BOSTON — By the end of this three-game set at Fenway Park, it was hard to believe the Yankees were the team easily in front of the AL East and the Red Sox were the team in the cellar.
The Yankees’ poor play began with consecutive losses at home to the Mariners and continued with a road trip in which they lost seven of nine, including Sunday night’s 3-0 defeat in front of another sellout crowd at Fenway Park.
It was the third time the Yankees were shut out on the trip. They’ll return home to The Bronx to face the Rays and Blue Jays, up by 10 games on second-place Toronto in the division.
On Sunday, they were overmatched by Michael Wacha.
In his first game back off the injured list after right shoulder inflammation, the right-hander retired the first 14 batters he faced until Miguel Andujar singled with two outs in the fifth.
With Isiah Kiner-Falefa at the plate, Andujar swiped second before Kiner-Falefa walked.
Kyle Higashioka followed with a hard grounder to third, where Rafael Devers made a nice play to end the threat.
And that’s about all the Yankees could get off Wacha, who gave up just a pair of singles and has held the Yankees to one earned run in 23 innings over his last four starts against them, dating back to last season.
It didn’t give Jameson Taillon much of a chance.
The right-hander allowed three runs in seven innings, but put the Yankees in a hole in the first inning.
He gave up a leadoff double to Tommy Pham, who moved to third on a groundout by Devers and scored on a grounder to shortstop by Xander Bogaerts to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead.
Taillon pitched around a leadoff single by J.D. Martinez in the second and one-out singles by Pham and Devers in the third, thanks to a Bogaerts double play.
After the Yankees squandered a pair of baserunners in the fifth, Andrew Benintendi picked up their second hit of the night with a single to left, but Aaron Judge and Josh Donaldson struck out.
Pham led off the bottom of the sixth with a single to right and Devers then took Taillon deep to make it 3-0.
Devers has 19 career homers against the Yankees, his most against any single opponent.
Once Wacha exited, Ryan Brasier tossed a scoreless eighth before Garrett Whitlock finished it in the ninth.