But thewill certainly not be the first time the longtime rivals make headlines. The Yankees are currently up nine games on the Sox in the American League East, but both sides have taken turns one-upping each other over the years.
Before the rivals clash once more during their two-game series overseas, here’s a look at five of the best Yankees vs. Red Sox moments in recent history:
5. Pedro Martinez and Don Zimmer go at it
Things were evened up in the ALCS when the two teams met at Fenway Park for Game 3 in October 2003, and anticipation was high for the big-name pitching duel of Martinez vs. Roger Clemens. The Red Sox ace is perhaps better known from this matchup, however, for shoving Zimmer, the then-72-year-old Yankees bench coach (and 1970s Sox manager) during a benches-clearing scuffle stemming from Martinez hitting New York’s Karim Garcia and Boston’s Manny Ramirez taking exception to a high throw from Clemens. It wasn’t a baseball play, but it sure heated up the rivalry during the Yanks’ run to the World Series.
4. Dave Roberts steals second
Trailing by a run and down to their final three outs of the 2004 ALCS, the Red Sox drew a walk off legendary Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning of Game 4, then replaced Kevin Millar on the basepaths with Roberts as a pinch runner. What followed was one of the most pivotal moments in Red Sox history, with Roberts swiping second. He scored on a single, forcing extra innings, and the Sox won the game to start their historic comeback.
3. Johnny Damon hits a Game 7 grand slam
We’re not done with the 2004 ALCS just yet. Roberts may have swung momentum back in Boston’s favor, but Damon absolutely closed the book on the Yankees in Game 7. His second-inning grand slam off of the first pitch from Javier Vazquez gave the Sox a 6-0 lead. Damon went on to homer again later in the contest, destroying a slump he endured during the first six games of the series, but his grand slam was the statement of the victory. It wrapped up Boston’s historic comeback after losing the first three games of the series.
2. Bucky Dent homers in tiebreaker
The two sides met in October 1978 for a one-game AL East tiebreaker after the Sox and Yankees both finished with 99-63 records. Boston hosted the game at Fenway Park and up until the seventh, they looked primed for a playoff run thanks to a 2-0 lead. But then came Dent, who slammed a three-run shot off Mike Torrez over the green monster to give New York the lead. The Yankees eventually won 5-4 and it’s a game that went down in history as part of the their 1978 World Series run.
1. Aaron Boone sends Yankees to World Series
With a World Series trip on the line, New York trailed by three runs in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. But an otherwise strong outing from Pedro Martinez was damaged by a Yankees rally (and questionable managing from Grady Little), sending the game — and series — into extras. Later, in the bottom of the 11th, Aaron Boone, who entered the game as a pinch runner earlier, came to the plate and sent Tim Wakefield’s first pitch into the stands, securing a trip to the Series with an improbable walk-off. The Yankees would go on to lose in the World Series, but Boone’s heroics to get them there remain a highlight in the history of this rivalry.