Final Score: Boston 8, New York 2
Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - The Boston Red Sox have turned the page from a disastrous 2012 season, at least for a day, and did so against their hated rivals from New York.
Shane Victorino drove in three runs and Jon Lester pitched five solid innings, as the Red Sox opened the John Farrell era with an 8-2 win over the injury- plagued Yankees.
Farrell, the former Red Sox pitching coach who had skippered the Toronto Blue Jays for the past two seasons, was hired to replace Bobby Valentine after a 93-loss campaign, Boston's worst since 1965.
The Red Sox got contributions in their 2013 opener from newcomers such as Victorino, who was 2-for-6, and rookie Jackie Bradley, who walked three times, scored twice and drove in a run. Jacoby Ellsbury was 3-for-6 with a pair of runs batted in, while Dustin Pedroia added a pair of hits with an RBI in the win.
Lester (1-0) surrendered a pair of runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts to earn the victory in his third straight Opening Day start.
"Awesome to see those guys get good professional at bats 1 through 9," said Lester. "Great defense, bullpen and everybody else."
The reigning American League East champion Yankees began their season with a depleted lineup, as regulars Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez are all on the disabled list.
Francisco Cervelli drove in the only two runs for New York, while former Boston star Kevin Youkilis had a double and a run scored against his former team.
CC Sabathia (0-1), making his fifth straight Opening Day start for the Yankees, was tagged for four runs -- all in the second inning -- on eight hits over five frames. He walked four and struck out five in defeat.
The Yankees had won 11 straight home season-openers, tied for the all-time record with the Mets, who won 11 straight from 1971-89. The last team to beat the Yankees in a season-opener in the Bronx was the Chicago White Sox in 1982.
"It's one game, you don't make too much of it," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "Everyone wants to get off to a great start, but (sometimes) it just doesn't happen that way. You come back and work Wednesday night."
The Red Sox reached Sabathia for four runs in the second after a pair of one- out walks around an infield single loaded the bases. Bradley, who had walked, beat the throw to second from shortstop Eduardo Nunez on a grounder into the hole by Jose Iglesias to score the first run and Victorino laced a two-out single into left to chase home two more before Pedroia's base hit into right sent Victorino home for a 4-0 lead.
"I need to do a better job of finishing innings and going deeper into the game," said Sabathia. "They put some good at-bats together and got some good pitches to hit."
After Boston wasted a pair of one-out singles in the top of the fourth, the Yankees picked up two runs in the bottom of the inning. Youkilis led off with a double down the left field line and Vernon Wells drew a walk before Ichiro Suzuki singled to right-center to load the bases. Jayson Nix took a called third strike, but Cervelli drove in two with a single just inside the left field line before Brett Gardner lined out to right.
The Red Sox were unable to add a run after Ellsbury led off the sixth with a triple, as he was cut down at home plate on a one-out grounder, but they tacked on a run in the seventh against David Phelps. A pair of walks and a fly ball to right put Will Middlebrooks on third and he scored when Bradley grounded out off the glove of Boone Logan to make it 5-2.
Andrew Miller started the bottom of the seventh for Boston and immediately got into trouble with a pair of walks. However, the lanky lefty caught Nunez looking at a third strike and fanned Robinson Cano before Andrew Bailey struck out Youkilis.
"After two walks we end up with three strikeouts in a row and that was probably the other difference in the game," Girardi noted. "We had our opportunities, we just didn't cash in."
Boston blew it open with three in the ninth on a two-out, two-run infield single by Ellsbury and a run-scoring base hit by Victorino off Joba Chamberlain.
The Red Sox drew eight walks and stroked 13 hits against six Yankee pitchers ... Lester is the first Red Sox pitcher to start three straight openers since Pedro Martinez did so in each of his seven seasons with the club from 1998-2004. He is also the first Red Sox lefty to start and win on Opening Day since Gary Peters beat the Yankees in 1970. Boston was 0-5 since 1984 when a left-hander starts on Opening Day, including two Lester starts each of the past two years ... Bradley was the first Red Sox player to make his big league debut on Opening Day against the Yankees since Tony Conigliaro in 1964 and the first Boston player to start in his major league debut on Opening Day since Shea Hillenbrand in 2001 ... Sabathia's five straight Opening Day starts for the Yankees is one shy of the team record of six, set by Lefty Gomez from 1937-42 ... The Red Sox improved to 55-57-1 all-time on Opening Day, including 32-40-1 when starting a season on the road ... The series resumes Wednesday when Clay Buchholz starts for Boston against New York's Hiroki Kuroda ... A moment of silence was held before the game to remember the victims of the Sandy Hook elementary school tragedy from Dec. 14.
04/01 17:50:28 ET
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