BOSTON — Rick Porcello still is undefeated at Fenway Park in 2016.
The Red Sox starter turned in another solid start Tuesday, holding the New York Yankees to two runs over eight hard-fought innings. Porcello was almost at the center of a brawl, too, which probably won him some points with Red Sox fans.
Andrew Benintendi also shone in his Fenway Park debut, collecting a hit in each of his at-bats.
Here’s how the night unfolded.
GAME IN A WORD
Not only was the game close, but it also had the makings of a classic Boston-New York rivalry game. A controversial call in the fifth inning took a possible home run away from the rookie Benintendi, and the benches cleared in the seventh inning when Porcello and Yankees third baseman Chase Headley exchanged some words.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
Matt Barnes struck out Mark Teixeira to earn his first career save.
We’re not sure a lead is ever safe in a Red Sox-Yankees game, and a four-walk outing for closer Craig Kimbrel made that idea feel even more real. But Barnes made the last out to wrap things up.
ON THE BUMP
— Porcello wasn’t at his sharpest in the first few innings, but he grinded through the final five frames of his outing. The right-hander gave up a run in the second and third but kept the Yankees scoreless after that, putting an exclamation point on the night with a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
Porcello finished the night with two runs on seven hits, with six strikeouts and one walk over eight innings.
— Kimbrel struck out Didi Gregorius to start the ninth but walked three batters to load the bases with two outs and then walked in a run.
— Matt Barnes did his job, striking out Teixeira to end the game.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The big story of the night was Benintendi, whose Fenway debut couldn’t have gone better. The left fielder hit a single in his first at-bat and came within centimeters of a home run in his second, but he had to settle for an RBI double.
Benintendi finished the game 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.
— Dustin Pedroia also had a great night at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two doubles, a run and a team-high three RBIs.
— Mookie Betts added a double, too, going 1-for-4 with a run. Jackie Bradley Jr. also went 1-for-4.
— David Ortiz and Sandy Leon each went 1-for-3. Ortiz added an RBI in the fifth inning and a walk in the eighth, and Leon tripled (yes, really) and scored a run.
— Hanley Ramirez (0-for-4), Travis Shaw (0-for-3) and Brock Holt (0-for-3) all went hitless.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Here’s the Benintendi homer that wasn’t. Fenway ground rules state that anything to the right of the yellow line is a home run. (The Tweet was deleted but here’s the video.)
[mlbvideo id=”1030524583″ width=”640″ height=”360″ /]
The Red Sox play Game 2 of their series against the Yankees on Wednesday in another 7:10 p.m. matchup. Boston left-hander Drew Pomeranz will face off against New York’s Nathan Eovaldi, who has a career 5.94 ERA and 1.68 WHIP in three starts at Fenway Park.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images