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Red Sox best Gerrit Cole, oust Yankees in AL wild-card game

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The Boston Red Sox chased Gerrit Cole after just 2+ innings and held on to boot the rival New York Yankees in the AL wild-card game on Tuesday night.

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who struggled down the stretch of the regular season, landed the first blow with a two-run homer in the first inning, then trade deadline acquisition Kyle Schwarber ripped a solo homer in the third. Cole’s night ended two batters later without recording another out.

Meanwhile, Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi steamrolled the Yankees' lineup in the early part of the game. He ran into trouble in the sixth inning, allowing a home run to Anthony Rizzo and a single to Aaron Judge. Boston manager Alex Cora raised eyebrows by quickly hooking Eovaldi — who finished with eight strikeouts and no walks in 5 1/3 innings — and bringing in Ryan Brasier.

It could have turned around in that moment for the Yankees. Giancarlo Stanton, for the second time in the game, whacked a searing line drive to left field that clanked off the Green Monster instead of leaving the yard. Center fielder Kiké Hernández raced over to pick up the bounding ball and Bogaerts zipped a relay home to nail Judge at the plate.

Alex Verdugo, the main piece the Red Sox got back for Mookie Betts prior to the 2020 season, drove in three runs with big hits over the next two innings and the Yankees never mounted a serious challenge against the Boston bullpen — though Stanton eventually got his home run in the ninth. Red Sox pitching in total struck out 11 and walked no one.

A Yankees team with high expectations bowed out to Boston by a final score of 6-2.

The Red Sox advance to face the AL East champion Tampa Bay Rays in an ALDS matchup that begins Thursday.

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