Yanks pound Buchholz to back Tanaka in win over Sox
By Ian Browne and Bryan Hoch
NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez ripped a bases-clearing double, Chase Headley and Stephen Drew slugged back-to-back homers, and the Yankees celebrated their biggest thumping of a Red Sox starter in nearly 70 years in a 14-4 victory on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees grabbed their first lead of the weekend with a seven-run first inning off Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz, who hung around to absorb a career-high 10 runs (nine earned) over 3 1/3 innings. New York hadn't hung a 10-spot on a Boston starter since June 21, 1945, when it knocked around Dave "Boo" Ferriss.
"It just takes the burden off," Headley said. "We had been grinding for runs, so to get up there and really pour some on in the first inning kind of lets you go. You're not on cruise control, but you can enjoy the at-bats, you can enjoy the game, and really let the game come to you at that point."
That produced a healthy cushion for Masahiro Tanaka, who bounced back from an Opening Day stumble and worked five innings for the victory, holding Boston to four runs (three earned) on four hits. Brett Gardner added a two-run single in the fourth and the Yanks pulled away with three runs in the sixth.
"Two road series wins for us," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We go home looking forward to the [home opener Monday], getting back in front of our fans. We came out of Spring Training, we played well on this first road trip. And to go back with a 4-2 record in the first six games, we've seen a number of positives from our team so far."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Seven alive: The Yankees had led in just one of their first 55 innings of the season, but they put a quick seven-run cushion in Tanaka's pocket. A-Rod's three-run double up the gap in left-center field was the big hit off Buchholz, while Headley and Drew followed with the Yanks' first back-to-back homers of the season. The frame also featured a run-scoring Carlos Beltran fielder's choice and an error on first baseman Mike Napoli, who booted a Brian McCann grounder.
"I think it was important for our guys," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We've scored three and four runs, but it was nice to get a lead, because we haven't led too often this year." More >
Buchholz roughed up: Buchholz looked capable of becoming the ace the Red Sox need when he fired a gem on Opening Day. To say he took a step back in this one would be an understatement. Perhaps even more frustrating than Buchholz giving up seven runs in the first was the fact he gave the Yankees momentum right back after the Red Sox had cut the deficit to 7-3 in the top of the fourth. The Yankees came right back against Buchholz for three in the bottom of the inning.
"Tonight with Clay, he came out trying to use all his pitches right from the get-go, and at times maybe looked to pitch a little too fine," said Farrell. "The walks were mixed in with some balls that were well placed. Then they squared a couple of pitches up, and before you know it, it was a seven-run inning." More >
Tanaka rebounds: The discussion surrounding Tanaka's right elbow will be quieted, but not altogether hushed, by a decent outing on Sunday. Staked to the early lead, Tanaka utilized his fastball more often than he did on Opening Day -- he was registered to have thrown 25 four-seamers and 23 two-seamers out of 97 pitches to the Red Sox -- but still appeared hesitant to challenge batters. Drew's fourth-inning throwing error glanced off Didi Gregorius' glove and helped set up a three-run frame, and Hanley Ramirez dug out a Tanaka slider for a fifth-inning homer. More >
McCann can: McCann hit his 200th career home run in the eighth inning, a solo shot to right field off Edward Mujica. Once again, the short porch proved friendly for McCann. Of his 24 homers as a Yankee, 20 have come at Yankee Stadium. McCann is the active leader for home runs hit by a catcher. More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The last time the Yankees scored seven or more runs in the first inning against the Red Sox was Aug. 15, 1954, when a Bombers lineup that included Phil Rizzuto, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra scored eight runs in the first inning of a 14-9 victory in the Bronx. The losing pitcher was Tom Brewer, who recorded just one out.
The last time a Boston starting pitcher gave up more runs than Buchholz on Sunday was on July 22, 2012, when Jon Lester surrendered 11 runs to the Blue Jays.
CUE UP THE HIGHLIGHT REEL
Though it came in a losing effort, center fielder Mookie Betts made a spectacular diving catch to take a hit away from Gregorius on a sinking liner in the bottom of the sixth. The play turned even more fortuitous when Betts fired to shortstop Xander Bogaerts to double off Headley, ending the inning.
WHAT'S NEXT Red Sox: The Red Sox will go back to Fenway Park for the home opener on Monday at 3:05 p.m. ET against the Washington Nationals. Right-hander Rick Porcello will make his home debut for the Red Sox, and he'll be opposed by Jordan Zimmermann.
Yankees: The Yankees will play 15 of their next 25 games on the road, a stretch that begins Monday as they open a three-game series with the Orioles in Baltimore. Right-hander Michael Pineda will have the ball for his second start of the year, while the O's counter with left-hander Wei-Yin Chen. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.