Red Sox bats set rivalry record in four-game series vs Yankees

HOUSTON, TEXAS - MAY 26: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox receives congratulations from Mookie Betts #50 after hitting a home run in the fourth inning Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 26, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - MAY 26: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox receives congratulations from Mookie Betts #50 after hitting a home run in the fourth inning Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 26, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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The Boston Red Sox lineup exploded four 44 runs over their four-game weekend series against the New York Yankees to set a record for this rivalry.

The Boston Red Sox took three out of four against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park over the weekend behind a powerhouse offense that produced at a level this rivalry has never seen before.

It began with a season-high 19 run outburst in a series-opening shellacking on Thursday. Boston’s bats clobbered Masahiro Tanaka for 12 earned runs, the most a Yankees pitcher has ever allowed to the Red Sox since earned runs became an official stat in 1913.

The Red Sox followed that by hanging 10 runs on the Yankees, including a three-home run performance from Mookie Betts. Boston recorded 14 extra-base hits in the first game of the series and 11 the next night. This marked only the second time in franchise history that the club has tallied 10+ extra-base hits in consecutive games (also August 14-15, 2015 vs. SEA).

New York’s pitching staff finally held their opponent to single digits on Saturday – barely. The Red Sox piled up nine runs on 15 hits, eight of which went for extra bases. That extended their streak of scoring 8+ runs against the Yankees to six, dating back to June 2 in the Bronx.

Boston only managed six runs in Sunday’s finale, allowing the Yankees to salvage the series by avoiding a sweep. Those six runs were enough to push their series total to 44, the most that either the Red Sox or Yankees have scored against each other in a four-game series in the history of their rivalry.

The 44 runs added to Boston’s major league-leading total which now stands at 626, comfortably ahead of the second-place Yankees (610). The Red Sox have played two more games than the Yankees have this season but their average of 5.85 runs per game is ahead of New York’s 5.81 average.

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The Red Sox outscored the Yankees 44-22 in the series while trimming their deficit in the AL East to nine games. The Bronx Bombers had an opportunity to bury Boston in this series. Instead, they invigorated them with new life. While it may be too late to steal the division crown, Boston managed to gain ground in the Wild Card race and now sit only a game out of a playoff spot.

More importantly, winning this series restored confidence in the reigning champions, reminding them of the damage they can do against other elite teams.

Boston was on the fence about which direction to go as the trade deadline approached. Losing this series could potentially have convinced them to pivot toward selling. Proving they can hang with a playoff-bound Yankees team while remaining firmly in contention for a Wild Card spot should be enough to entice them into buying.

We’ve often criticized the Red Sox for their pitching woes this season but clearly, the Yankees staff has its own issues. New York’s pitching staff ranks sixth in the AL with a collective 4.39 ERA while Boston is right behind them in seventh place and a 4.66 ERA.

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Maybe these teams aren’t as far apart as the standings suggest. The Red Sox certainly won’t fear the Yankees if they meet again in the postseason and this weekend provided evidence that they are capable of beating their rivals in any series.