Red Sox chill Yanks, 2-0 for first time since 1999
NEW YORK — Back in the warmth of the clubhouse, Clay Buchholz took pride in how he chilled the New York Yankees’ bats.
For the first time since 1999, the Boston Red Sox are 2-0.
For the first time since 1935, they began the season with two wins at the Yankees.
“Definitely a big confidence booster,” Buchholz said after Boston beat New York 7-4 on a cold Wednesday night.
Buchholz (1-0) allowed one run and six hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked two, and the Red Sox backed him with a quick 6-0 lead by scoring five runs with two outs. Joel Hanrahan pitched the ninth for his first save for Boston.
Because of the weather, Buchholz threw in an indoor cage between innings to stay loose.
“If it’s cold, that’s fine,” he said, “but when it’s windy and cold, that’s when it gets you, because the ball sort of gets that little ashy feeling to it and it feels like you’re throwing with a cue ball.”
The crowd of 40,216 was the smallest for a Red Sox-Yankees game in the Bronx since 27,631 were across the street at the old ballpark on May 27, 1999, according to STATS. And for the second straight game, the stadium was nearly empty in the late innings.
“It’s what it’s all about,” Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino explained. “It’s about getting out there and scoring early and getting them out of there.”
Pitcher Hiroki Kuroda became the latest Yankees player to get hurt, leaving in the second inning with a 2-0 deficit, four batters after Victorino’s line drive bruised the middle finger of his pitching hand.
While the Red Sox under new manager John Farrell are off to their best start since going 5-0 in 1999, New York has been outscored 15-6 and outhit 26-15. The Yankees have failed to hold a lead at any point in their opening two games for the first time since 1998.
“It’s not unusual to lose two games in a row. It becomes somewhat glaring when it’s the first two,” New York manager Joe Girardi said. “We didn’t get off to a good start last year and that worked out OK.”
Jacoby Ellsbury drove in two runs for the Red Sox, and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit an RBI single up the middle in the third for his first major league hit.
The ball was waiting for him in his locker, stuffed in a white sock.
“It’s a big thrill. You always want to get the first one out of the way.” he said.
Before the first pitch, the Yankee Stadium sound system played Foreigner’s “Hot Blooded.” But it was 43 degrees at gametime, and Boston shortstop Jose Iglesias and first baseman Mike Napoli wore ski masks.
Kuroda, New York’s most dependable starting pitcher last year at 16-11, allowed three singles in the first and fell behind on Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s hit.
Kuroda stuck up his right hand and was struck by Victorino’s drive leading off the second inning. Kuroda was checked by the Yankees and stayed in the game, then hit Bradley with a pitch in the lower leg.
One out later, Kuroda walked Ellsbury on four pitches and forced in a run by hitting Daniel Nava in the lower leg. Girardi went to the mound along with pitching coach Larry Rothschild, trainer Steve Donohue and an interpreter — allowed for the first time under a rules change this year.
“Against the lefties I was unable to make my pitches,” Kuroda said through a translator. “I wasn’t able to put my strength on the ball.”
Kuroda (0-1) left after 1 1-3 innings, the shortest start of his five big league seasons. X-rays and a CT scan were negative.
“There’s no swelling, Scan was good,” he said. “I’ll see the doctor again tomorrow and we’ll see how it goes.”
New York already has five All-Stars on the disabled list: shortstop Derek Jeter, third baseman Alex Rodriguez, first baseman Mark Teixeira, outfielder Curtis Granderson and pitcher Phil Hughes.
Run-scoring singles by Victorino and Bradley off Cody Eppley made it 4-0 in the third, and Iglesias’ double chased Eppley. Ellsbury greeted Adam Warren with a two-run single.
“The last two years still are fresh on everybody’s minds, so of definitely feels good to come out and win the first couple of games,” Buchholz said, “Especially here, because it’s made such a big deal for us to play here and open up here.”
RANGERS 4, ASTROS 0
HOUSTON — A day after Yu Darvish came within one out of a perfect game, Alexi Ogando and four Texas relievers shut out Houston again, combining for a five-hitter.
Lance Berkman doubled in a run for the Rangers a day after they blanked the Astros 7-0 behind Darvish’s nearly historic gem.
Ogando (1-0) allowed four hits with a career-high 10 strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings. The young and inexperienced Astros have struck out 43 times in their first three games.
It’s the most strikeouts a pitching staff has combined for in the first three games of a season in major league history, and the most since Cleveland fanned 42 in the first three of the 1966 season.
Philip Humber (0-1) allowed a run and five hits over 5 2-3 innings in his Astros debut.
RAYS 8, ORIOLES 7
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Matt Joyce led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a towering home run against Tommy Hunter, giving Tampa Bay the victory.
Shelley Duncan hit a three-run homer and Ben Zobrist had a pair of RBI singles for the Rays, who twice came from behind before wasting a late two-run lead.
Fernando Rodney (1-0) blew a save opportunity by allowing a run for the first time since last Aug. 18. Brian Roberts’ RBI double off Rodney in the ninth made it 7-all.
Chris Davis went 4 for 4 for the Orioles, hitting a three-run homer for the second straight day and driving in four runs.
Joyce, who had a bunt single as a pinch hitter in the seventh, won it by homering on a 2-1 pitch from Hunter (0-1).
INDIANS 3, BLUE JAYS 2
TORONTO — Mark Reynolds hit a tiebreaking home run in the 11th inning for Cleveland.
Reynolds drilled a leadoff shot into the second deck off Sergio Santos (0-1), the fifth Blue Jays reliever.
The homer helped the Indians overcome a blown save by Chris Perez, who surrendered a tying shot by Jose Bautista in the ninth.
The overhauled Blue Jays lost their second straight to begin the season. Toronto’s offense has just three runs and nine hits in two games.
Matt Albers (1-0) got one out for the win, and Joe Smith finished for his first save.
WHITE SOX 5, ROYALS 2
CHICAGO — Adam Dunn hit one of Chicago’s four homers, leading Jake Peavy and the White Sox to the victory.
Tyler Flowers, Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez also connected, and the White Sox made it two straight wins to start the season after dropping 12 of 18 to Kansas City a year ago.
The Royals, full of optimism after posting the majors’ best record in spring training, will try to avoid a season-opening sweep Thursday.
Peavy (1-0) allowed an earned run and four hits in six innings. Addison Reed worked the ninth for his second save.
Ervin Santana (0-1) pitched six innings in his Kansas City debut and was charged with four runs and five hits.
TWINS 3, TIGERS 2
MINNEAPOLIS — Eduardo Escobar’s two-run double with one out in the ninth inning lifted Minnesota to the win.
After Joaquin Benoit issued a leadoff walk to Trevor Plouffe, reliever Phil Coke took over. Coke got the first out, but Brian Dozier’s single advanced pinch-runner Jamey Carroll to third. Escobar then drove the next pitch from Coke to the deepest part of the park in front of the bullpens in left-center field.
Both runners scored easily as the rebuilding Twins enjoyed their first on-field celebration of the season. The AL Central champion Tigers began the season without a set closer after Jose Valverde wasn’t brought back.
Anibal Sanchez threw five scoreless innings for Detroit. But after a two-up, two-down save on Monday, Coke (0-1) blew his chance in this one.
Glen Perkins (1-0) needed only 10 pitches in a perfect ninth inning for the victory.
ATHLETICS 6, MARINERS 2
OAKLAND, Calif. — Jed Lowrie and Chris Young hit back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning, helping Tommy Milone and the Oakland Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners.
Nate Freiman had two hits and an RBI in his major league debut as Oakland knocked around Joe Saunders and two relievers after managing just one run and six hits in the first two games of the series. Milone (1-0) allowed a pair of first-inning home runs but settled down to retire 17 of his final 18 batters.
Michael Morse had one of the homers for Seattle, his third in two days. Joe Saunders (0-1) lasted four innings and allowed seven hits with four walks.
BRAVES 9, PHILLIES 2
ATLANTA — Justin Upton, Jason Heyward and rookie Evan Gattis homered, helping Paul Maholm and the Braves beat the Phillies.
Freddie Freeman had three RBIs as the Braves chased Roy Halladay in the fourth inning. Upton belted a two-run shot in the first to give him a pair of homers in his first two games for Atlanta.
Halladay (0-1), who struggled with a sore shoulder last season and had a difficult spring training, gave up five runs and six hits in 3 1-3 innings. The two-time Cy Young Award winner struck out nine, but dropped to 0-4 with an 8.00 ERA in his last seven starts against Atlanta.
The game was played in a steady drizzle, but the conditions hardly affected Paul Maholm (1-0), who allowed six hits in 5 2-3 scoreless innings. He struck out six and walked one.
Gattis led off the fourth inning of his first major league game with a drive to left.
The Phillies were just 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
DIAMONDBACKS 10, CARDINALS 9, 16 INNINGS
PHOENIX — Cliff Pennington’s single in the 16th inning brought home Jason Kubel from second to give Arizona a victory over St. Louis in a game that didn’t end until early Thursday.
At 5 hours and 32 minutes, it was the longest home game in Diamondbacks history as far as time elapsed and tied for the longest at home in terms of innings.
Yadier Molina drove in three runs, including a leadoff home run that put St. Louis up 8-7 in the seventh, but Aaron Hill’s RBI single tied it at 8 before both teams scored a run in the 12th.
The Diamondbacks came from behind four times to either take the lead or tie the game.
Paul Goldschmidt and Martin Prado each hit a two-run homer, and Gerardo Parra homered, tripled and singled for the Diamondbacks.
NATIONALS 3, MARLINS 0
WASHINGTON — Left-hander Gio Gonzalez homered, providing all the offense necessary to back his six scoreless innings, and Washington picked up another win.
Gonzalez (1-0), a 21-game winner in 2012 who finished third in NL Cy Young Award voting, allowed only two hits, along with five strikeouts and two walks.
His solo shot to left field off Kevin Slowey (0-1) came with one out in the fifth. Slowey gave up one run and four hits in 5 1-3 innings.
After hitting two homers in Game 1, Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper went 2 for 4 with a double. The 2012 NL Rookie of the Year scored on Ryan Zimmerman’s single in the eighth off A.J. Ramos.
Rafael Soriano got his second save, completing Washington’s second straight shutout of the Marlins.
METS 8, PADRES 4
NEW YORK — Matt Harvey allowed one hit and struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings for his first win at Citi Field, and Lucas Duda hit the first of the Mets’ three homers in a whipping wind.
John Buck and Ike Davis also connected against Clayton Richard in the Mets’ second straight romp over San Diego. They opened the season with an 11-2 win Monday.
David Wright added an RBI double in a game that began with a wind chill of 32 degrees.
Making his 11th career start and fifth at home, the 24-year-old Harvey (1-0) didn’t allow a baserunner until Everth Cabrera singled to center field leading off the fourth.
Richard (0-1) gave up eight runs in 4 1-3 innings.
PIRATES 3, CUBS 0
PITTSBURGH — Wandy Rodriguez allowed just two hits over 6 2-3 innings and Pittsburgh earned its first win of the year.
Andrew McCutchen smacked an RBI double for the Pirates. Starling Marte and Gaby Sanchez also drove in a run, more than enough for Rodriguez on a frigid night.
Jason Grilli, promoted to the closer’s role in the offseason, worked the ninth for his first save.
Rodriguez (1-0), acquired in a trade deadline deal with Houston last July, struck out six and walked one in a continuation of his strong spring.
Edwin Jackson (0-1) gave up two runs in five innings but lost to the Pirates for the first time in seven career starts. The Cubs produced just two singles and only put a runner on third once.
ROCKIES 7, BREWERS 3
MILWAUKEE — Juan Nicasio pitched six effective innings for his first victory in almost a year while Wilin Rosario, Michael Cuddyer and Dexter Fowler homered for Colorado.
The Rockies took two of three under new manager Walt Weiss in the season-opening series at Miller Park.
Nicasio (1-0) allowed two runs and seven hits for his first win since last April 30, when he beat the Los Angeles Dodgers. Winless in the next five starts, he went down with a season-ending knee injury on June 2.
Wily Peralta (0-1) gave up four runs, including Rosario’s two-run homer.
Rickie Weeks hit a solo shot for Milwaukee.
REDS 5, ANGELS 4
CINCINNATI — Brandon Phillips hit a three-run homer in his new role as Cincinnati’s cleanup hitter, and Joey Votto drove in the winning run with a ninth-inning single.
The Reds and Angels have split the first two games of the first interleague series to open a season.
Votto’s first hit of the season off left-hander Scott Downs (0-1) deflected off the glove of first baseman Albert Pujols and rolled into the outfield, allowing Shin-Soo Choo to score from second base. Choo reached when he was hit by a pitch and advanced on a sacrifice.
Votto had been 0 for 6 heading into the decisive at-bat.
Phillips moved into the cleanup spot because of Ryan Ludwick’s injury and hit the Reds’ first homer of the season. He connected for a three-run shot against C.J. Wilson in the fourth inning.
Left-hander Aroldis Chapman (1-0) walked one in the ninth, throwing a 99 mph pitch that hit the backstop screen.
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