Red Sox Fall Short as Yankees Take Rubber Game of the Series Heading into All-Star Break
BOSTON — (AP) Alex Rodriguez had hit No. 3,020 to move into the top 25 on baseball's all-time list.
Rob Refsnyder had the first two of his career, the second a two-run homer that turned out to be the difference in the New York Yankees' 8-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.
"We brought him up here to play. He gets a big two-run homer," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after his team headed into the All-Star break with a 3½-game lead over second-place Tampa Bay.
Boston had hoped to cut further into a deficit that had been 10 games three weeks ago, but the Yankees won two out of three over the weekend to leave the last-place Red Sox 6½ back.
Rodriguez, who homered in the first two games, delivered a sixth-inning double to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead. That tied him with Rafael Palmeiro at 25th on baseball's career list; Rodriguez needs three hits to tie Lou Brock at No. 24.
Refsnyder had his first career hit with a single in the seventh inning, then added a two-run homer in the ninth to make it 8-4. The Red Sox cut it to 8-6 in the ninth thanks to two New York errors, but Andrew Miller got Shane Victorino on a pop-up to shallow left to end it.
Refsnyder got the home run ball back and will give it and the lineup card to his parents.
"All that rookie stuff," he said.
Brian McCann also had two hits, including a two-run homer. Nathan Eovaldi (9-2) gave up three runs on seven hits, striking out four in five innings to win his fourth straight decision.
Xander Bogaerts, Hanley Ramirez and Alejandro De Aza each had two hits for Boston. The Red Sox had won 10 of 13.
Wade Miley (8-8) gave up the tying run on a fifth-inning balk and ran into more trouble in the sixth.
Brett Gardner led off with a slow chopper to second base for an infield single, then Rodriguez lined his milestone double to center.
One out later, Chris Young doubled to left to score Rodriguez and chase Miley.
Tommy Layne got McCann on a grounder, but Chase Headley doubled to score Young and make it 6-3.
Boston cut the deficit to 6-4 in the bottom half when Ramirez doubled and scored. Justin Wilson replaced Adam Warren and, with two on, retired Ryan Hanigan and Mookie Betts to end the threat.
Miley allowed six runs on seven hits, striking out two in 5 1/3 innings to take his first loss at Fenway since May 2.
Refsnyder, who won the 2012 College World Series at Arizona, made his major league debut Saturday night and went 0 for 3. He was hitless in his first two at-bats Sunday before a single in the seventh inning. He came up again in the ninth and lined a 2-2 pitch over the Green Monster for two insurance runs that proved to be the game-winners.
"I'd be lying to say when you're in the box and a couple of at-bats go by, it doesn't creep in your mind. You're only human," he said. "The first one kind of settled me down."
Red Sox slugger David Oritz left the ballpark before the game because of what manager John Farrell said was an upper respiratory illness.
"He was not available in any capacity," said Farrell, who added that Ortiz reported the symptoms after Saturday night's game and exchanged texts with the manager during the night. "Per doctor's instructions, he was told to leave the ballpark."
Yankees: Girardi said that RHP Ivan Nova, who missed the season's first 71 games coming off of Tommy John surgery, will get some extra rest during the break. After pitching Saturday, he isn't scheduled to start again until July 22.
Red Sox: Farrell said 2B Dustin Pedroia is expected to return Friday, when the team comes back after the All-Star break.
Yankees: Begin a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners after the All-Star break.
Red Sox: Play four games in Anaheim against the Angels after the break.