NEW YORK — The Boston Red Sox shaved a few hours off their win Saturday.

The Red Sox needed just nine innings to take down the Yankees 8-4 in the middle game of the teams’ three-game series at Yankee Stadium. Boston and New York obviously were playing on a short turnaround after a very lengthy series opener Friday night in the Bronx.

The Red Sox’s offense produced nine hits Saturday en route to the team’s third straight win. Boston now has won each of its first two series of the 2015 regular season.


Saturday’s game was tranquil in relation to Friday night’s 19-inning marathon affair, which featured several twists and turns before the Red Sox pulled out a 6-5 win.

The Red Sox were the far more efficient and effective team in the middle game. The Yankees looked every bit like they just played a seven-hour game less than 11 hours prior to Saturday’s first pitch, particularly early in the ballgame.

Brock Holt cleared the bases in the eighth inning.

Dustin Pedroia clubbed a two-run double in the seventh inning to give the Red Sox a 5-1 lead. Holt then emptied the bags with a three-run double in the eighth inning to put Boston in front 8-1.

Holt’s two-bagger was important, as Chris Young crushed a three-run homer in the eighth to cut Boston’s lead in half.

It should be noted that Holt’s double came after an overturned call earlier in the inning. Alex Rodriguez, who was playing first base, came off the bag on a throw from third baseman Chase Headley.

— Daniel Nava, earning his second consecutive start, continues to show why the Red Sox were in no rush to trade him this offseason despite their surplus of outfielders.

Nava lifted an RBI double to left field over Brett Gardner’s head in the second inning to give Boston a 1-0 lead. The Yankees tied the score at one apiece in the home half of the second, but Nava put the Red Sox back in front in the fourth inning with an RBI single into center field.

Nava also worked a walk.

— Holt, the only Red Sox position player not to play Friday, went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored while batting out of the leadoff spot.

Holt, making his first start of the season, started in place of Mookie Betts in center field. The super utility man capped his stellar afternoon with the three-run double in the eighth.

— Mike Napoli went 0-for-4. He’s hitless in 17 at-bats to start the season.

— Hanigan walked two more times. The veteran catcher has seven walks through five games.

— Joe Kelly’s regular-season debut went about as well as the Red Sox could have hoped.

Kelly, who was activated off the 15-day disabled list Saturday, allowed one earned run on one hit over seven innings. He struck out eight, walked two and threw 93 pitches (58 strikes).

— Alexi Ogando, who had been impressive, was very shaky in the eighth inning. He surrendered three hits — one of which was Young’s three-run homer — while recording just two outs.

When Pedro speaks, you listen.

The Red Sox will look to complete the sweep on national television Sunday night. Clay Buchholz will face Masahiro Tanaka in a game scheduled for 8:05 p.m. on ESPN.

The Red Sox will return to Boston following Sunday night’s game for their home opener Monday at Fenway Park against the Washington Nationals.

Thumbnail photo via Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports Images