Red Sox blow open Game 3 in disastrous Yankees start

BIG ATTRACTION Mookie Betts signs an autograph before last night’s Game 1 at Fenway where Red Sox players warmed up in front of a message on the video board in center field

Behind a seven-run fourth inning, a cycle from Brock Holt and a slew of questionable decisions by Yankees manager Aaron Boone, the Red Sox took control of their Division Series against NY with an impressive 16-1 demolition in Game 3. Eovaldi's six scoreless frames in his last start here came prior to his bullpen blowing the lead in a 3-2 Boston loss on September 18.

Given that the ALDS is only a best-of-five series, Boston won't need Price to start again versus the Yankees. All told, Boston had managed just two runs in its last 14 innings coming into Game 3, and that lethargic stretch coupled with some poor results from the bottom of the lineup prompted some dramatic changes from manager Alex Cora. First baseman Mitch Moreland fielded the ball, but Rodriguez didn't make it to first before Judge - who is not known for his speed - beat it out for an infield hit. He handed the ball to Cora, skulked off to a chorus of boos, stepped carefully across the white chalk lines to avoid bad luck - too late for that, perhaps - and made a beeline to the sanctuary of the Red Sox's clubhouse.

NY starts Luis Severino in Game 3, followed by CC Sabathia.

While it's true that Severino was far-less effective post-All-Star break - and he and Martinez do have a relationship, as the two worked out together during the winter of 2016 in their native Dominican Republic, the 24-year-old Severino made it clear he never said anything about an injury to the former Red Sox star.

That was only the beginning of Holt's epic night, though. He became the first Yankee catcher to homer twice in a postseason game since Yogi Berra in Game 7 of the 1956 World Series.

Sanchez, whose batting average didn't top.200 after June 8, also had a solo shot in the second inning to give NY a 2-0 lead.

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They weren't the only offense of the game.

With the game still somewhat in the balance, Benintendi delivered what felt like the crushing blow in the fourth inning.

Devers led off the second with a single, ultimately scoring the first run of the game. Put this one on the shoulders of Severino and Boone. Game 4 starter CC Sabathia is a bit more of a wild card, right? According to Baseball Savant, seven of the 14 balls put in play against Severino had an exit velocity of 100 miles per hour or above. Nor was he fooling anyone, drawing only five swings and misses in his 70 offerings. Lance Lynn allowed all three runs to score that Severino left on base in the 4th inning. He is one of the most dominant pitchers of all time before the postseason, but he isn't quite as good when the games matter most. The hope was to squeeze one more frame out of Severino against the bottom of the order, but that call backfired immediately, as Holt, Vazquez and Jackie Bradley Jr. all reached. Tanaka now has a 1.50 ERA in 30 career postseason innings. Yet there he was, tasked with getting out of a bases-loaded jam in a three-run game of a tied short series-oh, and to do that, he had to retire the soon-to-be AL MVP in Betts. The Yankees have certainly victimized other pitchers this season, but an inordinate number of home runs, nine in the regular season and two more Saturday night, have come against Price, in just 17 ⅓ innings combined. Porcello is scheduled to pitch Game 4 on Tuesday.

While manager Aaron Boone hasn't been afraid to deploy his bullpen early in postseason games, he said he's open to Severino pitching for however long he is effective.

The Yankees came away from Boston with a split and are now favorites to win the series against the Red Sox. It was the second time this year that he had a two-homer, four-RBI game against the Red Sox.

Sanchez's second homer was also the longest Yankees postseason homer of the Statcast era, besting Judge's first-inning homer that had just overtaken the top spot on that list.

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