Boston’s Franchy Cordero, right, celebrates with Trevor Story (10) and Jackie Bradley Jr. after hitting a two-run homer Sunday night at Fenway Park against the New York Yankees. The Red Sox rallied for an 11-6 victory. Steven Senne/Associated Press

The word went through the Boston Red Sox ticket office early Sunday afternoon. Everything was sold out for the rest of the day. Fenway Park tours. Upgraded guided visits featuring on-field access. And, of course, the 7:08 p.m. game against the New York Yankees.

The buzz was back at the ballpark this weekend. It felt like old times, like way back in October 2021 when the Red Sox eliminated their New York rivals in a one-and-done wild-card game before a pulsating crowd.

It was a stark contrast from Thursday and Friday nights when the Yankees, with the best record in baseball, took the first two games of the series. Or for most of the night Saturday as New York appeared poised to make it 3 for 4.

The Red Sox noticed. They heard Yankee fans, emboldened by the scoreboard, chanting for the visitors. And when Alex Verdugo capped off Saturday night’s comeback with a two-run single in the 10th inning, he noticed how things changed. Sox fans had come to life.

“We’ve got to get this back,” Verdugo told reporters after the game. “This is our house. This is where we play. This ain’t their field.”

The Red Sox came back again on Sunday night, salvaging a series split that felt like victory. It was the first time all season Boston didn’t lose a series against an AL East opponent. The Sox came away from the series with renewed confidence that they can make a mark in the postseason. Even in the two losses they put runs up against Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes — New York’s top two pitchers this season. In the next two games they rallied against the Yankees’ vaunted bullpen.


“We play in a tough division and we’ve been getting beat in the division,” Red Sox Manager Alex Cora said after Sunday’s win, “but we feel like we can play with everybody.”

While the Red Sox were surviving the long weekend with New York, the Blue Jays and Rays were being swept in their series. With a week to go until the All-Star break, Boston had built a 2 1/2-game lead in the wild-card race.

They did it with four of their five starters on the injured list. And that doesn’t include Chris Sale, who has yet to throw a pitch for Boston this season. Sale, however, will pitch for the Sox on Tuesday after wrapping up his injury rehab in Worcester last week. If he can dismantle the Rays’ lineup the way he dismantled a Polar Park television set, he will be just fine.

Sale could pitch again next weekend when the Red Sox again face the Yankees in the Bronx. So could Nathan Eovaldi, who pitched more than three innings for the WooSox on Sunday, hitting 97 mph.

At Fenway this weekend the Sox won a game started by Kutter Crawford and another when Kaleb Ort had to relieve Nick Pivetta in the fourth inning.

“I don’t think anyone would have bet that we would have split (the series) after the first two,” Xander Bogaerts said after Sunday’s game. “They’re definitely lying if they say that, based on how the first two games went.”


It was a good day for Bogaerts, who was named an All-Star for the fourth time just before he went 2 for 4 in the final game of the series.

Bogaerts and Rafael Devers were the only two Red Sox players named to the All-Star team over the weekend. The Sox haven’t gotten a lot of attention nationally since their 10-19 start. That is changing now.

Even though they didn’t win the series, taking the last two games against the Yankees put the baseball world on notice that the Sox intend on making the second half of the season count.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN and a graduate of Lewiston High School.

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