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Alex Verdugo slugs 2-run HR, drives in 4 runs in return to Fenway as Yankees beat Red Sox

BOSTON — Alex Verdugo had a two-run homer and four RBIs in his return to Fenway Park, and Luis Gil struck out six as the MLB-leading New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 8-1 on Friday night.

Verdugo spent four seasons with the Red Sox before being traded to New York in December in a rare deal between the AL East division rivals.

Verdugo hit the first pitch he saw from Boston right-hander Brayan Bello to straightaway center field for his ninth homer of the season, scoring Juan Soto, who reached on a double. The 28-year-old right fielder added an RBI double in the fifth inning and a run-scoring single in the ninth.

Gil (9-1) worked five innings, giving up one run on four hits with four walks. The 26-year-old righty threw a season-high 104 pitches. In his last nine starts, Gil is 8-0 with a 1.14 ERA, giving up seven earned runs over 55 1/3 innings.

The Yankees (50-22) got a run in the fourth when Giancarlo Stanton led off with a single and Anthony Rizzo walked. After Gleyber Torres grounded into a double play, it appeared Bello got out of the inning on Oswalda Cabrera's groundball to first baseman Dominic Smith. But, Bello's error attempting to cover first allowed Stanton to score.

The Yankees added two runs in the fifth when Anthony Volpe singled to open the inning. Aaron Judge followed with a one-out walk. Verdugo's double scored Volpe and sent Judge to third. After Giancarlo Stanton struck out, Bello's outing was done. He was replaced by left-hander Cam Booser, who gave up a run-scoring single to Rizzo.

Bello (6-4) went 4 2/3 innings, giving up five runs, four earned, on six hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

In the ninth, Yankees No. 9 hitter Jose Trevino hit a solo home run off right-hander Chase Anderson, his seventh of the season. With two outs, Soto walked and score on a double by Judge. Verdugo followed with a single that scored Judge.

New York relievers Tommy Kahnle, Caleb Ferguson, Victor González and Michael Tonkin combined to pitch four scoreless innings with eight strikeouts. Ferguson struck out all four batters he faced.

Boston's run came in the fourth when Gil issued consecutive walks to Rafael Devers and Masataka Yoshida to open the inning. Devers scored on Enmanual Valdez's double.


Yankees: Reigning American League Cy Young Award winner RHP Gerrit Cole, on the injured list all season with right elbow inflammation, made his third rehab start on Friday, going 4 1/3 innings, giving up one run on two hits with 10 strikeouts for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Yankees manager Aaron Boone was asked before the game against the Red Sox if that would be Cole's final rehab start. "We'll see," Boone replied.

Red Sox: RHP Chris Martin, on the injured list since May 2 as he deals with anxiety, is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester on Saturday. … INF/OF Romy González, on the IL since May 31 with a left hamstring strain, played first base and went 1 for 4 for Triple-A Worcester on Friday, his second rehab game. … OF Wilyer Abreu, on the IL since June 3 with a right ankle sprain, has begun taking batting practice and could begin a rehab assignment soon.


The Yankees and Red Sox continue their three-game series on Saturday. LHP Carlos Rodón (9-2, 2.93 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Yankees, opposed by RHP Cooper Criswell (3-3, 4.13).

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