Two of Major League Baseball’s best offenses squared off Friday night at Yankee Stadium, but only one of them flexed their muscles.
Behind the strength of four home runs, the New York Yankees took down the Boston Red Sox 8-1 in the series opener.
Eduardo Rodriguez, who historically has shined against the Bronx Bombers, didn’t have his best stuff in his 16th start of the season. The left-hander didn’t get much help from the bats either, as the Red Sox only mustered up six hits.
With the loss, the Red Sox fell to 55-28, while the Yankees improved to 53-26.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
The season series between the Red Sox and Yankees was split at three games apiece entering Friday, but New York now holds the head-to-head advantage.
ON THE BUMP
— After posting a clean first inning, Rodriguez ran into some trouble in the second. Gleyber Torres led off the frame with a booming triple off the center field wall, and the Yankees second baseman was brought home one batter later courtesy of a Miguel Andujar RBI single.
Andujar was back at it again in the fourth after New York went down in order in the third. After a Didi Gregorius RBI double and a Torres sacrifice fly, Andujar boosted the Yankees’ lead to 4-0 with a two-run shot to left.
It was déjà vu for Rodriguez on the next batter as he allowed another round-tripper, this time a solo blast off the bat of Greg Bird.
Boston’s starter settled in from there, though, allowing just one hit over the course of the next two innings. The sixth inning would be the left-hander’s last, however, as manager Alex Cora decided to tap into his bullpen in the seventh.
In total, Rodriguez allowed five runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts over six innings.
— Justin Haley allowed two hits, including a two-run homer to Aaron Judge, before getting out of the seventh inning.
Haley stayed on for the eighth and nearly pitched a scoreless frame until Greg Bird launched his second solo home run of the game.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox scored their lone run of the game in the fifth inning courtesy of some two-out magic. After Mookie Betts (2-for-4) laced a double left, Andrew Benintendi (1-for-3, walk) plated his outfield mate with an RBI double.
— Steve Pearce went 2-for-4, including lining a double down the left-field line on his first swing as a member of the Red Sox.
— Eduardo Nunez flared a single in the fourth inning.
— J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Christian Vazquez and Jackie Bradley Jr. all went hitless.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Haley and Judge go way back.
The Red Sox and Yankees will meet for the middle game of the series Saturday night. Chris Sale is set to get the ball for Boston opposite Sonny Gray. First pitch from Yankee Stadium is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. ET.