Eduardo Rodriguez became the first Red Sox rookie left-hander to win 10 games in 43 years, and Boston slowed the New York Yankees’ march toward a postseason berth with a 5-1 victory Monday night.
The Yankees had a chance to clinch their first playoff appearance since 2012 with a win — what would’ve been their 10,000th franchise victory — and losses by Minnesota, Texas and the Angels.
But scoreboard watching was rendered unnecessary when Travis Shaw and Jackie Bradley Jr. each hit two-run homers off Ivan Nova (6-10). New York managed little offense after Alex Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly in the first ended Boston pitchers’ 29-inning scoreless stretch. New York dropped five games behind Toronto in the AL East with six to play.
The Yankees’ fourth loss in 10 games came in front of 39,476 fans, the smallest crowd for a matchup in the Bronx between these rivals since May 27, 1999, according to STATS.
Eduardo Rodriguez (10-6) gave up seven hits, six singles, in supplanting John Curtis, who went 11-8 in 1972, as the most recent Boston rookie lefty to reach 10 wins. Rodriguez walked one and struck out five in six innings of what interim manager Torey Lovullo said would be the 22-year-old’s final start of the season. Lovullo said Rodriguez “deserves a lot of consideration to be one of our mainstays next year.”
New York loaded the bases in the second on a single, walk and second baseman Dustin Pedroia’s fielding error, then Alex Rodriguez fell to one knee as he swung under a high fastball for strike three to end the threat.
Nova looked sharp early in his second start for Masahiro Tanaka, who is out with a right hamstring injury, allowing three hits while taking a 1-0 lead into the sixth.
He faltered after Xander Bogaerts doubled under the glove of diving third baseman Chase Headley with two outs in the sixth. Shaw, who had three hits, then lined the first pitch into the short porch in right field for a 2-1 Boston lead.
Bradley connected with two outs in the seventh and Blake Swihart aboard.
Nova yielded seven hits and four runs in what most likely is the final start of his first year back from Tommy John surgery. Tanaka passed his final hurdle, acing his fielding drills Monday afternoon. The Japanese hurler will start Wednesday in preparation for a possible wild-card game in one week.
Deven Marrero hit his first career homer, off Caleb Cotham in the eighth, to make it 5-1.
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