Gary Sanchez returned from the All-Star break in fine form, despite the New York Yankees' 5-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Friday.
Sanchez – who was added to Monday's Home Run Derby – homered a ball over the Green Monster in MLB at Fenway Park.
He went two for four in the game and absolutely crushed a 1-2 pitch from Drew Pomeranz in the fourth inning to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead.
That lead lasted until the bottom of the ninth when the Red Sox scored twice on an error and a walk-off, bases-loaded walk. Closer Aroldis Chapman was told to intentionally walk Hanley Ramirez to load the bases. He then walked Andrew Benintendi to score Dustin Pedroia as the game-winning run.
Sanchez's blast that cleared the wall to send the ball into the Boston streets may not have resulted in a Yankees victory, but it was one of several no-doubt home runs as baseball returned from the All-Star break.
Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper had a pair of blasts to account for three runs in their 5-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
Ryan Braun hit a record-setting grand slam for the National League (NL) Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers, who beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-6.
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig hammered a three-run shot in the top of the ninth to lift his team to a 6-4 victory against the Miami Marlins, while Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre then smashed a three-run homer of his own in a 5-3 win against the Kansas City Royals.
The Pittsburgh Pirates did not let the Red Sox have all the fun, getting a walk-off win of their own as Josh Bell continued the night's home run theme with a three-run, opposite-field shot down the left-field line to seal a 5-2 triumph over the St Louis Cardinals.
Reigning World Series champions the Chicago Cubs edged the Baltimore Orioles 9-8, the New York Mets crushed the New York Mets 14-2, the Toronto Blue Jays downed the Detroit Tigers 7-2, the Seattle Mariners topped the Chicago White Sox 4-2, the Cleveland Indians were blanked 5-0 by the Oakland Athletics, the San Diego Padres lost 5-4 to the San Francisco Giants, the Atlanta Braves outlasted the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3, the Houston Astros defeated the Minnesota Twins 10-5 and the Tampa Bay Rays prevailed 2-1 against the Los Angeles Angels.
DEGROM LEADS THE WAY
Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom struck out 11 with just one walk and scattered four hits over eight innings in a win over the Rockies. T.J. Rivera and Michael Conforto each homered as the Mets provided deGrom with plenty of run support, but the pitcher helped his own cause with a pair of singles and one RBI.
Astros first baseman Marwin Gonzalez went three for five with a home run and two RBIs against the Twins. Gonzalez has a hit in all but two games this month, reaching base safely in every game since July 1.
GRAY BLASTED BY METS
As good as deGrom was for the Mets, Rockies starter Jon Gray was equally bad. Gray lasted just two innings in Friday's loss, giving up eight runs on nine hits with just one strikeout and three walks.
Having an even shorter night was Twins pitcher Jose Berrios, who was done after recording just five outs in the loss to the Astros. Though the Astros scored eight runs in the second inning, with seven coming off Berrios, he was only charged with two earned runs after a botched double-play attempt with one out continued the inning.
BRAUN WITH THE SLAM!
Braun's second-inning grand slam gave the Brewers an 8-2 lead against the Phillies en route to victory at Miller Park.
YANKEES AT RED SOX
What will the Sox do for an encore following Friday's walk-off win? They will send All-Star ace Chris Sale (11-4, 2.75 ERA) to the mound as he looks to add to his MLB-leading 178 strikeouts. The Yankees will counter with Luis Severino (5-4, 3.54).