Alex Rodriguez had already driven in four runs against David Price with a homer and a double.
So when the New York Yankees’ designated hitter came up again with the game tied in the seventh inning, Red Sox manager John Farrell wanted to have a chat with his ace.
"David’s not going to say he doesn’t want to face anyone," Farrell said Sunday night after Price retired Rodriguez and picked up the win in Boston’s 8-7 victory over the Yankees.
"That was a pivotal moment," Farrell added. "He’s a big-time performer, despite some of tonight’s outcomes."
Price got Rodriguez on a groundout, and Christian Vazquez hit a two-run homer over the Green Monster in the bottom of the inning to break a 6-all tie as the Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of their archrivals.
Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts each had three hits and Travis Shaw homered for Boston, which has won seven of eight to move into first place in the AL East.
Rodriguez homered for the third time in four games and added a two-run double for the Yankees, who have lost a season-high five in a row.
"It is frustrating, no question about it," Rodriguez said. "We expect better things from ourselves."
Price (4-0) earned the win despite allowing six runs and eight hits in seven innings. He gave up Rodriguez’s 692nd career homer in the third and then a two-run double in the fifth.
"He’s tough, he’s got 3,000-plus hits," Price said. "For them to stick with me then, I definitely appreciate it."
Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his eighth save.
Dellin Betances relieved Ivan Nova (1-1) with one on and two outs in the seventh, but Vazquez hit the first pitch over the left-field wall for his first homer of the year, and just the second of his major league career.
"I pretty much lost these games; I’ll take the responsibility on myself," said Betances, who gave up a tiebreaking homer to David Ortiz on Friday night. "It’s tough. We put up a lot of runs and I tried to come in and do my job. Unfortunately, I didn’t."
Nathan Eovaldi, who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning at Texas in his previous start, gave up hits to the first two batters on Sunday as the Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first.
PLAY IT AGAIN
There was a 3-minute, 52-second replay review before the start of the fourth inning as the umpires tried to decide whether Ortiz had touched home before Hanley Ramirez was tagged out sliding into third base for the third out.
Plate umpire Alan Porter ruled immediately that the run would count; the call was ultimately upheld, with replay showing the run scored at almost exactly the same time Ramirez was tagged.
"We got the benefit of a split second," Farrell said. "And it turns out to be a pivotal moment."
NO CHANGES YET
The Yankees scored their most runs in 18 games, but manager Joe Girardi wasn’t thinking about changes yet despite another loss.
"I don’t know where you necessarily go," he said. "The guys in this room have to get it done, collectively. I’m not thinking about that."
Yankees: OF Aaron Hicks, who missed six games with left shoulder bursitis, returned as a pinch-hitter on Saturday and was back in the starting lineup in right field. He went 0 for 3.
Red Sox: Relief pitcher Carson Smith is expected to be activated Tuesday before the series opener against the White Sox. He went on the disabled list with a strained right flexor muscle as of March 25.
The Yankees are off Monday before playing three games in Baltimore beginning Tuesday.
The Red Sox are off Monday and open a three-game series in Chicago on Tuesday.
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