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Judge, Stanton Lead Yankees to Top Spot in Wild Card Race, Sweeping Boston

The New York Yankees swept the Red Sox, passing Boston in the American League Wild Card standings thanks to eight-inning heroics from Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

BOSTON — Yankees fans have been waiting for years to see Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton both perform at their best at the same time. 

With the top spot in the American League Wild Card race on the line on Sunday night, New York's biggest stars delivered in the game's biggest moment.

After getting away with what could've been a tipped third strike slipping out of Christian Vázquez's glove, Judge lined a go-ahead two-run double into the left-center field gap in the top of the eighth to give New York a one-run lead. 

Two pitches later, Stanton absolutely annihilated a hanging slider, sending a two-run missile over the Green Monster to give the Yankees a 6-3 lead. 

Those four runs in the top of the eighth proved to be the difference as Chad Green and Aroldis Chapman recorded the final six outs, clinching a three-game sweep for the Yankees at Fenway Park. 

New York entered this series in the second position in the wild card standings, two games back. Now, the Bombers are one game ahead of Boston, in position to host the one-game playoff with six games remaining in the regular season.

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Sunday night's dramatic ballgame was both sloppy and dramatic. In the seventh, in a span of one at-bat, both DJ LeMahieu and Joey Gallo dropped routine popups. The first came in foul territory near third base. The second was in shallow left field, allowing the go-ahead run to scamper home from second base for the Red Sox.

Judge and Stanton left their mark on this game the following inning. It all began with back-to-back walks and an RBI double from Anthony Rizzo. That led Red Sox manager Alex Cora to summon former Yankees reliever Adam Ottavino from the bullpen, replacing Garrett Richards. 

Judge's double off Ottavino whistled into the gap at 118.4 mph. The slugger jumped to his feet after sliding in safely, pumping his first emphatically in front of a hushed crowd in Boston. The outfielder appeared to injure his finger on the play, needing a lengthy visit from Aaron Boone and the training staff, but he stayed in the game. 

The crowd was silenced again on Stanton's third long ball of the series. The designated hitter finishes the weekend against the Red Sox hitting .583 (7-for-12) with three homers and 10 RBI. 

Stanton is the first Yankee to ever drive in 10-plus runs in a three-game series at Fenway Park, per ESPN Stats & Info. Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle is the only other player to accomplish this feat against the Red Sox in franchise history, but it came at Yankee Stadium in 1954.

New York has a day off before traveling across the border to face the Toronto Blue Jays. After those three contests, with more postseason implications, New York returns to the Bronx for their final series of the regular season, hosting the Tampa Bay Rays.

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