- Associated Press - Monday, May 2, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - The New York Yankees can’t even count on one of their best relievers as they fall even further behind in the AL East.

Hard-throwing right-hander Dellin Betances gave up a first-pitch, two-run homer to Christian Vazquez on Sunday night, breaking a seventh-inning tie and sending the Boston Red Sox to an 8-7 victory and a three-game sweep of the Yankees.

“You never want to go in there and give up these games,” Betances said. “I pretty much lost these games. I’ll take the responsibility on myself. It’s tough. We put up a lot of runs and I tried to come in and do my job. Unfortunately, I didn’t.”

In the series opener on Friday night, Betances allowed David Ortiz’s tiebreaking, two-run homer in a 4-2 loss.

“That’s the thought: You get to the back end, you’re going to be in good shape,” New York manager Joe Girardi said. “It didn’t work out.”

An All-Star the past two seasons, Betances has allowed homers in three straight games for the first time in his career.

Alex Rodriguez homered for the third time in four games and added a two-run double for the Yankees, who have lost a season-high five in a row while falling to 8-15.

“It is frustrating, no question about it,” Rodriguez said. “We expect better things from ourselves.”

Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts each had three hits and Travis Shaw homered for Boston, which has won seven of eight to move into first place in the AL East.

David Price (4-0) earned the win despite allowing six runs and eight hits in seven innings. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his eighth save.

Betances relieved Ivan Nova (1-1) with one on and two outs in the seventh, but Vazquez hit a fastball over the left-field wall for his first homer of the year, and just the second of his major league career.

Nathan Eovaldi, who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning at Texas in his previous start, gave up hits to the first two batters on Sunday as the Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first.

Rodriguez hit a two-run homer in the third, then Boston took a 4-3 lead in the bottom half when Hanley Ramirez singled to score two runs before Shaw’s single brought in Ortiz.

Rodriguez drove in two more runs in the fifth and then scored to make it 6-4 on Mark Teixeira’s single. But Boston again answered, this time on Shaw’s two-run homer that tied it 6-all.

It stayed that way until Shaw singled off Nova with one out in the seventh. Brock Holt replaced Shaw on the bases with a fielder’s choice, then Betances replaced Nova.


Yankees: OF Aaron Hicks, who missed six games with left shoulder bursitis, returned as a pinch-hitter on Saturday and was back in the starting lineup in right field. He went 0 for 3.

Red Sox: Relief pitcher Carson Smith is expected to be activated Tuesday before the series opener against the White Sox. He went on the disabled list with a strained right flexor muscle as of March 25.


The Yankees scored their most runs in 18 games, but Girardi wasn’t thinking about changes yet despite another loss.

“I don’t know where you necessarily go,” he said. “The guys in this room have to get it done, collectively. I’m not thinking about that.”


It was the first time in his career that Betances has allowed homers in consecutive games against the same team.


The Yankees are off Monday before playing three games in Baltimore beginning Tuesday.

The Red Sox are off Monday and open a three-game series in Chicago on Tuesday.

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