BOSTON — When the Baltimore Orioles lost to the Chicago White Sox Sunday afternoon, the tireless Fenway Park grounds crew abruptly went to work, adjusting the American League East standings on the Green Monster.

Boston was put atop the standings at 14-10. Baltimore was listed below the Red Sox – also with a 14-10 record (hey, you want to argue alphabetical order, go to Camden Yards).

As it turns out, Boston can stay on top after an 8-7 win Sunday night over the New York Yankees.

The Red Sox are 15-10 and continue to rejuvenate each other with their relentless lineup.

“It’s a tell-tale sign of the character of this team,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said. “It speaks volumes of their grind-it-out-approach.”

Both teams hit big home runs Sunday night.


Alex Rodriguez hit a bomb for the Yankees.

Who would homer for the Red Sox?

David Ortiz? Hanley Ramirez? Dustin Pedroia? No. Boston relied on more of its whiz kids.

Travis Shaw crushed a Nathan Eovaldi curveball to right field for a two-run homer to tie it in the fifth inning.

Christian Vazquez saw a 97 mph fastball from Dellin Betances and launched it over the Green Monster and out of Fenway Park in the seventh inning, putting the Red Sox ahead for good.

“It’s great to see the growth of the young players,” Farrell said. “First, Xander (Bogaerts), Mookie (Betts) and Jackie (Bradley Jr.). Now Travis and Christian.”


This Boston team keeps hitting and scoring, with a league-leading 134 runs (Detroit is second with 115).

“We’ve been able to put together some good things,” Bradley said.

Bradley bats ninth. With runners in scoring position, he’s batting .467.

It is a lineup that has overcome some instability in the starting rotation. Ace David Price had another un-ace-like performance Sunday, allowing six runs over seven innings.

But Price also showed some grit, retiring the last eight batters he faced.

Jacoby Ellsbury had reached three times against Price (two doubles and a hit by pitch), but Price got him to pop up to second base. Then Rodriguez came up, having already homered, doubled and driven in four runs. Price delivered a steady dose of fastballs and cutters, getting Rodriguez to ground out.


Not a great performance, but going seven innings helped Boston get to set-up man Koji Uehara (one run allowed) and closer Craig Kimbrel.

Price going seven innings followed Rick Porcello going seven on Saturday.

“These last turns through the rotation have been more consistent,” Farrell said. “We’ve been able to give our guys in the bullpen more regular rest.”

Pitching is always key, of course.

But how do you ignore this offense? The Red Sox entered Sunday ranked last in the American League in home runs, but first in average (.281) and OPS (.790).

“There are some elements to our offense that have been very, very encouraging,” Farrell said. “The all-field approach, the way we run bases have been very consistent …”


And the way that so many bats are contributing.

Betts and Pedroia singled in the first, leading to a 1-0 lead.

Pedroia, Bogaerts, Ramirez and Brock Holt singled in a three-run third. Shaw, meanwhile, looked uncomfortable with two strikeouts.

“After my first two at-bats, I thought there was no chance I would get a hit tonight,” Shaw said. “I felt terrible and was not seeing the ball.”

When Price gave up a two-run double to Rodriguez and an RBI single to Mark Teixeira in the fifth, the Yankees led 6-4.

With a runner on in the fifth, Eovaldi faced Shaw one more time.


“He started me off with breaking balls before, so I thought I might as well sit on one, and he threw me another,” Shaw said.

It sizzled off Shaw’s bat at 109 mph, for his third home run. Quickly, the game was tied.

Eovaldi’s pitch count was rising. When Bradley began the sixth inning with a six-pitch walk, the Yankees went to their bullpen.

In the seventh, with a runner on and two outs, New York Manager Joe Girardi called on Betances, another flame-thrower. It was Betances who hung a breaking ball to David Ortiz on Friday.

Betances came with the heat to Vazquez and, bam, the Red Sox led and Fenway rocked.

“As much as the crowd erupted, so did the dugout,” Farrell said.


The popular Vazquez was swarmed by his teammates.

“That was a 97 fastball and he hit it to the moon,” Ortiz said.


“Just one after another, up and down the lineup, different guy every night,” Shaw said. “It just never stops. We just continue to grind, no matter the score.”

The Red Sox have grinded their way to first place.

A good start to May.

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