But then the Nationals answered back with three runs in the fifth to make the score 5-1.
It was up to the Red Sox to mount a comeback and they certainly stepped up to the occasion, picking away inning-by-inning to tie things up, setting the stage for Devers’ heroics.
Eduardo Rodriguez pitched one inning of relief work, to get the win for Boston while Kyle Finnegan only pitched a third of an inning but gave up Devers’ second homer to get the loss.
The Yankees will travel to Boston for the American League Wild Card Game against the Red Sox on Tuesday night.
Cover photo: Imago/UPI Photo