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Heaney, Rizzo, Velazquez Help Streaking Yanks Sweep Red Sox

NEW YORK (AP) — Andrew Heaney pitched seven smooth innings, Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run single in his return from COVID-19, and the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 5-2 on Wednesday night to match a season best with their sixth straight victory.

Substitute shortstop Andrew Velazquez, born nearby in the Bronx, delivered a pair of RBI singles from the No. 9 spot in the batting order and combined with Rizzo on a terrific defensive play for the dramatic final out.

Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, just activated from the injured list, was pulled by manager Aaron Boone with two outs and two on in the ninth. Lucas Luetge retired Kevin Plawecki on a grounder for his third major league save and first since his 2012 rookie season with Seattle.

Luetge became the sixth different New York reliever to earn a save in the past eight days as the Yankees finished a three-game sweep of their longtime rivals that vaulted them into playoff position ahead of struggling Boston.

New York, which has won 18 of 23, now holds one of two AL wild cards in a tight three-way race that includes the Red Sox and Oakland Athletics.

Xander Bogaerts and Hunter Renfroe homered for Boston, which has dropped 14 of 20. Nick Pivetta (9-6) was chased in a four-run second inning, and the Yankees improved to 6-10 in the season series after losing the first seven matchups.

The teams meet one more time, Sept. 24-26 in Boston.

Perhaps in jeopardy of losing his spot in the rotation, Heaney (8-8) permitted two hits — including Bogaerts' opposite-field solo homer on an 0-2 pitch in the first. The left-hander, acquired at the July 30 trade deadline from the Angels, rebounded nicely in his fourth start for the Yankees after getting roughed up by the White Sox in the Field of Dreams game last week.

Zack Britton pitched a perfect eighth and Chapman gave up a long home run to Renfroe before exiting with runners at the corners.

Plawecki grounded a full-count pitch into the hole between shortstop and third base. Velazquez, filling in for injured Gleyber Torres, made a sliding stop, popped up and fired a one-hop throw to Rizzo that barely nipped Plawecki at first base.

The out call was upheld following a replay review that lasted 2 minutes, 20 seconds.

New York loaded the bases with nobody out in the second before Brett Gardner hit a sacrifice fly and Velazquez grounded an RBI single up the middle. Rizzo drove in two runs with a grounder that deflected off the glove of Bobby Dalbec as he attempted to make a sliding play behind first base.


Red Sox: DH Kyle Schwarber, who returned from a strained right hamstring last Friday, was rested against the left-hander but was available off the bench. The goal is for Schwarber to play the outfield this weekend, and he'll play the outfield before he plays first base, manager Alex Cora said. ... INF Christian Arroyo (left hamstring strain) was scheduled for a day off down in the minors after going 0 for 2 with a hit by pitch as the DH in his first rehab game Tuesday night for Triple-A Worcester. He will play second base Thursday at Worcester. Arroyo will get some work at first base but won't start out there when he returns, Cora said. Arroyo was injured stretching for a throw July 18 at Yankee Stadium in his first career appearance at first base. ... RHP Ryan Brasier is close to joining the Red Sox, Cora said. Brasier, hit in the head by a line drive while rehabbing from a left calf strain, was set to pitch in back-to-back games Wednesday and Thursday for Worcester. ... Bench coach Will Venable, who tested positive for the coronavirus while the team was in Toronto and was forced to quarantine in Canada, will rejoin the Red Sox at home Friday.

Yankees: Chapman had been sidelined since Aug. 6 with left elbow inflammation. ... RHP Corey Kluber (right shoulder strain) threw 56 pitches over three innings Tuesday in a rehab outing with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after struggling in his first one last week, at Double-A Somerset. The next step for Kluber will be another rehab game as he keeps building up. ... RHP Domingo Germán (shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen. ... Boone said he hoped to have an update Thursday on RHP Luis Severino, who received a second opinion on his tight right shoulder. ... Boone said Giancarlo Stanton could play the outfield a couple of times a week moving forward to help keep everyone fresh.


Red Sox RHP Tanner Houck was returned to Worcester after serving as the 27th man for Tuesday's doubleheader.


Red Sox: After an off day, LHP Chris Sale (1-0, 3.60 ERA) makes his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery when Boston opens a three-game series at home Friday night against Texas. RHP Dane Dunning (5-7, 4.06 ERA) pitches for the Rangers.

Yankees: RHP Jameson Taillon (7-4, 3.89 ERA) takes the ball Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series against Minnesota. Taillon is 6-0 with a 2.37 ERA in 11 starts since June 18.

(© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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