Puerto Rican catcher Christian Vazquez asserted the power of his bat and provided a home run that sealed the victory that allowed the Boston Red Sox to travel to the American League Championship Series for the best of seven against the Houston Astros.
Vazquez's timely batting was decisive for the Red Sox to beat the New York Yankees 3-4 at home in the fourth game of the Serie Division that disputed the best of five.
With the power of his bat, the Puerto Rican silenced the 47,641 spectators who filled the stands of Yankee Stadium in the fourth inning, because with their rollover, the Red Sox were going to eliminate the Yankees, in yet another duel of the eternal rivals of the Eastern Division of the Young Circuit.
The Red Sox, who achieved a record of 108 wins in the regular season, entered the American League championship series for the first time since the 2013 season.
A year after being eliminated in the Division series against the Houston Astros, the Red Sox will start the Championship series in their field at "Fenway Park" on Saturday, precisely against the Texan team, which defends the World Series title.
Vazquez's solitary strike (1) came in the top of the fourth inning by sending the ball over the right field fence against reliever Zach Britton, who had taken the ball from the opener CC Sabathia.
With his home run the Boricua put 4-0 numbers on the board to seal the victory of the ninth Boston.
Vazquez traveled three times to the batting box and connected only once, punishing with a four corner hit that blew the ball 338 feet (103 meters).
Before Vazquez's decisive strike arrived, Dominican third baseman Eduardo Nunez supported the attack by hitting the bat twice in four turns and towed one of the Red Sox' four runs.
In the third inning Núñez hit single deep into left field and pushed the accountant to second baseman Ian Kinsler to put 3-0 numbers on the board against the left-handed Sabathia opener.
If Vazquez and Nuñez put in the right bat, the rookie pilot, Puerto Rican Alex Cora, was the great winning factor of the Red Sox by always making the most risky and controversial decisions in each of the four games that both teams played, but in the end always favored him.
Cora, who beat Yankee handler Aaron Boone in the rookie duel,
"A lot of people gave up on us after losing Game 2, and we showed up yesterday, did an excellent job, and tonight we made a detailed plan," Cora said after Tuesday's game. "Rick (Porcello) was exceptional. And then the bullpen did an excellent job in the end, although Craig was not the usual Craig Kimbrel, but he had three outs and closed the game," he added.
Cora reiterated that the key to the team's triumph was that they were always focused and aware of the mission that each of the players had on the field.
"They stay focused at all times. They play the right way, they run the bases well, they play a good defense. Yesterday it was Brock Holt and the left-handers. Today it was Ian Kinsler and Eduardo Núñez and Christian Vázquez. We have a great team. We are very versatile. We have everyone, and it was a great team victory," said Cora.
The young Red Sox driver, who led the team to 108 victories in the regular season, the best record in the team's history, and only surpassed by Ralph Houk, who in 1961 led the Yankees to a 109-53 record in their first season in the Major Leagues, will now have to face A.J. Hinch, the Astros driver, with whom he was his man of confidence last year.
"It will be something very special in facing my ex-team, where I have great friends, but all will leave to a side the feelings and in the field we will look for the victory", commented Cora. "It will be a very difficult and complicated series because we face the defending champion of the World Series.
Meanwhile, for the Yankees, the Dominican receiver Gary Sanchez hit sacrifice flying over the top of left field and pushed the register to the Dutch short stop Didi Gregorius.
Sanchez, who had 3-1, towed the Yankees' third run, but his effort was insufficient and the New York ninth fell short and was eliminated from the postseason in the Major Leagues.
Venezuelan second baseman Gleyber Torres hit the batting box once in four trips.
Cuban emerging runner Adeiny Hechevarria could not make it to the register.