Gary Sanchez, DJ LeMahieu’s heroics propel Yankees to ninth straight win

Gary Sanchez, DJ LeMahieu’s heroics propel Yankees to ninth straight win

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September 19, 2020 | 2:30am

BOSTON — There were no fans in the stands and the Red Sox are in the middle of a brutal season, but Aaron Boone thought the Yankees’ 6-5, 12-inning win at Fenway Park felt like a prelude to the postseason.

“It felt kind of like starting playoff baseball,’’ Boone said after the Yankees pulled off their ninth straight win in a game that lasted nearly five hours. “It was cold, the wind picked up and there were a lot of big situations.”

The Yankees came through in enough of them to beat the Red Sox again, as they overcame a four-run deficit.

DJ LeMahieu’s RBI double in the top of the 12th to put the Yankees ahead for good and that came after Gary Sanchez kept them alive with a game-tying homer with two outs in the top of the ninth.

Jonathan Loaisiga threw two innings — including a scoreless 12th — as the Yankees erased a four-run deficit, sparked by a two-run double by Sanchez and then his homer off Matt Barnes when the Yankees were down to their final out.

“We were down in a hole today and we had absolute confidence we were going to find a way back in the game,’’ LeMahieu said. “A couple of weeks ago, 4-0 felt like 20-0. Tonight, 4-0 felt within reach.”

Gary Sanchez belts a game-tying solo home run in the ninth inning of the Yankees’ 6-5, 12-inning victory over the Red Sox.AP

It was — in large part thanks to Sanchez.

“It’s probably not the year he wanted, but he’s had some huge homers,” LeMahieu said. “He had a couple massive hits for us tonight. He’s been looking like himself the last week.”

The Yankees took their first lead of the night in the 11th on Luke Voit’s RBI single.

But Loaisiga gave the run back in the bottom of the inning on a Christian Arroyo single before getting out of the inning to extend the game.

In the 12th, the Red Sox moved free runner Christian Vazquez to third and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a fly ball to center with one out, but a strong throw home from Aaron Hicks kept Vazquez at third.

“That was the great Aaron Hicks thrower we’ve always known,’’ Boone said of Hicks, who had Tommy John surgery in the offseason. “An elite arm and an absolute bullet to home plate. That was good to see [and] the respect of the arm is there by [the Red Sox] not challenging it.”

Loaisiga then got Michael Chavis to ground out to end it, as the Yankees beat Boston for an 11th straight time.

They were on the ropes several times, including in the 10th, when Aroldis Chapman escaped trouble by stranding J.D. Martinez at third by striking out Bradley and Chavis.

With Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge together in the lineup for the first time in over a month, the Yankees could get nothing going against left-hander Martin Perez to open a seven-game road trip.

After scoring 43 runs over their previous three games, the Yankees couldn’t score against Perez, who pitched six shutout innings.

But the Yankees’ problems extended beyond Perez.

They also had some sloppy fielding early on, with an error by Jordan Montgomery and a miscue from Gio Urshela in the first and Gleyber Torres dropping a ball on what should have been a double play in the third.

The Red Sox got to Montgomery in the fourth, when Arroyo hit a three-run homer, before the Yankees got a two-run double from Sanchez in the seventh and tied it two innings later.

“That was a good win, especially from where we started,’’ Boone said. “A lot of guys doing big things when it mattered.”

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