David Price threw the pitch and grimaced, hearing what he described later as being the loudest noise he ever heard from a ball coming off a bat.
Such was the swing Aaron Judge put on a high fastball in the eighth inning on Sunday night.
“I didn’t think it was going in the bullpen. I thought it was going to hit the Jumbotron to be honest,” Price said.
Jackie Bradley Jr. turned and ran, but not too fast. He wanted to make sure he had his steps timed to arrive at the fence just when the ball got there.
When he got in position, Bradley turned so his back was against the wall and jumped just high enough to catch the ball and bring it back over the metal railing.
Matt Barnes, warming up a few feet away, put both hands on his head in disbelief. The sellout crowd roared, having witnessed one of the best catches ever made at Fenway Park.
After the Sox finished up a much-needed 3-0 victory against the Yankees in the second game of a day/night doubleheader, Bradley didn’t feign modesty.
“I knew I had it,” he said. “You can’t assume it, but I knew I could get there. I had time.”
Bradley said he made sure to align his feet and jump parallel to the wall, not into it. The height of his jump had to be perfect, too.
“A lot of different things had to go the right way,” he said.
Mookie Betts, who was 3 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs, could only laugh.
“That’s Jackie,” he said. “I figured he’d catch it.”
Judge was 1 for 18 in the series with an infield single and no RBIs.
“Hit it to the wrong part of the park to the wrong center fielder,” he said.
What Bradley, Betts and Price provided came at the right time. The Sox lost, 4-1, in 16 innings on Saturday and then 3-0 in the first game on Sunday. They needed a boost.
Before Betts’s two-run homer off Masahiro Tanaka in the third inning, the Sox had gone 24 innings without scoring.
Price (5-2) scattered seven hits over eight innings and struck out eight without a walk. It was his strongest start of the season.
“I expect to go out there and get 27 outs and nine zeroes every time I touch the mound. That was a good win for us. We needed it,” he said.
Price has a 3.39 earned run average, allowing three or fewer earned runs in nine of his 10 starts since recovering from an elbow strain.
“David pitched spectacular tonight. It was definitely fun playing behind him,” Bradley said.
Craig Kimbrel put two runners on in the ninth but struck out Chase Headley to finish the game. He has 24 saves.
With the Los Angeles Angels beating the Tampa Bay Rays, the Sox picked up half a game in the standings. They lead the second-place Rays by three games.
In the first game, Yankees lefty CC Sabathia and three relievers allowed four hits.
Sabathia (8-3) worked six innings and allowed two hits. He has faced the Sox twice this season and thrown 14 shutout innings. Tyler Clippard, Chad Green, and Aroldis Chapman handled the final three innings.
It was an embarrassing offensive performance. The Sox grounded into 14 outs, had six infield popups, and struck out six times. They also failed to take advantage of seven walks.
“It’s not the effort,” Betts said. “You go through stretches where you hit everybody and stretches when you don’t hit anybody.”
The Sox were 0 of 11 with runners in scoring position and in the last nine games are 5 of 64.
“We’re in one of those spells,” manager John Farrell said.
The first inning was typical. Betts and Xander Bogaerts drew walks to put Sabathia in immediate trouble. Then Andrew Benintendi swung at the first pitch, grounding into a force at second. Chris Young, batting cleanup against the lefthander, grounded into a double play.
“I thought we had a chance to break through, put a couple of points on the board,” Farrell said. “The two-out base hit in those spots hasn’t been there.”
Farrell suggested he would change the look of the lineup for Monday night’s game against Toronto.
Red Sox starter Rick Porcello allowed three runs — one earned — over six innings. He gave up nine hits and struck out six without a walk. He left trailing, 3-0.
“Rick, I thought, was solid once again,” Farrell said. “He was efficient with quality location. Certainly kept us in the ballgame.”
Porcello (4-12) has a 3.31 earned run average in his last five starts, which represents marked progress considering his ERA was an unsightly 5.05 on June 17.
“Me personally, I feel like I’m pitching more like I can,” Porcello said. “But we needed to win the game. That’s my job.”
A costly error ruined Porcello’s day in the fourth inning.
With one out and a runner on first, Clint Frazier grounded to shortstop. Bogaerts bobbled the double-play ball and the Yankees had two runners on instead of the inning being over.
Austin Romine followed with a single to load the bases. Ji-Man Choi’s sacrifice fly gave the Yankees one run. When Ronald Torreyes singled to left field, Frazier beat the throw from Benintendi to the plate.
“Hung a slider to Torreyes. That was really the pitch I was most frustrated about,” Porcello said.
Porcello finally ended the 25-pitch inning, covering first base on a grounder to the right side. As he walked back to the dugout, Porcello took the ball and threw a popup into the stands behind the dugout in disgust.
The Sox have scored two or fewer runs in 10 of Porcello’s 20 starts, getting shut out five times.
“They scored 15 runs a game for me last year,” Porcello said, only somewhat exaggerating the bountiful run support he enjoyed in 2016. “It is what it is. It’s baseball; it’s part of the game. You just keep going out there.”
More photos from the Red Sox-Yankees doubleheader