By JIMMY GOLEN
The Associated Press
BOSTON — The visiting manager’s office at Fenway Park pulsed like a Lansdowne Street nightclub, and the sound of players shouting could be heard through the closed door.
“Obviously, that’s a happy room,” manager Aaron Boone said after his New York Yankees beat the rival Red Sox 9-6 on Sunday night to avoid a four-game sweep that could have vaulted Boston back into the AL East race. “This was a good one. Yeah.”
Didi Gregorius and Austin Romine each hit a two-run homer off Chris Sale, and Domingo German struck out nine for the Yankees, who had lost the first three games of the series by a combined score of 38-13 and saw their lead over Boston trimmed from 11 games to eight.
New York closer Aroldis Chapman inherited a 9-4 lead to start the ninth inning but allowed the Red Sox to cut the margin to three runs before striking out Michael Chavis to end the game.
“It definitely felt good to get this one,” Boone said. “It’s been a difficult weekend for us, you know. And it was difficult even finishing it off. They kept grinding, and making it tough on us. But we made enough plays in the end.”
Five days after allowing a career-high eight runs to the Minnesota Twins, German (13-2) took a no-hitter into the fourth and allowed four hits and a walk through 5 1/3 innings. He has won four straight decisions, and 10 of his last 11.
“Great poise,” Boone said. “In a game we really wanted, he really came out and completely set the tone and delivered the goods for us tonight.”
Boston had won five of six against the Yankees and Rays to briefly move into playoff position, but the Red Sox committed three errors and fell into third place in the AL East, behind both Tampa Bay and Oakland for the AL’s second wild-card berth.
The Red Sox play four games in New York next weekend and four more against the Yankees at Fenway Park in September. The Rays visit Boston for three games starting Tuesday night, with the trade deadline on Wednesday afternoon.
Asked if the defending World Series champions need reinforcements, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, “Every team does. Yeah.”
Romine made it 2-0 in the third and Gregorius gave New York a 4-0 lead in the fourth. After Andrew Benintendi hit a two-run homer in the Boston fourth, the Yankees chased Sale (5-10) with two more in the sixth.
Sale allowed six runs on five hits and three walks, striking out seven in 5 1/3 innings.
“We had an unbelievable series up until today,” said Sale, who had only permitted two earned runs while striking out 22 batters over 12 innings in his previous two outings. “We had a chance to sweep a four-game set against a team that’s in front of us.”
New York made it 8-3 on a two-run throwing error by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. in the seventh. Boston cut it to 8-4 in the bottom half before Adam Ottavino got Xander Bogaerts on a weak popup to right with runners on second and third to end the inning.
The Yankees extended it to 9-4 in the eighth when Cameron Maybin doubled, took third on a groundout and scored on Marcus Walden’s wild pitch.
Benintendi had a two-run single with two outs in the ninth — his third hit of the game. Bogaerts also had three hits.
The Red Sox had scored eight or more runs in six straight games against the Yankees, a first in the 117-year history of the rivalry. Overall, New York had allowed seven runs or more in seven consecutive games for the first time in franchise history. The Yankees have not lost four straight games since the second week of the season.
∫ JBJ GIVES, JBJ TAKES: Bradley made a run-saving catch in the third inning right before crashing into the wall of the New York bullpen. Sale walked the next batter, Maybin, and then Romine, the No. 9 hitter, homered into the Monster Seats to make it 2-0.
But Bradley made a costly error in the seventh.
After running in to make a basket catch on Gregorius’ blooper to center with the bases loaded, Bradley noticed that Luke Voit had left first base and was almost at second. What Bradley failed to notice: first baseman Mitch Moreland wasn’t covering the bag. Bradley’s throw to no one went into the dugout, allowing two runners to score.
“I tried to make a play where there was no play,” said Bradley, who also struck out swinging three times. “It’s a play I shouldn’t have tried to make.”
∫ TRAINER’S ROOM: Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (right knee) went on the injured list, a day after allowing five runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Red Sox. “Been a little cranky. Hopefully the time out will be good for him,” Boone said before the game. Sabathia also went on the IL for problems with the knee at the end of May. … Boone said OF Brett Gardner (left knee) could be ready to return on Friday, when he is eligible to come off the IL.
∫ UP NEXT: Yankees: Off on Monday before hosting a two-game series against Arizona. J.A. Happ (8-5) will pitch the opener, followed by Masahiro Tanaka (7-6).
Red Sox: After an off day on Monday, begin a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. David Price (7-4) starts the opener against Charlie Morton (12-3).