MLB

Yankees sweep Red Sox behind good games from Andrew Heaney, Andrew Velazquez

USATSI

The New York Yankees continued their recent hot streak with a 5-2 victory against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday that completed a three-game sweep. The Yankees, who came into the night tied with the Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics for the top wild card spot in the American League, will now enter Thursday with a one-game lead over Boston. 

The Yankees can credit Wednesday’s win in part to a pair of unlikely contributors, in left-handed starter Andrew Heaney and stand-in shortstop Andrew Velazquez.

Heaney, making his fourth start since being acquired from the Los Angeles Angels, had his finest outing to date in pinstripes. He allowed an early home run — his bugaboo so far in his Yankees tenure — but recovered to throw seven innings of two-hit, one-run ball. Heaney did walk two batters, yet he struck out four on 108 pitches before giving way to the bullpen.

Velazquez, meanwhile, went 2-for-4 at the plate, driving in a pair of runs in the process. He also contributed to the final out of the evening. Velazquez, a native of the Bronx, also drove in two runs during the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader. That’s notable because it gives him four runs batted in over two days’ time, or more than he had in his first 68 games in The Show.

It should be noted that Anthony Rizzo and Aroldis Chapman returned to the active roster on Wednesday. Rizzo plated two runs and made a number of solid defensive plays. Chapman, for his part, struggled to close the game in the ninth before being lifted for Lucas Luetge.

The Yankees ended the first half with a 46-43 record, yet they’ve played much better since the All-Star Break. New York is now 23-9 in the second half, including a 14-4 mark in August. The Yankees will begin a four-game set at home against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday before embarking on a nine-game, three-city road trip that includes stops in Atlanta, Oakland, and Anaheim. 



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