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Yankees 5, Red Sox 3

Brayan Bello had another strong start for the Red Sox, but his defense let the rookie down in loss to the Yankees

Abraham Almonte had a rough ninth in center field.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

It was Brayan Bello’s first start against the Yankees.

On the heels of a performance against the Orioles in which Bello yielded just three runs in his 5 innings, this was his first test, even against a depleted New York lineup.

His teammates, somehow, must have missed the assignment.

Little League night made its way to Fenway in the Sox’ 5-3 loss Wednesday, dropping them to 69-74.

In the top of the fifth inning, after Bello pitched four scoreless — though laborious — innings in a scoreless contest, the Sox unraveled.

Three runs scored in that frame, all of them unearned, en route to the two-run loss.


After Bello struck out Jose Trevino for the first out of the fifth, Aaron Hicks hit a hard grounder toward Xander Bogaerts. The shortstop had Hicks played perfectly, shifting toward the second base side of the bag. Yet Bogaerts could not come up with the ball. Instead, it skipped into the outfield for an error.

Brayan Bello reacts as he sees his teammates deliver a series of errant throws in the fifth inning that allowed the Yankees to score three runs on one play. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

The next batter, Aaron Judge, base on a broken-bat single. Then Gleyber Torres, the only Yankee hitter who had Bello’s number all evening, collected his third hit of the night with a line drive single to right field.

What happened next wasn’t easy on the eyes.

Alex Verdugo fielded the ball cleanly and came up throwing home. But Christian Arroyo, the first baseman, was late setting up Verdugo with a target as the cutoff man. Arroyo then tried to play catch-up, but by that time, it was too late, and Verdugo’s throw had already skipped past him.

“If Arroyo gets there earlier, he probably cuts it and we get out at third base,” manager Alex Cora said. “He’s learning the position at first. The reaction is different than at second or shortstop. He was just a tad late.”


Catcher Connor Wong collected the Verdugo throw and caught Torres between first and second. Wong tried to nab Torres at first with Kiké Hernández covering, but his throw sailed back to Verdugo in the outfield, allowing Judge to score and then Torres, who slid underneath Wong’s tag and Verdugo’s throw.

“I just have to make a better throw there,” Wong said.

This season can’t end soon enough.

The Red Sox battled back and got one off Nestor Cortes in the bottom of the fifth behind a Wong RBI double.

The Yankees got to the Red Sox bullpen after Bello threw 98 pitches in his five innings of work, which included six strikeouts.

Trevino made it 4-1 when he struck an RBI double off reliever Zack Kelly in the sixth.

The Red Sox clawed their way back into the game, making it a 4-2 contest after Rafael Devers reached on an error in the eighth. With one out and the bases loaded, J.D. Martinez tapped a grounder to Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Falefa initiated the double play ball, getting the out at second. On the throw to first, however, Martinez looked as if he beat it, cutting the Sox’ margin to just a run. But the Yankees challenged and after review the call was overturned. Martinez did not step on first.

Xander Bogaerts tosses the rosin bag from the pitcher's mound over his shoulder in disgust after a review overturned a safe call on a play at first base in the top of the eighth inning. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

“That seems like that sums up our season,” Cora said. “Just short.”

In the ninth, Giancarlo Stanton scalded a ball to center field. Abraham Almonte took a step in and the ball sailed over his head for a double. Torres then hit a towering fly ball to the warning track. Almonte dropped it. Tim Locastro, running for Stanton, scored.


Just one of the Yankees’ five runs were earned.

“We are where we are because we’re short in certain areas, and we haven’t been able to finish games,” Cora said.

The defensive blunders spoiled a solid performance from Bello — he struck out Stanton three times — who isn’t short on confidence and is learning what it takes to get hitters out at the big league level.

“I thought he did a good job,” Wong said. “He made some really good pitches, they laid off some really good pitches. That’s just part of the process for him is continuing to make those pitches against lineups like these and see how that works moving forward.”

“Bello’s doing an outstanding job,” Cora said. “He keeps getting better.”

Julian McWilliams can be reached at Follow him @byJulianMack.