Price struggles again in Bronx; Voit, Yanks top Red Sox 10-1

JAKE SEINER
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — David Price has been pummeled over and over at Yankee Stadium.

This time, it was Luke Voit's turn — with a big assist from the short right-field porch.

Voit hit two homers off Price, Miguel Andujar popped another one barely into the right-field seats and the New York Yankees stalled Boston's division-clinching celebration by beating the Red Sox 10-1 on Wednesday night.

Voit's homers cleared the right-field fence by about two yards combined. The second was close enough that umpires reviewed it on video for potential fan interference.

"Everybody's playing in the same park," said Price, who has allowed eight homers in two starts at Yankee Stadium this season. "It's not like the fences move back when we hit or move forward when they hit, so it's part of it."

Luis Severino (18-8) pitched seven innings of one-run ball, and the Yankees had no need for All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman on the day they activated him from the disabled list. Chapman had been out since Aug. 21 with left knee tendinitis. He watched the end of the game from the dugout.

Mookie Betts had two strikeouts and no hits in his return to Boston's lineup. He pulled a possible grand slam just foul in the ninth before grounding into a game-ending double play. The AL MVP contender sat out Tuesday after injuring his left side two days earlier, but came back to bat leadoff as the designated hitter.

The Yankees will try to send Boston packing Thursday with the AL East still undecided. The Red Sox lead the division by 9 1/2 games and entered this three-game series needing one victory to lock up the division crown.

New York remained 2 1/2 games ahead of Oakland for the top AL wild card. The A's beat the Los Angeles Angels 10-0. The Yankees had dropped 10 of 17 before rallying to beat the Red Sox 3-2 on Tuesday night in Aaron Judge's return from the DL.

Voit had his second multihomer game with New York and has nine homers in 29 games since being acquired from St. Louis. The stout slugger bowled back into the dugout after the second shot, grinning amid a barrage of high-fives and fist bumps. His next homer would give the Yankees a major league-record 12 players with at least 10.

Fans chanted "Luuuuuke!" after Voit singled in the eighth for his career-high fourth hit. Teammates joked with Voit after the game that they were jealous of the fans' affection for him.

"It's unbelievable," he said. "Especially rounding the bases, my heart's racing. That's honestly why I bring all that enthusiasm out, too, is because the fans got my back and they want to see that. Who doesn't like home runs?"

PRICE CHECK

Price (15-7) entered the game 5-0 with a 1.56 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star break, but he has rarely been that sharp at Yankee Stadium. He came into Wednesday with a 4.75 ERA at the park over 20 starts — the worst mark for him in any stadium where he's pitched at least 10 times.

Price surrendered three homers this time — narrowly. Andujar hit his 25th just over the wall for a 1-0 lead in the second, and Voit added solo shots in the fourth and sixth to nearly the same spot.

"There's definitely cheap home runs," Voit said of his new home park. "But I mean, you have to take advantage of it."

Boston trailed 6-1 when manager Alex Cora pulled Price following Voit's second homer with one out in the fifth. Yankee Stadium fans jeered as Price walked slowly to the dugout.

"I honestly feel that although he didn't have his great stuff compared to the last eight, nine, I guess, he still battled," Cora said.

SMELLING IT

Severino made his second straight encouraging start, ending a second-half slide that had jeopardized his place atop the rotation. He entered Wednesday with a 6.35 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before the game that Masahiro Tanaka or J.A. Happ could start the AL wild-card game instead of Severino, depending on what happens the rest of the season.

Severino took a big step toward reclaiming ace status. Boone was especially encouraged by the development of his slider. Severino used the pitch to freeze Betts to end the seventh.

"He kind of kept smelling it," Boone said. "Got into a really good groove, and a really exciting outing for him."

BRONX BOMBERS

New York has hit 245 home runs this season, matching the franchise record set in 2012. The Yankees are on pace for 263 homers, one shy of the major league record set by the 1997 Seattle Mariners.

NEW KID

Top Yankees prospect Justus Sheffield loaded the bases in the ninth but escaped for a scoreless inning in his major league debut. Before the inning, he stopped and looked around for a moment from the bullpen gate, then said he was afraid he'd trip running to the mound.

"My legs felt like Jell-O," he said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: LF Sam Travis robbed Andujar of another extra-base hit, slamming into the wall on a running grab in the seventh, but then left the game with dizziness. Boston said Travis did not have a concussion. ... 3B Eduardo Nunez asked for a pinch-runner after running out an infield single in the ninth. He's been dealing with right knee soreness recently and will get Thursday off. ... Cora said ace Chris Sale will start Friday at Cleveland, lining him up to face Baltimore next Wednesday and then throw a simulated game or bullpen on the final weekend of the season. Sale is still building back up after missing time with a left shoulder issue.

Yankees: Boone wants to get Chapman in full swing before the postseason. His goal is to get Chapman back into a traditional closer role, then use relievers Dellin Betances, Zach Britton, David Robertson and Chad Green in more fluid roles starting as early as the fifth inning, depending on matchups.

UP NEXT

Tanaka (12-5, 3.47 ERA) starts against Boston LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (12-4, 3.53). Tanaka has a 2.09 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break. Rodriguez has allowed one run or fewer in five of his past six starts.

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