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Yankees erupt late to complete sweep of Red Sox in high-scoring London Series

Yankees' Gary Sanchez hits a two-RBI single against

Yankees' Gary Sanchez hits a two-RBI single against the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning of a baseball game in London, Sunday, June 30, 2019. Credit: AP/Tim Ireland

LONDON — On Saturday night, London Stadium played like Coors Field on PEDs.

Less than 24 hours later, in cooler temperatures but consistent sun, things were in some ways different — but not dramatically. 

After Stephen Tarpley allowed home runs by Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez and Christian Vazquez in a four-run first inning, the Yankees erupted with a nine-run seventh that propelled them to a 12-8 victory over the Red Sox  and a two-game sweep of the London Series, the first MLB games ever contested in Europe.

“We enjoyed it out here,” Aaron Judge said of the overall Yankees experience, which included some sightseeing, a gala at the Tower of London and a pregame clubhouse visit Saturday from Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle. “And we came out and did what we wanted to do. Come out here and get a couple of wins and put on a show for the fans.”

The AL East-leading Yankees (54-28), who have won 13 of their last 14 games, maintained their seven-game lead over the Rays and increased their lead over the third-place Red Sox to 11 games, 12 in the loss column.

“They’re a good team. I think we’re better,” said DJ LeMahieu, who went 7-for-12 with seven RBIs in the two games.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora echoed the sentiment. "It was eye-opening, the last two days, from top to bottom,” said Cora, who led Boston to the World Series title last year. “Right now, they're a lot better than us.”

Boston's bullpen proved equally bad on both sides of the Atlantic, allowing 21 runs, 23 hits and 10 walks in 12 1/3 innings in the two London Series games.

Those in the sellout crowd of 59,059 on Sunday had an experience similar to those who attended Saturday night's game, which the Yankees won, 17-13, in the third-longest nine-inning game in big-league history (4 hours, 42 minutes).

Saturday's game was a slugger's delight in which the teams had a combined 37 hits, 16 for extra bases, including six homers (three by each club). The teams totaled 28 hits in Sunday’s 4-hour, 24-minute slog.

Oddly, given how the ball flew in the ballpark, the Yankees hit only one home run Sunday. Didi Gregorius' solo shot in the eighth made it 12-4 and extended the Yankees' MLB-record streak to 31 games with at least one homer. 

The Yankees took an 11-run lead after 4 1/2 innings Saturday and an eight-run lead after 7 1/2 innings Sunday, but in each game, the Red Sox brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the eighth. Zack Britton was up to the task each time, getting Marco Hernandez to ground to third on Saturday and  Rafael Devers to ground to first Sunday.

Luis Cessa, somewhat surprisingly, threw four scoreless innings after Tarpley left the Yankees in a 4-0 hole, making the late-inning comeback possible.

“We came to play baseball,” said Gleyber Torres, who like many of his teammates took advantage of the opportunities of being in London but also spoke of the work at hand. “We forget about vacation, we had one day off that we enjoyed, but after that, we focused on playing the games and getting two wins.”

The Yankees entered the seventh trailing by two runs but sent 14 men to the plate.  Aaron Hicks' RBI double made it 4-3 and two-run singles by Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela gave the Yankees a 7-4 lead.  LeMahieu, who had started the inning with a double, lined a ground-rule double to right to drive in two runs, and two more scored on Hicks' sacrifice fly and first baseman Michael Chavis' error.

Urshela's hit made him 5-for-7 with 12 RBIs with the bases loaded this season. LeMahieu's second double made him 35-for-72 with runners in scoring position and 8-for-10 with the bases loaded.

Chance Adams took the mound with a 12-4 lead in the eighth and helped the Red Sox get back in the game. After Adams allowed soft singles by Hernandez, Martinez and Vazquez -- the latter a two-out, two-run hit -- Jackie Bradley Jr.'s two-out single and Eduardo Nunez's RBI double knocked out Adams.  Britton allowed an RBI single by Sam Travis and walked Mookie Betts to load the bases for Devers, but after falling behind 3-and-0, he got Devers to ground weakly to LeMahieu at first.

Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth.

The Yankees departed for the airport shortly thereafter for their flight back across the Atlantic and were scheduled to get back to the Stadium between 1 and 2 a.m. Monday. They will play the Mets on Tuesday and Wednesday at Citi Field before heading to St. Petersburg for a four-game series against the Rays.

“We got the two wins here in London,” Judge said. “Now it’s time to regroup, have an off day coming up, and get ready for the Mets.”

New York Sports