Donaldson’s slam leads Yankees past Devers, Red Sox 6-5

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BOSTON — Gerrit Cole shut down eight of the nine hitters in the Red Sox lineup – good enough to lead the New York Yankees to a 6-5 victory over Boston on Thursday night.

And then there was Rafael Devers.

The Red Sox third baseman made a final push to be added to the AL All-Star roster by homering twice off the Yankees ace, delivering two of Boston’s five hits and all five of the RBIs. In his career, he has a .304 average with six home runs in 23 at-bats against Cole.

“I’m open for suggestions,” the Yankees right-hander said to reporters afterward. “It’s pretty wild. He’s just been able to hit every(thing), there hasn’t been a miss-hit. Like, roll over one time. Like, line out one time.

“You’re supposed to fail seven out of 10 times in this gig. I don’t know what the deal is,” he said. “We’ll just have to just keep at it, man.”

Josh Donaldson homered for the second straight game, hitting a grand slam in the third, and Aaron Hicks homered on the very next pitch to stake Cole to a 5-0 lead. Hicks also tripled in the fifth and scored to make it 6-2 before Devers’ second homer brought Boston within one run and sparked the heartiest “Yankees suck!” chant of the night.

“It’s great pitcher against a great hitter,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “And he’s had some success, obviously.”

Entering the game tied for second in the AL East – but 14 games behind the first-place Yankees – the Red Sox fell behind 5-0 in the third before Devers’ two-run shot in the bottom half. The Yankees led 6-2 in the fifth with Devers due up again – time for a meeting on the mound.

“We said `Homer doesn’t beat us right here. So, you know, let’s just go make our pitches,”‘ Cole said. “And, you know, we made our pitches and gave up a homer, but they didn’t beat us.”

In all, Cole was charged with five runs on five hits and three walks while striking out seven. Three relievers shut the Red Sox down from there, with Clay Holmes pitching the ninth for his 16th save.

Red Sox starter Josh Winckowski (3-3) gave up six runs on six hits and five walks in five innings.

The Yankees loaded the bases in the third inning of a scoreless game when No. 9 hitter Joey Gallo led off with a walk, Gleyber Torres singled and stole second and then, with two outs, the Red Sox pitched around Giancarlo Stanton to face Donaldson with the bases loaded.

He lined a 429-foot homer to center for his sixth career grand slam, then Hicks sent the next pitch 385 feet to right.

In the fifth, Hicks lined one over Jackie Bradley Jr.’s head and off the wall, away from the Red Sox right fielder. He scored to make it 6-2 when first baseman Franchy Cordero misplayed an infield popup into a double (that was changed to an error and back to a double).

VOTE RAFFY

Devers now has 12 career multihomer games.

He is campaigning to be the first Red Sox third baseman to make back-to-back All-Star Games since Wade Boggs played in seven straight from 1986-92. In voting that ends Friday at 2 p.m., Devers led Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez 59% to 41%.

HALF-STAFF

The U.S. flag in center field and behind home plate flew at half staff in memory of the victims of the Fourth of July shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, that killed seven and wounded dozens of others.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: OF Aaron Judge got a day off for lower body tightness.

Red Sox: Placed RHP Tyler Danish on the 15-day injured list with a right forearm strain. To fill his spot on the roster, the club selected RHP Michael Feliz from Triple-A Worcester.

UP NEXT:

Yankees left-hander Jordan Montgomery (7-3) will pitch the second game of the four-game series, perhaps against Boston righty Connor Seabold (0-1).

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.