The Yankees' weekend series with the Red Sox, a four-game set at Fenway Park in Boston, continued Friday with a 6-2 loss.
Five things to know from Friday's game
1. The Red Sox figured out RHP Gerrit Cole, who battled through a high pitch count, with a breakthrough fifth inning. Cole, who fired 70 pitches through the first three frames, worked out of damage before crumbling in a three-run fifth.
Boston bounced back from Bobby Dalbec's leadoff strikeout looking, following with Enrique Hernandez's single and Jarren Duran's ground-rule double. Xander Bogaerts' sacrifice fly scored Hernandez, resetting the score with a 1-1 ballgame, before Rafael Devers' two-run homer over the Green Monster gave the Red Sox a 3-1 lead.
Cole got the final out of the frame on a J.D. Martinez flyout, but the damage was done. In five innings, Cole (10-5, 2.74 ERA) threw 104 pitches (66 strikes), allowing three runs on six hits (one homer) while striking out eight and walking two.
2. At the plate, the Yankees were unable to give Cole more than a run of offensive support, taking a 1-0 lead in the second inning but leaving the bases loaded. Boston LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (5.23 ERA) exited after the frame's first three batters -- C Gary Sanchez, SS Gleyber Torres and LF Brett Gardner -- due to migraine symptoms.
However, after the Yankees scratched across a run on Gardner's double to score Sanchez, RHP Phillips Valdez (3.76 ERA) entered and worked out of trouble. Outside of hitting RF Ryan LaMarre with a pitch to loaded the bases, Valdez mowed the Yankees down with three strikeouts, including an inning-ending backwards K to 3B DJ LeMahieu.
3. Valdez gave the Red Sox a scoreless three-inning stretch, yielding one hit while striking out seven and walking one on 55 pitches (33 strikes). The Yankees did not threaten again until the seventh inning, after Boston switched from RHPs Yacksel Rios to Garrett Whitlock, but stranded runners on first and second with one out. DH Giancarlo Stanton grounded out and 2B Rougned Odor flew out. The Yankees scratched across a run on a two-out spurt in the ninth inning, with Stanton scoring on a double by Odor, but the Red Sox polished off the victory with Rob Brantly's popup.
4. After Cole, LHP Nestor Cortes (1.95 ERA) got the Yankees through a scoreless sixth, but Devers gave the Red Sox a two-out seventh-inning homer -- his second of the game. He launched a three-run long ball that built Boston's lead to 6-1 entering the eighth inning.
5. Sanchez, who was 0 for 1 with a walk and strikeout, left the game in the sixth inning -- Brantly entered. YES Network's broadcast revealed in the eighth inning that Sanchez's departure was due to back spasms.
The Yankees (50-46) and Red Sox (60-38) return to action Saturday at 4:05 p.m. RHPs Jameson Taillon (5-4, 4.60 ERA) and Nathan Eovaldi (9-5, 3.57 ERA) are the projected starters.