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MLB playoffs: Red Sox beat Gerrit Cole, rival Yankees in AL Wild Card Game

MLB playoffs: Red Sox beat Gerrit Cole, rival Yankees in AL Wild Card Game
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi allowed four hits and one run over 5 1/3 innings in a win over the New York Yankees on Tuesday in Boston. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Xander Bogaerts and Kyle Schwarber homered and Nathan Eovaldi allowed just one run over 5 1/3 innings to lead the Boston Red Sox to a win over the New York Yankees, eliminating their rivals from the 2021 MLB playoffs.

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole lasted for less than three innings in the 6-2 American League Wild Game loss Tuesday at Fenway Park in Boston.

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"It was a total team effort," Schwarber told reporters. "To be able to get him [Cole] out at that point in the game, to get to the bullpen, and to keep adding on more [runs] was big for us."

Cole allowed four hits and three runs, including a leadoff shot to Schwarber in the bottom of the third.

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"When it's all said and done, I didn't perform the way I wanted to perform. ... I [feel] sick to my stomach," Cole said.

Each of the first six players in the Red Sox batting order reached base at least twice in the victory. The Red Sox move on to face the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of the best-of-five ALDS on Thursday at St. Petersburg, Fla.

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"They are one of the teams in our division," Eovaldi said of the Rays. "We know them well. Coming into this one, anything can happen."

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Cole retired the first two hitters in the bottom of the first Tuesday at Fenway Park. He walked Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers in the third at-bat. Bogaerts stepped into the box next. The Red Sox shortstop took a ball and a called strike to start the exchange.

He sent Cole's 2-1 offering, an 88.8-mph changeup, straight back up the middle. The blast carried over the tall wall in center field for a 427-foot, two-run homer.

"Sometimes it takes just one swing," Bogaerts said. "We were at home, it felt good and it went out of the ballpark. It was a nice way to get the game started."

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Neither team scored in the second. Eovaldi retired 16 of the first 18 hitters he faced, including 11-consecutive from the end of the second through the start of the sixth inning.

Schwarber missed a Cole slider for a strike to start the third. He fouled off Cole's second pitch of the exchange.

He then smashed Cole's 2-1 pitch to right field for a 435-foot solo shot, which gave the Red Sox a 3-0 lead. That blast traveled 110 mph off Schwarber's bat, according to Statcast.

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Cole allowed a single to Kike Hernandez of the next pitch. He then walked Devers and was replaced by relief pitcher Clay Holmes.

First baseman Anthony Rizzo broke the Yankees' streak without a hit with a 408-foot solo shot off Eovaldi in the second at-bat of the sixth.

Red Sox left fielder Alex Verdugo pushed the lead back to three runs with an RBI double in the bottom of the same inning. Verdugo drove in two more runs with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh.

Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton drove in the final run of the night with a 344-foot solo homer in the top of the ninth.

Bogaerts went 1 for 2 with two RBIs, two runs scored and two walks. Verdugo went 2 for 4 with three RBIs. Schwarber went 1 for 3 with two runs scored, an RBI and a walk.

Hernandez, Devers and right fielder Hunter Renfroe were the other Red Sox players to reached base twice. Stanton went 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.

The Rays host the Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALDS at 8:07 p.m. EDT Thursday at Tropicana Field.

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