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(Tuesday, April 22nd)
Final Score: New York 9, Boston 3
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Jacoby Ellsbury gave the Boston Red Sox fans an unwanted welcome back in his return to Fenway Park, going 2-for-5 with two RBI to help the New York Yankees to a 9-3 rout of their longtime rivals.
Ellsbury, part of two World Series titles during a successful seven-year tenure with the Red Sox, tripled in his first at-bat as a Fenway visitor and later drove in two with a double that highlighted a four-run fifth inning. The star outfielder bolted Boston for a seven-year, $153 million contract with New York during the offseason.
Three other Yankee newcomers made big contributions as well in the opener of this three-game series. Masahiro Tanaka yielded just two runs and fanned seven over 7 1/3 innings in another strong start, Brian McCann went 3-for-4 with an RBI double and Carlos Beltran finished 2-for-5 with a homer and two RBI.
Tanaka (3-0) allowed back-to-back homers to David Ortiz and Mike Napoli in the fourth, but just five other hits in his first-ever encounter with the Red Sox.
On the other hand, the Yankees battered Boston ace Jon Lester (2-3) for 11 hits and eight runs -- though just three were earned due to a pair of Red Sox errors -- in 4 2/3 innings of work.
Napoli ended 2-for-4 and Xander Bogaerts had an RBI double in the loss.
"(New York) put some good swings on him," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Lester's performance. "They mishit some balls, they found some holes. We didn't help out defensively and once again we're digging ourself a hole to play catch-up."
Ellsbury drew a mild chorus of boos as he stepped to the plate to begin the contest, and the jeers grew later when the former Boston fan favorite drilled Lester's third pitch of the night off the top of the center-field wall. He circled the bases for an apparent inside-the-park home run as Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. stopped pursuing the ball thinking a fan had touched it, and the play was eventually ruled a triple on interference.
The decision turned out moot, as Derek Jeter lined Lester's next offering up the middle for an RBI single and was soon on third following a passed ball and throwing error by Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski. He was sent home on a Beltran base hit for a quick 2-0 New York lead.
"You want to do well, go out there and put in a good performance," said Ellsbury. "It was nice to get a triple right off the bat and allow us to score right from the get-go."
Lester got out of a bases-loaded jam by inducing a double-play grounder to Beltran in the second, but served up three consecutive doubles to Alfonso Soriano, Mark Teixeira and McCann in the third to bring in two more runs.
Tanaka, meanwhile, held the Red Sox in check for the first three innings before Ortiz and Napoli both went deep in the fourth. He surrendered just three more hits over the remainder of his stint, however, and New York broke the game open with a four-run outburst in the fifth.
Lester nearly got out of the inning unscathed, but Napoli misplayed a Brian Roberts grounder to first with two out to score Teixeira for a 5-2 advantage. Ellsbury then laced a game-breaking double to left center that plated McCann and Roberts, right before Jeter greeted reliever Chris Capuano with another RBI hit to extend the lead to six runs.
Beltran's fifth homer of the season, a solo blast off Edward Mujica in the eighth, had New York up by a 9-2 count entering the final frame.
Doubles by Jonny Gomes and Bogaerts against Dellin Betances in the ninth accounted for Boston's final run.
Jeter ended 2-for-4 with two RBI to extend his hitting streak to 11 games ... Lester had not allowed a first-inning run in his previous 13 regular-season starts prior to giving up three at Kansas City on Aug. 8 ... Tanaka's 35 strikeouts are the most by a Yankees pitcher over his first four major league starts, breaking the mark of 28 held by Al Leiter (1987) and Orlando Hernandez (1998) ... Ortiz's homer traveled an estimated 482 feet, the longest at Fenway since Vladimir Guerrero had a 484-foot shot while with the Angels in 2006.
04/23 02:44:42 ET
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