Final, Yankees 9-3: Jacoby Ellsbury can feel good about his return to Fenway Park. Sure, he was booed. But Ellsbury had a big game as the Yankees took the series opener 9-3.
Ellsbury went 2-for-5 with a double, a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored. He really set the tempo for the Yankees’ offense, which received contributions from up and down the order.
Brian McCann collected three hits for New York. Ellsbury, Derek Jeter, Carlos Beltran, Ichiro Suzuki and Brian Roberts each produced two hits. Beltran went deep for the Yankees.
Masahiro Tanaka was very impressive in his first start against the Red Sox. The Japanese phenom allowed two runs on seven hits over 7 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and didn’t walk anyone.
Jon Lester struggled, although he was victimized by some sloppy defense, which has been a recurring trend for the Red Sox of late. Lester surrendered eight runs (three earned) on 11 hits over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked four.
John Lackey will take the ball Wednesday as the Red Sox look to rebound from back-to-back loses. He’ll face Michael Pineda in a matchup scheduled for 7:10 p.m.
Mid 9th, Yankees 9-2: Junichi Tazawa worked a scoreless ninth inning for Boston.
The Red Sox probably would have liked to have stayed away from using Tazawa in a blowout, but Jon Lester’s short outing thrust him into action.
Brian McCann singled off the wall to begin the ninth, but Tazawa retired the next three batters he faced.
End 8th, Yankees 9-2: Masahiro Tanaka finished up an impressive outing in the eighth inning.
Tanaka struck out Grady Sizemore swinging before Yankeees manager Joe Girardi turned to his bullpen. Sizemore is really struggling after getting off to a hot start.
Dellin Betances struck out Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz to end the eighth inning. Both players went down looking on curveballs.
Ortiz fouled a pitch off his foot/ankle area in his eighth-inning at-bat.
Mid 8th, Yankees 9-2: Carlos Beltran extended New York’s lead with a solo homer.
Beltran jumped on a 3-1 offering from Edward Mujica and drove it into the right field seats. It was Beltran’s fifth home run of 2014.
The top of the Red Sox’s order — Grady Sizemore, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz — is due up in the bottom of the eighth.
End 7th, Yankees 8-2: Yangervis Solarte continues his tremendous start to the season.
Solarte has been excellent offensively and defensively, and the young infielder flashed some leather in the seventh inning.
Jackie Bradley Jr. tried to bunt his way on with Brock Holt on first base and two outs in the seventh. Solarte charged in from his post at third base to make a nifty barehanded play.
Mark Teixeira also deserves a ton of credit for the inning-ending out. Teixeira dived to catch the ball and apply the tag on a hustling Bradley.
Mid 7th, Yankees 8-2: Ichiro Suzuki doubled in the seventh, but that was the only hiccup for Chris Capuano, who once again was solid.
Capuano rebounded from Ichiro’s one-out double to retire Brian Roberts and Jacoby Ellsbury on a flyout and groundout, respectively.
Capuano twirled 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Jon Lester. He surrendered just two hits and struck out one.
End 6th, Yankees 8-2: Mike Napoli has hit the ball hard a couple of times despite his costly fifth-inning error.
Napoli, who crushed a solo homer in the fourth inning, doubled into the left-center field gap with two outs in the sixth inning.
Nothing came of Napoli’s offensive work, though. Jonny Gomes struck out swinging on a slider from Masahiro Tanaka to end the frame.
Mid 6th, Yankees 8-2: Chris Capuano continues to give the Red Sox good innings.
Capuano quickly sat down the Yankees in order in the sixth. He even flashed some leather on Brian McCann’s two-out comebacker.
Xander Bogaerts made a nice leaping grab for the second out of the sixth inning. It took a hit away from Mark Teixeira.
End 5th, Yankees 8-2: The Red Sox didn’t offer much of a response to the Yankees’ big inning in the fifth.
Brock Holt and Jackie Bradley Jr. both grounded out, and Grady Sizemore flied out to end the inning.
Chris Capuano will come back out for the sixth.
Lester surrendered eight runs on 11 hits over 4 2/3 innings, though only three of the runs were earned. He struck out seven and walked four while throwing 118 pitches (76 strikes).
Mid 5th, Yankees 8-2: The Yankees have opened things up while knocking Jon Lester from the game. Guess who was at the center of New York’s big fifth inning?
Jacoby Ellsbury’s two-run double highlighted the Yankees’ four-run inning, although all four runs were unearned because of an error by Mike Napoli at first base.
Mark Teixeira (walk) and Brian McCann (single) reached to begin the fifth before Lester nearly worked his way out of trouble. Lester struck out Yangervis Solarte and Ichiro Suzuki with a cutter and a curveball, respectively.
Napoli couldn’t catch Brian Roberts’ line drive right at him, though. The ball trickled into right field as Teixeira scored from second base, and things snowballed from there.
Ellsbury, who has had an excellent game in his return to Fenway, lined a double into the left field gap that plated both McCann and Roberts.
John Farrell turned to Chris Capuano at that point. Capuano was greeted by Derek Jeter, who singled into center field to produce New York’s eighth run.
End 4th, Yankees 4-2: David Ortiz and Mike Napoli cut Boston’s deficit in half.
Ortiz and Napoli smacked back-to-back jacks in the fourth inning to give the Red Sox their first two runs of the contest.
Ortiz absolutely crushed a ball to right-center field — over the NESN.com sign, in fact. Napoli then ripped a 1-1 offering from Masahiro Tanaka over the Green Monster.
A.J. Pierzynski nearly went yard, too, as he lifted a high fly ball to left field that clanked off the wall for a double.
The Red Sox were shut down through the first three innings, but they’re starting to square some balls up against Tanaka.
The back-to-back homers in the fourth inning marked the first time the Red Sox have gone back-to-back this season. It was the first time Boston has hit back-to-back homers since July 30, 2013.
Mid 4th, Yankees 4-0: Nice bounce-back inning for Jon Lester. And he really needed it.
Lester, whose pitch count began to soar in the third inning, retired Derek Jeter, Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano in order.
Beltran and Soriano struck out swinging.
The rain is coming down at Fenway Park. Hopefully, it won’t disrupt the action.
End 3rd, Yankees 4-0: Masahiro Tanaka quickly closed off any potential threat in the third inning with a well-timed double play ball.
Jackie Bradley Jr. singled into right-center field with one out. Bradley took a wide turn around first base before tossing on the brakes.
Tanaka stopped the rally by inducing a ground ball to second base, where Brian Roberts started a 4-6-3 twin killing.
Mid 3rd, Yankees 4-0: It’s been a struggle for Jon Lester.
Alfonso Soriano began the third inning with a towering fly ball to center field. The ball plunked off the center field wall, resulting in a double, although Soriano might have earned himself a triple if he ran hard out of the box.
Mark Teixeira followed with a bloop double into right field that enabled Soriano to score from second base.
Brian McCann, who had a two-homer game in the teams’ first series in New York, smacked a double past a lunging Jonny Gomes in left field. That plated Teixeira with New York’s fourth run.
Ichiro Suzuki walked and Brian Roberts singled to right field on a ball Grady Sizemore couldn’t grab on a diving attempt. Fortunately for Lester, the inning ended when Ellsbury hit a ground ball up the middle that Dustin Pedroia turned into a double play.
End 2nd, Yankees 2-0: Masahiro Tanaka recorded his third strikeout while tossing a scoreless second inning.
Tanaka, who struck out David Ortiz and Mike Napoli in the first inning, struck out A.J. Pierzynski for the second out of the second inning. Tanaka went to the splitter to sit down Ortiz and Napoli, but the Japanese phenom used his fastball to retire Pierzynski.
Xander Bogaerts flied out for the third out.
Mid 2nd, Yankees 2-0: Jon Lester needed a big double play to get out of the second inning unscathed.
Ichiro Suzuki and Brian Roberts began the second inning with back-to-back singles.
Jacoby Ellsbury then dug in for his second at-bat. And like his first at-bat, Ellsbury was greeted by a whole bunch of boos.
Ellsbury flied out to left field for the first out.
Carlos Beltran ground to third base with one out, and Brock Holt kicked off a 5-4-3, inning-ending double play. Yankees manager Joe Girardi came out for a discussion with the umpires — perhaps feeling like either Pedroia or first baseman Mike Napoli came off the bag — but the chat quickly ended without any major blowup.
End 1st, Yankees 2-0: Anyone know who this Jacoby Ellsbury guy is?
Ellsbury, who did damage offensively in the top of the first, made a nice sliding catch in left-center field in the bottom of the inning.
Ellsbury, ironically, robbed Grady Sizemore, who is serving as Boston’s leadoff hitter in this game.
Dustin Pedroia attempted to get something going with a one-out double to left field. Pedey really needed to hustle for the two-bagger, and he safely dived head-first into second base.
Masahiro Tanaka, pitching against the Red Sox for the first time in his career, settled down nicely. Tanaka struck out David Ortiz and Mike Napoli, with both K’s coming on the pitcher’s well-documented splitter.
A video tribute to Ellsbury was played on the Fenway Park big screen after the first inning. At that point, Ellsbury finally received some love from the Fenway Faithful.
Mid 1st, Yankees 2-0: It didn’t take long for Jacoby Ellsbury’s Fenway Park return to get messy.
Ellsbury, who stepped up to mostly boos, drilled Jon Lester’s third pitch to deep center field. Lester jumped ahead in the count 0-2 but couldn’t put away his former teammate.
The ball drilled off the wall, and Ellsbury rounded the bases while everyone looked on in confusion. A fan in a Bruins jersey — go B’s, right? — heaved half his body over the wall and touched the deep drive, leading to a fan interference call. Typically, fan interference results in a double, but it’s actually up to the umpires’ discretion. In this instance, they awarded Ellsbury third base.
Derek Jeter followed Ellsbury’s leadoff triple with a first-pitch single into center field. Crazy start, I know.
Things only got worse for Boston, as a passed ball charged to catcher A.J. Pierzynski allowed Jeter to take off for second base. Pierzynski fired down in an attempt to throw out Jeter, but the ball traveled into center field and the Yankees shortstop continued on to third base.
Carlos Beltran knocked in New York’s second run with an RBI single into center.
7:11 p.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury digs in to…
A chorus of boos.
It wasn’t a huge response — in the Johnny Damon mold — but there weren’t many cheers before Ellsbury’s first at-bat, though some arrived after the first wave of boos.
I’d say it probably was a 75-to-25, boo-to-cheer ratio.
7:02 p.m.: The time has come. Will Jacoby Ellsbury be cheered or booed?
6:40 p.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury had nothing but good things to say about the Red Sox and Boston fans before Tuesday’s series opener.
Ellsbury on Tuesday expressed great admiration for the place he called “home” for seven years before signing a lucrative contract with the Yankees over the offseason. He said he’s unsure what type of reaction he’ll receive before his first at-bat, and that he’s not too worried about it because it’s something that’s completely out of his hands.
6:10 p.m.: Tuesday’s Red Sox telecast will air on NESNplus, as the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings will continue their first-round playoff matchup on NESN.
If you’re unsure of your NESNplus channel, check out the link below.
5:59 p.m.: Shane Victorino is scheduled to again play for Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday as he continues his rehab assignment. If all goes well, Victorino could be activated off the disabled list Wednesday, according to manager John Farrell.
5:20 p.m.: Grady Sizemore will lead off for the Red Sox against Masahiro Tanaka. Jacoby Ellsbury will lead off for the Yankees against Jon Lester.
Tuesday’s complete lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox (9-11)
Grady Sizemore, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Brock Holt, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Jon Lester, LHP (2-2, 2.17 ERA)
New York Yankees (11-8)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Derek Jeter, SS
Carlos Beltran, DH
Alfonso Soriano, LF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Brian McCann, C
Yangervis Solarte, 3B
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Brian Roberts, 2B
Masahiro Tanaka, RHP (2-0, 2.05 ERA)
5 p.m. ET: All eyes will be fixated on Jacoby Ellsbury on Tuesday at Fenway Park.
Ellsbury is returning to Boston for the first time as a member of the New York Yankees. The Red Sox and Yankees will begin a three-game set with Jon Lester and Masahiro Tanaka squaring off in the series opener.
There is no shortage of storylines, obviously. It’s always interesting when Boston and New York hook up, and Tanaka’s debut against the Red Sox is especially important given how good he’s been so far and how prominent a role he figures to hold in the Yankees’ rotation for the foreseeable future. But no talking point has drawn more attention than Ellsbury’s return, which makes sense given the eventfulness of his seven years with the Sox.
Ellsbury accomplished a number of things in Boston, most notably winning two World Series. He ultimately received a better offer — seven years, $153 million — from the Yankees over the offseason, though, so the outfielder decided to head elsewhere in the wake of his second title despite maintaining a strong admiration for the organization that drafted him.
Ellsbury said before Tuesday’s game he’s unsure what type of crowd response he’ll receive from the Fenway Faithful. His former skipper, John Farrell, said he expects a mixed reaction, though the Red Sox’s main focus is on stopping Ellsbury — whom Farrell said was “disruptive” in the teams’ first series of 2014 in New York.
Tuesday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Be sure to handle your errands early, come back and follow along with NESN.com’s live blog.
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