MIKE FITZPATRICK AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Gary Sanchez homered twice to drive in five runs and the New York Yankees pounded David Price again in a 9-1 victory Thursday, one night after the Boston Red Sox ace had an angry exchange with a reporter.
Michael Pineda (7-3) rebounded from a rough outing with seven brilliant innings, and New York took two of three from its rival in their first series at Yankee Stadium this season. On the strength of stingy starts by CC Sabathia and Pineda, the Yankees outscored Boston 17-1 in the final two games and increased their AL East lead to three games over the second-place Red Sox.
Making his third appearance this season since recovering from a strained left elbow, Price (1-1) was tagged for six runs, eight hits and four walks in five innings. He served up both of Sanchez’s homers, a three-run shot in the third and a two-run drive in the fifth.
Minutes after Wednesday night’s game, Price got into a heated argument with a Red Sox beat writer just outside the team’s clubhouse. According to reports, Price cursed at the reporter and then two others when they asked to interview him.
“I can’t say he was not disrespectful,” Boston manager John Farrell said Thursday.
Farrell said he didn’t think the altercation would affect Price on the mound. The manager said Price would be spoken to and the situation would be “handled” at another time because he didn’t want to distract the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner on a day he was pitching.
“Obviously, it was an emotional conversation,” Farrell said. “There will be follow-up, yeah.”
Whatever the reason, Price wasn’t sharp in a ballpark that’s been nothing but trouble for him lately. He threw back his head in disgust after giving up Sanchez’s three-run homer and dropped to 14-11 with a 4.70 ERA versus New York, which batted .373 against him last year. He has a 3.01 career ERA against all other big league teams(backslash)s.
Price was 1-3 with a 7.89 ERA in five outings against the Yankees last season, including 0-3 with a 8.10 ERA in three starts in the Bronx. He has made 36 career starts against the Yankees, 11 more than he has versus any other team.
Pineda yielded four hits and struck out eight. He did not permit an earned run after getting knocked around last Friday in a loss at Toronto that ended a long run of solid starts.
Brett Gardner hit his 13th homer and an RBI single for New York. Aaron Judge had three hits and a walk, scoring twice.
Judge’s line-drive single up the middle in the sixth registered an exit velocity of 120 mph off the bat _ the hardest-hit ball in the majors this season, according to MLB’s Statcast. The 6-foot-7, 282-pound rookie holds the top three spots on that list.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia is expected back in the lineup Friday night against Detroit. The four-time All-Star and 2008 AL MVP has been on the disabled list since May 30 with a sprained left wrist. … LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (right knee) was set to play catch for the second consecutive day. Rodriguez went on the 10-day DL last Friday. “There’s growing confidence in the stability that he deals with,” Farrell said. “This has been a pretty good advancement here in these 48 hours.”
Yankees: 1B Greg Bird went 1 for 3 with two walks for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Lehigh Valley after his rehab assignment was moved from Class A Tampa. Bird has been on the DL since May 2 with a bruised right ankle. … SS Didi Gregorius was shaken up after tagging out Mookie Betts in the first inning on a stolen base attempt. Gregorius appeared to get hit on the ankle and kicked in the chest. He was checked by a trainer and manager Joe Girardi, but remained in the game and got two hits. Gregorius was removed for a pinch hitter in the eighth. … Matt Holliday was hit on the helmet by Brandon Workman’s 77 mph curveball in the eighth. He was checked by a trainer after trotting to first base and stayed in the game.
Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (2-0, 2.57 ERA) will be recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to face the Tigers when Boston begins a five-game homestand Friday night. Johnson’s most recent major league outing was a five-hit shutout May 27 against Seattle. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (5-4, 5.98) pitches for Detroit.
Yankees: Rookie LHP Jordan Montgomery (3-4, 3.67 ERA) starts against Dylan Bundy (6-4, 2.93) and the Orioles in the opener of a three-game set between AL East foes. Bundy beat Montgomery 3-2 on May 29 in Baltimore.
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