Neil Walker hit a three-run homer with one out in the seventh inning and the New York Yankees held on for a 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox, preventing their rivals from clinching the AL East crown Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees set up their winning rally when Aaron Hicks and Gary Sanchez drew walks off Brandon Workman (6-1). Boston manager Alex Cora lifted Workman for Ryan Brasier, who fell behind Walker and lost the lead when the first baseman lifted a full-count slider into the second deck in right field.
It was Walker’s 10th homer and he became the 11th Yankee to reach double figures in homers. The Yankees tied a major league record by becoming the fifth team to achieve the feat.
Walker’s homer nearly wasn’t enough as the Yankees were charged with two errors in the ninth as Zach Britton stumbled before recording his second save with the team.
A fielding error by second baseman Gleyber Torres put runners at first and third with one out and a throwing error by Britton on a play at second allowed the Red Sox to make it a one-run game.
Britton finally closed it by turning a double play on Ian Kinsler.
J.A. Happ remained unbeaten as a Yankee, allowing only an unearned run on J.D. Martinez’s sacrifice fly in the third, but he left trailing 1-0 after six.
Chad Green (8-2) pitched a perfect seventh and David Robertson worked around a one-out triple to Martinez in a scoreless eighth.
Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge returned to the starting lineup and went 0-for-4.
Heavy rain pushed back the start time six hours but allowed Judge to take swings in a simulated game and get medically cleared to face live pitching for the first time since breaking his right wrist July 26 against Kansas City.
The Yankees (92-58) entered the game 1½ games ahead of Oakland in the wild-card race. Oakland was hosting the Los Angeles Angels late Tuesday.
Eovaldi allowed two hits in six innings and nearly helped the Red Sox win their 10th division title and third straight division crown. The Red Sox (103-48) get two chances to secure the title at Yankee Stadium for the second time in three years.
The Red Sox played without Mookie Betts, who injured his left side Sunday. Cora said Betts would have played if the field was not wet from the afternoon downpour.
Blue Jays 6, Orioles 4: Lourdes Gurriel Jr., a New Hampshire Fisher Cat earlier this season, hit a two-run single for the go-ahead runs in the seventh inning as the visiting Toronto Blue Jays scored four unearned runs to defeat Baltimore.
The loss gives the Orioles (43-108) a club record for losses in a season since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954. The Blue Jays (69-82), who have taken the first two games of the three-game series, have four straight wins on the road for the first time this season.
Jake Petricka (3-1), who replaced starter Aaron Sanchez, pitched around a single in the bottom of the fifth and used three strikeouts to work around a hit batsman in the bottom of the sixth to earn the win.
Ken Giles pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 23rd save of the season.
Sanchez allowed four runs (two earned), four hits and three walks in four innings. He hit a batter and had one strikeout. Dylan Bundy allowed five runs (two earned), seven hits and one walk while striking out six in 6 2/3 innings.
Cedric Mullins hit his fourth homer of the season for the Orioles to lead off the first.
Trey Mancini led off the bottom of the fourth with a triple and Chris Davis was hit by a pitch. Breyvic Valera hit a sacrifice fly to center.