Gerrit Cole-Rafael Devers drama to set stage for Yankees vs Red Sox rubber match

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees / Luke Hales/GettyImages

This most recent Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees series has been packed with ups and downs for both clubs.

The Yankees broke out of their June slump in a big way on June 6 and piled on the Red Sox for 14 runs. But before New York secured the win to leave the series up for grabs the next night, Rafael Devers continued a favorite rivalry tradition.

The third baseman crushed a towering home run off Gerrit Cole in the fifth inning. As the 447-foot blast cleared the fence, Devers spun his bat to the ground and shouted some choice words toward his teammates.

Cole's eyes followed Devers to first base, and the Yankees didn't take his celebration kindly. They responded with 11 runs, but Devers made the most of his moment. He collected his 1,000th career hit and eighth homer off Cole in consecutive at-bats — Devers has never homered more than three times against any other pitcher.

After each team claimed a triumphant victory in the first two matches, the series remains untaken. Kutter Crawford and Luis Gil will get the honors on the mound.

The two hurlers have undergone similar trajectories this year. Crawford and Gil posted consistent, low-scoring outings in the first few months of the season and were among the American League's way-too-early Cy Young candidates. But hitters seem to have the pitchers figured out in their recent starts.

Rafael Devers' homer off Gerrit Cole, Yankees' explosive win sets up for tense rivalry series finale

Crawford has been a frequent home run victim since May and he's given up at least one long ball in 10 of his last 11 starts. Gil's struggles began more recently when he allowed seven runs against the Orioles in 1.1 innings on June 20. He allowed five and four runs in his two subsequent starts.

Crawford's most recent outing showed improvement from his May and June troubles. The Marlins scored one run on three hits and fanned seven times on July 2. That one run Miami scored was a homer, and the Yankees have two of the most dangerous home run hitters in the league on their squad.

But the Red Sox will play their fastest lineup against the rookie Gil. Jarren Duran, David Hamilton, Ceddanne Rafaela and the rest of the Sox's fastest players may be able to pressure Gil into another rough outing.

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