BOSTON (AP) — Aaron Judge hit a grand slam, DJ LeMahieu broke an eighth-inning tie with an RBI double, and the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 8-5 on Thursday night to sweep a doubleheader.
Oswald Peraza hit his first career homer, a two-run shot in the ninth for the Yankees (74-73), who won three of four at Boston to draw even with their rival at the bottom of the AL East.
Earlier Thursday, the Red Sox fired Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom after nearly four seasons, then beat the Yankees 5-0 in the twinbill opener. Tanner Houck pitched six strong innings and registered his first win since April.
Boston made the playoffs once during Bloom’s tenure and enters the remaining weeks of the season seeking to avoid another last-place finish in the division.
“Obviously, it’s a decision that ownership decided to go this route. We worked together all these years. It’s never easy to hear that,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said between games.
In the nightcap, Judge slugged a 2-0 pitch from Brennan Bernardino over the wall in center field with the bases loaded in the second inning to make it 5-2. It was his 32nd homer of the season and sixth career grand slam.
Rafael Devers hit his 31st homer in the third to get the Red Sox within 5-3. Boston added a run in the fifth, and in the seventh, Triston Casas' RBI groundout made it 5-5.
LeMahieu hit the go-ahead double off Mauricio Llovera (1-2).
Wandy Peralta (4-2) pitched the seventh for New York and Tommy Kahnle worked the final two innings for his second save.
In the opener, Houck (5-9) gave up four hits and struck out seven, and Trevor Story and rookie Ceddanne Rafaela homered for Boston. With the Red Sox ahead 2-0, Story hit a three-run shot into the center-field batters’ eye in the eighth inning.
Houck capped off his outing by escaping a one-out, first-and-third jam in the sixth. The Yankees were shut out for the ninth time this season.
“Today was a big day for Tanner,” Cora said. “He needed six innings.”
New York right-hander Michael King (4-6) gave up a run and six hits in 4 2/3 innings. The reliever-turned-starter who hails from Rhode Island and played at Boston College struck out eight and walked one.
“It’s nice being back on that routine,” King said of being back in the rotation for his fifth start. “I think that’s the main part of my body recovery that I feel like I missed (coming) out of the bullpen.”
Boston finished 9-4 against its rival this season.
Yankees: Manager Aaron Boone said top prospect Jasson Domínguez will undergo Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow next Wednesday. Boone said the recovery time for a position player is nine to 10 months.
Red Sox: Right-handers Zack Kelly (right elbow inflammation) and Corey Kluber (right shoulder inflammation) are both on rehab assignments. Cora didn’t know what they’d be doing next.
Yankees: RHP Gerrit Cole (13-4, 2.79 ERA) starts Friday in the opener of a weekend series at Pittsburgh.
Red Sox: RHP Brayan Bello (12-8, 3.68) starts Friday’s series opener at Toronto.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb
Brendan Mcgair, The Associated Press