Joe Kelly permitted just one hit over seven sterling innings, retiring his final 17 batters faced, and the Red Sox pounced on a fatigued Yankees bullpen to post an 8-4 victory on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.
Activated from the disabled list before Saturday's game, Kelly cruised through an efficient first start of the season, permitting only Alex Rodriguez's second-inning single. The right-hander started his first full season with the Sox by striking out eight and issuing two walks to go with a wild pitch.
"He was outstanding, particularly from the third inning on," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He settled into a very good rhythm. A lot of strikes. He was efficient, enabling him to get through with seven solid innings."
Daniel Nava drove in both Boston runs off Adam Warren, who scattered five hits over 5 1/3 innings in his fourth big league start. Dustin Pedroiacontributed a booming two-run double to deep center field off Chris Martin as part of a three-run seventh inning. Brock Holt's three-run double off Matt Tracy in the eighth opened the floodgates.
Chris Young hit a three-run homer, his first of the season, off Boston's Alexi Ogando in the eighth to trim the deficit.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Hot cup of Joe: The Red Sox couldn't have drawn up a better debut to Kelly's season than what the right-hander provided. With the bullpen taxed from Friday's 19-inning win, Kelly was dominant and efficient (93 pitches) over seven innings. The Yanks' only run scored in the second inning, on Didi Gregorius' sacrifice fly to center field.
"You couldn't have written it any better," said Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan. "Seven strong … that's kind of how we wanted it to go, and it worked out. He's throwing 96, 97, 98 [mph] at the bottom of the zone, good command, good breaking ball. He's tough."More >
First things first: Making his first career appearance at first base, A-Rod made a clean play on a first-inning grounder before dropping a second-inning throw from Gregorius that led to an unearned run. Rodriguez played twice at first base this spring to provide a backup option for Mark Teixeira. This marked Rodriguez's first start in the field for a regular-season game since Sept. 10, 2013, and the first time in 2,573 career games that he played anywhere other than the left side of the infield or DH.
"I do feel comfortable, relatively speaking," Rodriguez said. "One of the things I'm going to have to continue to work on -- you have to know your infielders, just like a catcher knows the pitchers. They have different arm strengths, the ball moves differently, and that's going to be my job, to realize what the pattern is." More >
Holt's hit parade: Making his first start of the season, utility man Holt went 4-for-5 from the leadoff spot. In his final at-bat, Holt clubbed a three-run double off the outstretched glove of right fielder Garrett Jones. Holt played center field while Mookie Betts got the day off after playing 19 innings on Friday.
"I'm probably not going to do that every time I go in there, but it's nice to get off on a good foot, a good start," said Holt. "Getting the win, that's the biggest thing." More >
Warren's piece: Warren finished strong near the end of his outing, showing why he so convincingly won the Yankees' fifth-starter battle in the spring. He drew a mound visit after the first two batters of the fifth inning reached base, but with the bullpen cranking, he induced Pedroia to bounce into a double play and registered a big swinging strikeout of David Ortiz. Warren recorded one out in the sixth before handing the ball over, having tossed a career-high 98 pitches.
"I felt like I battled out there today," Warren said. "I felt like I was kind of all over the place at times, but made some good pitches. Something to build on, and I definitely feel like I can be better out there." More >
QUOTABLE "Right when I woke up, the first thing I did was pull up my MLB app and saw that we won in 19 innings and was like, 'Holy crud.'" -- Kelly, who left Yankee Stadium in the 10th inning of Friday's marathon contest
IN REVIEW The Red Sox successfully challenged an eighth-inning play at first base in which A-Rod was shown to have come off the bag when fielding a throw on Nava's ground ball to third base, overturning a call by first-base umpire Mike Winters. The error was charged to third baseman Chase Headley. It was the Yankees' third error of the afternoon and their eighth of the season.
"To the naked eye, you could see where the throw was up the line," said Farrell. "Anything close, we've got a challenge at our disposal, we're going to use it. It happens to extend the inning and again, [it was] the difference late."
WHAT'S NEXT Red Sox: Right-hander Clay Buchholz will try to build off his stellar performance on Opening Day when he closes out the three-game series against the Yankees on Sunday. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET.
Yankees: There will be a lot of curious eyes fixed upon Masahiro Tanaka at on Sunday as the right-hander attempts to bounce back from an Opening Day stumble. Tanaka threw just 27 fastballs out of 82 pitches in that start and could use a better outing to silence some of the speculation about his health.