BOSTON — There’s never a dull moment in a game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
The rivals met at Fenway Park on Monday to start a three-game series in what ended up being an evenly matched contest. But David Ortiz continued his climb to 500 home runs with a solo shot in the fourth inning to give Boston the lead, and the team didn’t let go of it even with closer Jean Machi’s scary ninth inning. The Red Sox took the 4-3 win, spoiling the Yankees’ chances of gaining more traction in the American League East race.
Let’s take a look at how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
There was never really a moment when it felt like either team had control over this game. The Red Sox and Yankees were hitting at a similar rate, and the pitching wasn’t lights-out on either end. Boston just happened to get more runs at the right time.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
David Ortiz put a ball on top of the Green Monster in the fourth inning.
The Red Sox designated hitter’s 495th career home run put Boston on top 3-2 at the time.
ON THE BUMP
— Eduardo Rodriguez’s night was by no means perfect, but he was able to bail himself out when he needed to most. The lefty found himself in bases-loaded situations in the first, fourth and fifth innings, but only one run scored in both the first and fourth, while none scored in the fifth. His first run wasn’t earned, either, as Jacoby Ellsbury reached first on a catcher’s interference by Ryan Hanigan.
Rodriguez finished the night with two runs (one earned) on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts over five innings.
— Robbie Ross Jr. came in for Rodriguez in the sixth after he allowed a leadoff single to Didi Gregorius. Ross struck out Brendan Ryan and got Ellsbury and Alex Rodriguez to fly out, with a walk to Chris Young sandwiched in the middle.
— Alexi Ogando wasn’t strong in the seventh, but the guys behind him were. Ogando gave up a leadoff walk to Carlos Beltran before Brian McCann grounded into a double play, and Chase Headley grounded out to end the inning.
— Junichi Tazawa got himself into a jam in the eighth, but he got himself out with an impressive inning-ending double play. The right-hander had runners on the corners with one out when he cleanly fielded a come-backer from Ellsbury and started a 1-6-3 double play.
— Jean Machi closed things out, but it wasn’t very pretty. Machi gave up a leadoff single to Stephen Drew then walked Alex Rodriguez to put two runners on with a slim 4-2 lead. He struck out Beltran but walked McCann and Headley to give the Yankees a run.
He ended the inning by striking out Bird and giving up a very long flyout to Gregorius to minimize the damage.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Ortiz was the talk of the game after he launched his 495th career home run onto the Green Monster in the fourth inning. It was the slugger’s 29th homer of the season.
Ortiz added a long double — it looked destined to be No. 496 — to end the night 2-for-3 with a run, a walk and an RBI.
— Mookie Betts also hit a two-run homer in the third inning, which put the Red Sox ahead 2-1 at the time. He added a single in the seventh to finish 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run on the night
— Jackie Bradley Jr. had another great night at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two singles, a double and two runs scored.
— Pablo Sandoval, Travis Shaw, Rusney Castillo and Brock Holt all went hitless, though Sandoval added an RBI on a groundout in the seventh.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Yeah, so, Bradley is a pretty good defensive outfielder. That much was obvious after he nabbed Greg Bird with a rocket to home plate.
[tweet https://twitter.com/alexspeier/status/638508575258746880 align=’center’]
The Red Sox will face the Yankees once again Tuesday for Game 2 of the series. Rick Porcello will be on the mound for Boston, while Michael Pineda will get the start for New York in the 7:10 p.m. game.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara–USA TODAY Sports Images