03 August 2020 02:33

And we know that’s probably not a good idea,” Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said.

Latest on Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman’s nearing return

There may not be fans at Yankee Stadium to rise, but that won't stop Aaron Judge from hitting home runs. On Sunday against the Red Sox, the Yankees' star right fielder hit a home run in his fifth consecutive game, extending his career-high stretch and giving him five home runs through eight games. Judge's 419-foot blast brought him within three games of the MLB record, held by franchise great Don Mattingly (10 home runs in eight games in 1987), Dale Long (eight home runs with the Pirates in 1956) and Ken Griffey Jr. Alex Rodriguez was the last Yankee to hit five home runs in five games, back in 2007. The Yankees, who hit a home run in an MLB record 31 straight games last season, entered Sunday ranked third in home runs this season with 15 through eight games of the 60-game season. It is unclear whether MLB is using a different baseball as it did last season, when a record 6,776 homers were hit — nearly 700 home runs more than the previous record set in 2017.

The shortstop and de facto team captain is one of the most good-natured and positive people you can run across. Xander Bogaerts spent just under nine minutes taking questions from reporters before the Red Sox played the Yankees on Sunday night. Trying to win with only two reliable starting pitchers is hard. Trying to bond with so many new teammates during a pandemic is hard. Losing Eduardo Rodriguez for the entire season because of a heart condition related to his having COVID-19.

The Red Sox went into the game with the second-worst record in the American League, which isn't necessarily meaningful through so few games. The Sox really don't have a rotation. They've also played poor defense and run the bases like their masks were pulled over their eyes. When Mookie Betts and David Price were traded in January, it was a clear message that this season didn't matter and the Sox were preparing for the future. The Sox had 16 pitchers on their active roster Sunday, seven who were designated for assignment or released in the last nine months.

Pitchers from that group have started four of the 10 games. You can't win with a staff like that and the players know it. Saturday night's 5-2 loss against the Yankees was a good example. The Red Sox put two runners on base with two outs in the ninth inning against journeyman righthander David Hale. With J.D. Martinez seemingly available as a pinch hitter, Andrew Benintendi took his turn at the plate and struck out on four pitches to end the game.

Martinez, at that point, was a career.336 hitter at Yankee Stadium with seven home runs. He also had hit.320 against the Yankees with a 1.022 OPS since joining the Red Sox. But Jerry [Narron, the bench coach] had gone down there a couple of innings before and just kind of gave him a heads up to be ready. You'd hope a Red Sox player would be breaking down doors for a chance to beat the Yankees. But Martinez took a pass and Roenicke made it out to be a mutual decision. It brings to mind the 2014 season, when what appeared to be a good Red Sox team fell apart after ownership made a lowball offer to ace lefthander Jon Lester. The Sox played with little passion, fell out of contention quickly, and there was a fire sale at the trade deadline that included Lester. Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has been careful to say the Sox aren't giving up on the season but also have to be mindful of the future. The trade deadline is at Aug. 31 this season — assuming MLB is still operating at that point — and Bloom could deal away players such as Martinez, Jackie Bradley Jr., Mitch Moreland, and Kevin Pillar. When the Sox return from this road trip they'll have already played 20 percent of the season. Bogaerts, who homered twice in the first five innings of Sunday night's game, is trying to stay hopeful. But in 50 games a lot can happen," he said. Peter Abraham can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe. NEW YORK — Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman's first big test in his return from the coronavirus could come soon. "He might be throwing a bullpen (Monday)," manager Aaron Boone told reporters before the Yankees faced the Red Sox in the finale of a three-game set at Yankee Stadium. Introducing Yankees Insider: Get exclusive news, behind-the-scenes observations and the ability to text message directly with beat writers He's the team's only player to have tested positive for the virus since spring training reboot workouts started July 4. Two other Yankees — second baseman DJ LeMahieu and reliever Luis Cessa — each tested positive before camp started but since have been cleared to play. LeMahieu has hit.385 with a homer and three RBI through six games. The Yankees are still waiting for Cessa to be ready. · Went 57-24 in 2019, matching their most home wins in a single season at the current Yankee Stadium (also 2009) and tying their best home record since 1999 (also 2004). · Since the beginning of 2019, 22 of his 31HR have either tied the game or given the Yankees the lead. Get Yankees text messages: Cut through the clutter of social media and text during games with beat writers and columnists. Plus, exclusive news and analysis every day. Brendan Kuty may be reached at [email protected] The Red Sox will fly to Tamp Bay right after Sunday's game at Yankee Stadium. They will spend their entire off day Monday in Florida before beginning a two-game series with the Rays at Tropicana Field on Tuesday. Because an off day, you want guys to go out and relax and do some things they enjoy. And we know that's probably not a good idea," Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said. "The pool is probably not a good idea," Roenicke added. And then we'll see how it goes in the two games. And we'll see how the other teams are doing in the next few days." Twenty-one Miami Marlins players have tested positive for the coronavirus, per ESPN. The St. Louis Cardinals are expected to announce multiple new positive tests soon, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported. The latest round of coronavirus tests from the St. Louis Cardinals are, in the words of someone with the team, "not good." There are expected to be multiple new positives, sources tell ESPN. Red Sox staff members had a Zoom call Sunday to discuss how they can "be more forceful" with in-game protocols. "Off the field, we think we've done a pretty good job," Roenicke said. So I think that's really good. But it's really hard. MLB season could shut down by Monday due to coronavirus outbreaks, Rob Manfred warns players (report) Springfield's Isan Diaz opts out of MLB season amid Miami Marlins COVID-19 outbreak Lorenzo Cain opts out: Brewers star becomes 16 MLB player to sit out amid COVID outbreak MLB coronavirus outbreak: Philadelphia Phillies announce one coach, one member of clubhouse staff test positive