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Red Sox 6, Yankees 2

How the Red Sox’ win over the Yankees in the Wild Card Game unfolded

Alex Verdugo celebrates his sixth-inning RBI double.
Alex Verdugo celebrates his sixth-inning RBI double.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

The Red Sox beat the Yankees, 6-2, in the AL Wild Card Game to advance to the American League Division Series against the Rays.

It was one night, one game, winner-take-all. Read the full game story here.

See the ALDS schedule here.

Read Dan Shaughnessy’s postgame column here.

Boston, which stumbled into the Wild Card Game and clinched home-field advantage on the final day of the regular season, had to find a way to get past Gerrit Cole.

It took less than three innings.

Xander Bogaerts opened up the scoring by taking Cole deep in the first for a two-run home run. Kyle Schwarber banged in a solo homer to lead off the third inning, and after a single by Kiké Hernandez and a walk of Rafael Devers, the Yankees starter was done for the night.


Nate Eovaldi looked the part of the ace, striking out eight through 5 ⅓ innings. Of his 71 pitches, 54 of them were for strikes.

But after Anthony Rizzo hit a solo home run to put the Yankees on the board, and Aaron Judge got on base with a single, Alex Cora turned to Ryan Brasier to get the Sox out of the sixth.

With just one game, and 12 pitchers on the Wild Card Game roster, the Sox manager wasn’t going to waste any time.

The Red Sox quelled any momentum the Yankees had when Hernandez relayed to Bogaerts, who gunned down Aaron Judge at the plate for the second out in the sixth. Joey Gallo popped out to end the inning.

The Sox put another run on the board in the bottom of the sixth thanks to an RBI double by Alex Verdugo to the right-field corner off of Luis Severino. Bogaerts scored from first after a shrewd call by third-base coach Carlos Febles, who sent the shortstop home when weak-armed Gleyber Torres took the relay throw from Judge.


Tanner Houck made his postseason debut when he entered in the seventh, fanning two on a devastating slider.

Verdugo put the icing on the night when he knocked in two runs in the bottom of the seventh with a bases-loaded single.

Julian McWilliams offered live commentary throughout the game. Here’s how it unfolded:

See live play-by-play here. | See the live box score here.

How the Sox did it — 11:28 p.m.

The Red Sox are celebrating my on the field as they head to Tampa for the ALDS.

Eovaldi led the way with 5 ⅓ crucial innings backed by some thunderous swings of the bat, including a two-run shot by Xander Bogaerts in the first and a Kyle Schwarber solo shot in the third.

Sox win — 11:25 p.m.

It’s on to Tampa. See the ALDS schedule here.

Whitlock on for ninth — 11:21 p.m.

Garrett Whitlock, who was a rule 5 pick from the Yankees this past offseason, is pitching the ninth and is about to send the team that didn’t think anything of him packing.

Can’t think of a better way to end a Wild Card Game. He’ll face the Yanks’ horses: Judge, Stanton, Gallo.

Hansel Robles goes 1-2-3 in eighth — 11:11 p.m.

Hansel Robles hasn’t allowed a run in his last 13 ⅔ innings, including his perfect eighth. He has struck out 16 batters in that span.

The Red Sox are three outs away from advancing to the ALDS.

Verdugo shows up big when runners are on base — 11:06 p.m.

Verdugo has a .273 batting average with runners in scoring position, compared to a .301 batting average with the bases empty.


He showed that prowess a two-run single to left field with the bases loaded for his third RBI of the game.

Hansel Robles in for top of eighth — 11:04 p.m.

Hansel Robles is in as the Sox look to get six more outs. to advance to the ALDS.

Alex Verdugo hits two home — 11:02 p.m.

Alex Verdugo knocked in two more runs in the bottom of the seventh, putting the Sox up 6-1 with six outs to go.

Verdugo ran into the third out when he tried to extend a single.

How many people are at Fenway tonight? — 11:01 p.m.

The announced attendance at Fenway: 38,324.

Charlie McAvoy in the house — 10:56 p.m.

H/T Globe Bruins writer Matt Porter.

Tanner Houck uses devastating slider to escape seventh — 10:45 p.m.

Houck’s slider is devastating. Hitters are batting just .159 on that pitch.

He fanned Gio Urshela on his slider to end the seventh inning, registering two strikeouts total.

Tanner Houck in for Sox at top of seventh — 10:33 p.m.

The Red Sox will turn to Tanner Houck for the seventh inning. Houck will look to redeem himself after his previous appearance against New York, during the regular season. It’s Houck’s first postseason appearance.

Houck allowed two runs and walked four in 1 ⅔ innings on Sept. 25, during the Yankees’ sweep of the Sox at Fenway.

With Eovaldi out the game, Christian Vázquez is now in to catch.

The Sox haven’t walked a batter tonight.

We’re talking the pizza throw — 10:30 p.m.

ESPN broadcasters Alex Rodriguez and Matt Vasgerian brought up the infamous “Here comes the pizza” moment, so here’s an opportunity to watch the moment in its entirety.

Missing the backstory? We’ve got you covered.

Carlos Febles’s shrewd move at third — 10:22 p.m.

Red Sox third base coach Carlos Febles read the throw in from right fielder Aaron Judge on that Alex Verdugo hit. Once he saw Gleyber Torres was the relay man — and Torres doesn’t have that strong of an arm — that’s when Febles shrewdly decided to send Bogaerts home for the fourth run of the evening.


David Ortiz liked it — 10:19 p.m.

Verdugo smokes double, Bogaerts scores — 10:19 p.m.

Alex Verdugo knocked a double into the right-field corner, and Xander Bogaerts scored from first to put the Red Sox up 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone pulled Luis Severino for Jonathan Loáisiga.

Houck warming in bullpen — 10:12 p.m.

Tanner Houck is warming up for the Sox.

Kiké quells Yanks’ momentum with dart on Judge — 10:08 p.m.

Alex Cora spoke on Kiké Hernández’s ability to shift from position to position before the game and be effective at all of them.

He proved it there with the way he played the ball off the tricky Fenway wall, nailing Kevin Plawecki to get Aaron Judge out at home.

The relay throw one-hopped Bogaerts, who scooped it and nabbed Judge at home, killing all the momentum the Yankees had in that inning.

Sox 3, Yanks 1 entering the bottom of the sixth.

Why Alex Cora pulled Nate Eovaldi — 10:02 p.m.

Cora didn’t waste any time going to his bullpen after Aaron Judge hit an infield single in the top of the sixth with one out.

Eovaldi’s night is done after 5⅓ innings. The timing might have been right: He had a 4.01 ERA the third time through the order this season.

Eovaldi’s final line: 8 Ks, 4 hits, 1 run, no walks.

Nate Eovaldi pulled — 10:00 p.m.

Alex Cora pulled Nate Eovaldi at the first sign of trouble, with one on and no outs in the top of the sixth.


The move comes after Anthony Rizzo finally got the Yankees on the board with a solo home run.

He had 8 Ks on 71 pitches.

Another K for Eovaldi, then Rizzo gets on board — 9:57 p.m.

Nate Eovaldi struck out Rougned Odor to open the top of the sixth.

The second batter, Anthony Rizzo, took a pitch all the way to the Pesky Pole to give the Yankees their first run of the game.

The crowd went silent as Rizzo’s ball landed in the right field bleachers. “Let’s go Yankees!” chants erupted but were met by a sea of boos from Sox fans.

The Sox lead the Yankees, 3-1.

Severino on the mound for Yanks — 9:48 p.m.

Aaron Boone opted for Luis Severino to take the mound in the bottom of the fifth after Clay Holmes came in in relief of starter Gerrit Cole.

Nate Eovaldi is spectacular — 9:45 p.m.

Eovaldi has been spectacular so far. He’s at 64 pitches after the top of the fifth — tossing 47 for strikes. He has also retired the last 10 in a row.

Getting through the top of the sixth inning will be crucial. He’s set to face the No. 9, No. 1, and No. 2 batters in the order.

Alex Cora on key adjustments — 9:31 p.m.

The Red Sox were swept by the Yankees in the last weekend of September, leaving little confidence they could do any damage this postseason.

But Sox manager Alex Cora said on the ESPN broadcast at the start of the bottom of the fourth that his team “learned a lot about them” in that series.

“Today, we made some adjustments,” he said.

The Sox are up, 3-0, to begin the bottom of the fourth.

What the Sox are facing in Clay Holmes — 9:29 p.m.

The Red Sox missed an opportunity in the bottom of the third inning to add on against Holmes, but they’ll try to get him in the bottom of the fourth.

Holmes fanned Xander Bogaerts and induced an Alex Verdugo double play.

Holmes is on a torrid stretch: He’s allowed just three earned runs in the last 16 ⅔ innings prior to Tuesday.

Red Sox retire seven in a row — 9:28 p.m.

The Red Sox carry a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth, with Nate Eovaldi dealing.

Aaron Boone on pulling Cole: ‘I thought it was time’ — 9:23 p.m.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone briefly joined the ESPN broadcast at the start of the fourth inning, after Gerrit Cole was pulled for Clay Holmes.

Alex Rodriguez and Matt Vasgersian asked Boone why Cole got the early hook.

“We got to keep this thing in check,” Boone said. “I thought it was time.”

Boone also said Cole’s removal was not prompted by injury.

“Nothing physical.”

Gerrit Cole’s early exit bodes well for the Sox — 9:18 p.m.

Manager Aaron Boone didn’t take any chances — he pulled his ace after just two-plus innings.

This bodes well for the Red Sox, who have now forced the Yankee bullpen to cover the rest of the way.

That was tied for Cole’s shortest start of his career. Clay Holmes took over for Cole.

Cole’s final line: 4 hits, 3 runs, 2 BBs, 3 Ks.

Gerrit Cole is done — 9:12 p.m.

Wow. After the Schwarber homer, and a walk of Devers, Cole is done for the night.

Clay Holmes is in for relief.

Kyle Schwarber homers off Gerrit Cole in third — 9:09 p.m.

Kyle Schwarber led off the bottom of the third inning with a 435-foot shot into the right-field bleachers to put the Red Sox up, 3-0.

Schwarber feasts on fastballs, particularly at the top of the zone.

It’s why the Red Sox prefer to have him in the lineup against flamethrowers like Cole as a result of his compact swing. That 1-2 fastball was above Schwarber’s hands and he still crushed it.

How Nate Eovaldi is keeping hitters off-balance — 9:05 p.m.

Eovaldi implemented a quick pitch in his delivery as a way to keep Yankees hitters off balance.

Anthony Rizzo was on all his pitches during his at-bat in the top of the third, so Eovaldi went to the quick pitch and induced a swing and miss for strike three.

It’s the latest example of how Eovaldi can tinker and adjust during an outing, which led to a lot of his success this year.

Through three innings, Eovaldi has held the Yankees scoreless.

Can the Fenway crowd psyche out Gerrit Cole? — 8:58 p.m.

Whenever Gerrit Cole goes into his windup, fans begin to chant “Gerrit!”

Through two innings, the Yanks starter has allowed one hit (Bogaerts’s two-run homer) and walked one while striking out three.

Why Kevin Plawecki is starting over Christian Vázquez — 8:57 p.m.

Manager Alex Cora has said frequently that he likes catcher Kevin Plawecki’s ability to put the bat to the ball against high-quality pitching. He did so in the second with that double.

Behind the dish, he’s had success with Nate Eovaldi, posting a 3.28 ERA with Plawecki. Eovaldi has a 4.77 ERA with Christian Vázquez catching.

Eovaldi’s pitch mix on display with 3 Ks — 8:42 p.m.

Eovaldi’s mix of pitches was on display during the top of the second inning.

He got Gardner and Higashiako swinging on curveballs to end it.

And in the first, Gallo’s strikeout came on a splitter.

Eovaldi has three Ks and two hits through 1½.

Bogaerts homers to put Sox up 2-0 — 8:29 p.m.

Xander Bogaerts launched a homer to open the scoring for the Red Sox in the first inning.

Cole left a changeup over the heart of the plate to Bogaerts and he crushed it for a two-run blast. Bogaerts looked toward his dugout and cheered before even reaching first base. It was Bogaerts’s third career postseason homer.

It was the sixth home run allowed by Cole at Fenway this year.

Schwarber makes history — 8:23 p.m.

Schwarber, serving as DH, became the first Red Sox designated hitter to lead off a postseason game since Juan Beniquez led off all three games of an American League Championship Series sweep of the Oakland A’s in 1975.

Schwarber wasn’t the only atypical choice to hit in the top spot. The Yankees installed Schwarber’s former Cubs teammate, Anthony Rizzo, in their top spot of the order.

“It’s pretty cool coming full circle playing against a really good friend leading off as well – not your prototypical leadoff hitters, but he’s excited about it, too,” said Rizzo.

— Alex Speier and Peter Abraham

Fenway explodes as Nate Eovaldi retires the side — 8:17 p.m.

Fenway is alive. Just before Nate Eovaldi’s first pitch to Anthony Rizzo, fans rose to their feet.

After Eovaldi induced a ground out on the first pitch, it became even louder. Fans stood up from the first pitch of the inning to the very last.

The only hit the Yankees managed was a soaring fly from Giancarlo Stanton. It looked like it was headed into the Green Monster seats before bouncing off the wall. He had to settle for a single.

In 64 at-bats against the Sox this year, Stanton has 17 hits — four of them home runs — and 14 RBIs.

Here’s the Yankees lineup: Rizzo 1B. Judge RF, Stanton DH, Gallo LF, Torres 2B, Gardner CF, Urshela 3B, Higashioka C, Velazquez SS.

Yankees vs. Eovaldi: Joey Gallo 1-7, Brett Gardner 5-28, Kyle Higashioka 2-3, Aaron Judge 8-20, Rougned Odor 2-14, Anthony Rizzo 5-9, Giancarlo Stanton 7-27, Gary Sánchez 2-14, Gleyber Torres 7-29, Gio Urshela 4-15, Andrew Velazquez 0-2, Tyler Wade 0-4.

Jerry Remy throws out first pitch — 8:04 p.m.

Jerry Remy threw out the first pitch for the Red Sox. Dennis Eckersley was on the receiving end.

The former Sox player and longtime TV man has been out since the beginning of August as he deals with another bout of cancer.

Jerry Remy waves to the crowd.
Jerry Remy waves to the crowd.Winslow Townson/Getty

Bucky F. Dent is in the house — 7:40 p.m.

On Sunday, Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy sent a text to Bucky Dent:

Hey, Bucky. Hope you are well. Dan Shaughnessy in Boston calling here. You know why. Please call.

Dent, of course, cemented himself in Red Sox lore — and picked up a new middle name — when he hit the home run that eventually sent Boston home in the winner-take-all regular-season finale in 1978.

Read Shaughnessy’s full column here.

And look who’s in attendance tonight.

Bucky Dent is all smiles before the game.
Bucky Dent is all smiles before the game.Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

And in the eeriest of coincidences, take a look at Monday’s lottery number in Mass.:


What the Red Sox need to do to win — 7:32 p.m.

For the Red Sox to win with this Wild Card Game, it’s important that Nate Eovaldi gets into his usual groove.

When he pounds the strike zone utilizing his five-pitch mix, Eovaldi is tough to beat — especially with his upper-90s fastball. But it will be a quick hook if he struggles.

If you take away Eovaldi’s last start against the Yankees when he allowed seven earned runs, he’s been highly effective against them, allowing just seven runs in his five previous outings.

Alex Cora in his return from exile — 7:26 p.m.

It’s been a year since the Red Sox manager returned from exile.

He feels more connected with his family, more appreciative of the moment, and ready for the playoff grind.

In 2012, MLB expanded the playoffs from four to five teams in each league, adding a second wild-card team in each league. In so doing, the league went from awarding one wild-card team direct passage to the League Division Series to a one-game, win-or-go-home showdown between the two wild-card teams.

That format significantly increases the appeal of winning a division. It has also created a tremendously intense, often wildly entertaining game for wild-card teams at the start of their postseason paths.

Twenty-one teams have experienced the Wild Card Game in the eight postseasons, from 2012-19, during which it’s been around. (The 2020 postseason featured an expanded playoff pool with the first-round featuring best-of-three series between the eight playoff teams.) The Sox are one of nine teams that has never experienced one – until now.

What to make of it? Read Alex Speier’s full story here.

And Chad Finn looks at what we thought once might be impossible: That baseball could make itself interesting enough to steal the NFL’s thunder. On Sunday, it worked.

Red Sox and Yankees lineups — 7:00 p.m.

YANKEES (92-70): Rizzo 1B. Judge RF, Stanton DH, Gallo LF, Torres 2B, Gardner CF, Urshela 3B, Higashioka C, Velazquez SS.

Pitching: RHP Gerrit Cole (16-8, 3.23 ERA)

RED SOX (92-70): Schwarber DH, Hernández CF, Devers 3B, Bogaerts SS, Verdugo LF, Renfroe RF, Plawecki C, Dalbec 1B, Arroyo 2B.

Pitching: RHP Nate Eovaldi (11-9, 3.75 ERA

Yankees vs. Eovaldi: Joey Gallo 1-7, Brett Gardner 5-28, Kyle Higashioka 2-3, Aaron Judge 8-20, Rougned Odor 2-14, Anthony Rizzo 5-9, Giancarlo Stanton 7-27, Gary Sánchez 2-14, Gleyber Torres 7-29, Gio Urshela 4-15, Andrew Velazquez 0-2, Tyler Wade 0-4.

Red Sox vs. Cole: Christian Arroyo 1-2, Xander Bogaerts 5-24, Bobby Dalbec 0-4, Rafael Devers 4-19, Kiké Hernández 5-11, José Iglesias 3-24, J.D. Martinez 6-25, Kevin Plawecki 1-3, Hunter Renfroe 4-20, Kyle Schwarber 3-17, Travis Shaw 3-17, Alex Verdugo 4-14, Christian Vázquez 5-17.

Sox without J.D. Martinez, who has ‘serious’ injury — 6:53 p.m.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora described the left ankle injury of J.D. Martinez as “very serious” in discussing why the slugger will not be available for Tuesday night’s Wild Card Game against the Yankees.

Although Cora said that Martinez is not on crutches and there remains hope that he’d recover in time to contribute in a best-of-five American League Division Series against the Rays, the extent of the swelling made clear that he could not play Tuesday, even coming off the bench.

“For him not to post, it’s very serious,” Cora said. “That thing looks huge. Humongous. He’ll get treatment today. We’ll go from there. But for tonight, it was a no.”

The Sox added four players to their roster who had not been with the team at the end of the regular season.

▪ Lefthanded reliever Josh Taylor was activated from the injured list after being sidelined for the end of the season with a lower-back strain.

▪ With José Iglesias – the team’s primary second baseman in the last few weeks of the season – ineligible for the playoffs because he was not in the organization before Aug. 31, middle infielder Jonathan Araúz was summoned from Triple-A Worcester.

▪ Outfielder Jarren Duran was also called up from Triple-A Worcester, where his speed will make him a pinch-running option.

▪ To accommodate some of those in-game changes, the team also summoned a third catcher – Connor Wong – from Worcester to allow for strategic moves with catchers Kevin Plawecki and Christian Vázquez.

Also left off the roster are pitchers Hirokazu Sawamura and Darwinzon Hernandez. Chris Sale was not expected to be added to the roster.

Both Nick Pivetta and Eduardo Rodriguez will be available.

Here’s who’s on the roster for the Red Sox for tonight’s game:

Pitchers (12): Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Austin Davis, Nathan Eovaldi, Tanner Houck, Adam Ottavino, Nick Pivetta, Garrett Richards, Hansel Robles, Eduardo Rodriguez, Josh Taylor, Garrett Whitlock

Catchers (3): Kevin Plawecki, Christian Vázquez, Connor Wong

Infielders (6): Jonathan Araúz, Christian Arroyo, Xander Bogaerts, Bobby Dalbec, Rafael Devers, Travis Shaw

Outfielders (4): Jarren Duran, Hunter Renfroe, Kyle Schwarber, Alex Verdugo

Infielder/Outfielders (1): Kiké Hernández

— Alex Speier

Both teams staged dramatic victories in the final games of the regular season Sunday to clinch spots in this Wild Card Game.

The Red Sox, behind two Rafael Devers home runs, beat the Nationals in Washington, D.C., to clinch home-field advantage.

The Yankees beat the Rays, 1-0, to finish with the same record as the Red Sox. Boston earned the tiebreaker after winning the season series.

Whoever advances tonight will move on to face the Rays, who won the AL East by going 100-62 in the regular season. Here’s the schedule for the ALDS.

Shane McClanahan will pitch Game 1 for Tampa Bay.

More Red Sox-Yankees coverage

Julian McWilliams can be reached at julian.mcwilliams@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @byJulianMack. Katie McInerney can be reached at katie.mcinerney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @k8tmac.