BOSTON — After a season filled with too many brutal losses to count, the Yankees put one on the other side of the ledger Saturday, with a 4-3 comeback win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
After showing no signs of life for seven innings — and four outs away from falling 10 games behind first-place Boston in the AL East — the Yankees pulled themselves off the mat with four runs in the eighth inning.
Clinging to a one-run lead, Aroldis Chapman barely held on in the bottom of the ninth. The closer, pitching better of late after a brutal stretch, got through the inning for his 18th save.
Chapman threw his first pitch up and in to Alex Verdugo, before getting him on a groundout. After striking out Kevin Plawecki, Chapman went to a full count against pinch-hitter Hunter Renfroe, who walked.
Christian Vazquez pinch hit and came through with a ground-rule double to right.
After a visit from pitching coach Matt Blake, the Yankees decided to pitch to Kiké Hernandez, who struck out swinging to end it.
The Yankees managed not to waste a stirring comeback.
With the Yankees trailing by three runs after being shut down by Nathan Eovaldi, Estevan Florial led off the eighth inning with a double. Rob Brantly followed by popping out and DJ LeMahieu flied to left.
Down 0-2 against Eovaldi, Brett Gardner delivered a single to right to drive in Florial for the Yankees’ first run.
Eovaldi was replaced by another former Yankee, Adam Ottavino. In a familiar sight to Yankees fans, Ottavino promptly imploded.
Giancarlo Stanton — overmatched against Eovaldi on Saturday and against the Red Sox all season — punched a ground-rule double to right, sending Gardner to third.
Rougned Odor, who had made two costly errors at second base earlier in the game, redeemed himself with a two-run double to left-center to tie the score at 3-3.
Gleyber Torres followed with a bloop single to right that brought home Odor, giving the Yankees their first lead of the day.
After Ottavino hit Greg Allen with a pitch, Allen and Torres followed with a double steal, but a Chris Gittens dribbler ended the inning.
Jonathan Loaisiga replaced starter Jameson Taillon to begin the bottom of the eighth. In his first appearance since returning from the COVID-19 injured list, Loaisiga retired the first two batters he faced before Xander Bogaerts singled past third.
After the infield came in to talk to Loaisiga, Rafael Devers singled to left to put runners on the corners for J.D. Martinez.
After a visit from Blake — and with no one up in the bullpen — Loaisiga got Martinez to fly to right-center, where Allen and Florial bumped into each other as Allen caught the ball to end the inning.
By holding on, the Yankees completed a dramatic turnaround in a game in which they trailed almost immediately.
The first batter Taillon faced, Hernandez, blasted a ball, off the Green Monster in left-center, which was misplayed by Florial in center.
As Hernandez raced to third, Odor airmailed the relay throw over the visiting dugout, allowing Hernandez to score on the error.
Martinez led off the bottom of the second with a double and scored on another double by Plawecki to make it 2-0.
Meanwhile, the Yankees’ offense remained inept against Eovaldi.
And when they did threaten thanks to consecutive singles by Florial and Rob Brantly at the bottom of the lineup, LeMahieu grounded into a double play and Gardner whiffed to keep the Yankees scoreless.
Taillon was victimized by another poor play at second from Odor to lead off the bottom of the third.
Odor let Jarren Durans’ grounder get by him into center and Duran hustled to second for a two-base error. He moved to third on a grounder by Bogaerts and scored on a sacrifice fly by Devers to give the Red Sox a 3-0 lead, with two of the runs unearned.