Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen put himself in game vs. Yankees

The Boston Red Sox squared off against the New York Yankees on Saturday at Fenway Park, emerging victorious with an 8-4 win to even the series at one game apiece.

In a pivotal moment during the eighth inning, holding a two-run lead with two outs and runners threatening, Boston opted to swap Greg Weissert for closer Kenley Jansen to secure a four-out save. Interestingly, it wasn’t manager Alex Cora who made the call; it was Jansen himself.

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“The big man called in the middle of the eighth,” Cora explained (via MassLive). “He made the call. I didn’t make the call. And he’s like, ‘I’m in.’”

Despite not physically signaling from the bullpen, Jansen orchestrated the move through bullpen coach Kevin Walker, prompting the skipper to put him in.

“Playing against the Yankees, I told our bullpen coach, Walk, just whenever you see Weiss in trouble, call down,” Jansen revealed. “And he called down and I started warming up. Good communication between us and AC. Give me that ball. I want to just come out there and stop that inning right away so it doesn’t (give) the momentum to them.

“I don’t want to lose that game. The guys grind their butts off today and when you see all your players hit all the cylinders and play great baseball, you want to be a part to stop the momentum from the other side so you can keep that win.”

Jansen’s impact was immediate and decisive. He induced a fly out from Anthony Volpe to close out the eighth inning and then retired Juan Soto, Aaron Judge, and Alex Verdugo in order in the ninth, securing the save and sealing the win for Boston over their fierce rivals from New York.

Despite being 36 years old, Jansen has been a reliable force for the Red Sox this season. Whether he remains with the team through the season’s end or not, he continues to shine, demonstrating one of his finest seasons yet, even if not always in the familiar closer role he’s accustomed to.