Red Sox

Red Sox blow lead in eighth, fall to Yankees, 5-4


Red Sox blow lead in eighth, fall to Yankees, 5-4

NEW YORK - Aaron Hicks awoke a dormant offense with a two-run homer that sparked a five-run eighth inning, then threw out a runner at third in the ninth inning to help Aroldis Chapman get out of trouble, and the New York Yankees rallied to beat the Red Sox 5-4 Friday night and stop Boston's winning streak at eight.

Hanley Ramirez and Andrew Benintendi homered off Jaime Garcia, and Eduardo Rodriguez handed a 3-0 lead to his bullpen in the seventh. But in the first of 10 key games between the AL East rivals in 24 days, Didi Gregorius and Todd Frazier followed Hicks' home run with RBI singles and Ronald Torreyes hit a sacrifice fly as the Yankees took a 5-3 lead and rebounded to close within 3 1/2 games of the Red Sox.

Boston and New York met while 1-2 in the division this late in the season for the first time since 2011. A sellout crowd filled Yankee Stadium in anticipation, but it was quieted by Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez, who allowed two hits in six scoreless innings.

Matt Barnes pitched a hitless seventh that extended the scoreless streak by Boston's bullpen to 19 innings.

And then the drama began.

Pinch-hitter Brett Gardner was nicked on his back foot by a pitch from Addison Reed (0-1) leading off the eighth, a call originally missed by plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth and overturned on video review. Reed had gone 1,005 batters without hitting one since plunking the Dodgers' Dee Gordon on March 23, 2014.

Hicks returned Thursday from an oblique injury that been sidelined him since June 25, and he followed with a high drive down the right-field line that stopped the Yankees' shutout streak at 16 innings.

Gary Sanchez singled, went to second on a wild pitch and Aaron Judge walked.

Joe Kelly relieved, Gregorius blooped an opposite-field hit to left, and Frazier was strong enough to muscle another single to left on a pitch that jammed him. Torreyes added a sacrifice fly.

Adam Warren (3-2) allowed one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings, and Chapman walked the bases loaded with no out.

Benintendi, whose bases-loaded walk against Chapman gave Boston a July 14 win at Fenway Park, hit a sacrifice fly to left that Hicks caught in front of the left-field warning track. The strong-armed Hicks made a one-hop throw to Frazier at third base, and he tagged out former Yankee Eduardo Nunez trying to advance from second.

Mitch Moreland flied out, giving Chapman his 15th save in 18 chances.

Boston got off to a quick start when Mookie Betts walked with one out in the first and Ramirez drove a fastball into the Boston bullpen in left-center with two outs. Benintendi homered into the second deck in right field in the fifth. His 16th major league home run was his first off a left-handed pitcher.

Kimbrel back in camp, but infant daughter on his mind

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Kimbrel back in camp, but infant daughter on his mind

Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel has returned to Fort Myers after spending the past three weeks in Boston, where his infant daughter Lydia has undergone multiple heart surgeries at Boston Children's Hospital.

On Monday, an emotional Kimbrel spoke to reporters in Florida, including The Boston Herald's Michael Silverman, about the ordeal after throwing a batting practice session.  

"We’ll be in and out of Boston Children’s Hospital the rest of her life but for this stay, hopefully, a couple more weeks," Kimbrel said. “She’s in the recovery process but life-threatening wise, she’s in a good place that I can be down here." 

Kimbrel said he and his wife Ashley "can't say enough about how amazing Boston Children's Hospital has been." 

"There's no denying it's been the toughest thing we've ever been through," Kimbrel said.  

"In the last week, her recovery has been unbelievable and she's showing great signs and we're very blessed and we want to thank the Red Sox and Alex [Cora] for understanding they've been through this and working with us," Kimbrel said. 

He said Lydia, born in November, will need another surgery when she's around 3 or 4 years old to help ensure normal development. 

"It's been tough, I can say that. We're definitely, me and my wife, we've had each other and we've had our family, we've had a great support. Everyone is sending out prayers that have definitely been heard. Now, I'm back down here. The other day I threw a live BP up at Babson [College in Wellesley, Mass.], and me and her got to talking and seeing where Lydia is, and how she's progressed, she's in a good, comfortable place for me to be down here. If she wasn't, I wouldn't be here.

"My family comes first and then baseball comes. I have to thank the Red Sox for letting me be there with my family and then helping me continue to prepare while I was at home. Stepping away for a few hours was definitely a release. It did help to get in the weight room. It did help to throw the ball. But that's not going to take away the emotions we went through in the hospital."

Kimbrel said he and his wife talked about how fortunate they were to be in Boston and its world-class healthcare facilities. 

"We believe that everything in life happens for a reason, even if we don't understand it at the time," he said. "There's a lesson to be learned and something to be shared through every step you go through in life. As difficult as this is, and I know it will take time, hopefully, this experience and everything we've been through, we can share that with others, try to impact someone else's life. Because I know for a fact my daughter's going to be able to do that one day."



Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

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Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel returned to Fort Myers on Sunday after his 4-month-old daughter underwent successful heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Red Sox are confident he'll be ready for Opening Day.

“Oh, yeah. Plenty,” manager Alex Cora replied when asked if Kimbrel had time to get ready for the March 29 opener against the Rays in St. Petersburg. “With him it’s a different schedule, anyway. He’ll be ready.”

Kimbrel's daughter, Lydia Joy, was born with a heart defect. He left the team Feb. 28 to be with her and his family in Boston, but pitching coach Dana Levangie said Kimbrel was on a pitching program during that time.

“The most important thing is that the family is okay with [Kimbrel returning to the Sox],” Cora said. “If they’re okay with it, we’re okay with it.”