Alex Cora made the right moves when Red Sox needed it most

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"Me watching from afar a year ago, especially in the postseason, you could kind of see that raw intensity connection that the fan base had with the players".

"This one I'll remember for a long time", Holt said.

The outcome was stripped of all mystery, but history was put in play when Holt hit a ground-rule double in the eighth inning, leaving him a homer shy of his second-career cycle.

And the home run came off a position player. I was trying to hit a home run. It's definitely probably the most important game I've ever pitched in. But the Red Sox, frequent visitors who clinched the AL East crown at Yankee Stadium just 2½ weeks ago, were hardly intimidated. This season there has been just one game with such a dynamic, with Sabathia allowing just one run on five hits and a walk over seven innings. Three of them ranked atop the major leagues in one category: contact rate.

"I think from pitch 1, we let them know that we were here", Cora said.

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"I think back to the replay of the Luke Voit play at first base, that Angel Hernandez actually got right".

Every starter had at least one hit for the Red Sox, who piled up 18 in all.

"It was a special moment for me", Eovaldi said.

Should the Red Sox win Game 3, they have a former Cy Young Award victor pitching basically in his hometown (Porcello went to Seton Hall Prep) to try to advance Boston to the ALCS; if they lose, though, then they have the same former Cy Young Award victor pitching to keep them alive instead of a wild card in Eovaldi.

Hernandez's troubles started in the second inning, when Didi Gregorius bunted with Giancarlo Stanton on first and the umpire ruled Gregorius beat the throw from pitcher Nathan Eovaldi.

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Devers singled twice, stole a base, scored two runs and knocked in another.

Luis Severino and Lance Lynn played the hapless roles of Kevin Brown and Javier Vazquez, respectively, as Boston's offense raked both pitchers over the coals. "He's had success against them, and it seems like it's a good matchup; obviously, in the playoffs, game planning is part of it, and I know they're going to be ready, but we will too, and we trust his stuff".

Yankees: CF Aaron Hicks remained out of the lineup after missing Game 2 with tightness in his right hamstring, which forced him from the series opener Friday. Alex Cora was Houston's bench coach in that title-winning season, and he helped his club dispatch the Red Sox in four games in the ALDS.

"I found out once we had landed (in New York) that I was going to start Game 3", Eovaldi added of the move.

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