Yankees - 011 000 001 - 3 7 0 Red Sox - 002 030 00x - 5 9 1Andrew Benintendi went 3-for-3 and scored twice and Dustin Pedroia drove in three runs with a pair of doubles. Rick Porcello (8-7-2-1-6, 110) turned in another strong outing. Craig Kimbrel nearly threw it all away in the ninth inning, walking four of the six batters he faced before Matt Barnes struck out Mark Teixeira with the bases loaded to end the game.
Porcello allowed five of his seven hits in the first three innings. A leadoff single in the first did no harm, but doubles by Starlin Castro and Chase Headley in the second gave the Yankees their first run. Brett Gardner doubled to start the third and scored on Brian McCann's single to put New York up 2-0.
The Red Sox got to Luis Severino (4.1-7-5-0-3, 85) in the bottom of the third. Benintendi singled to left and went to third on Mookie Betts's double off the Wall. Pedroia followed with a game-tying, two-run double into the right field corner.
In the fifth, Sandy Leon tripled to right as the ball skipped past Aaron Hicks in the corner. Benintendi then drove a ball to dead center that hit the yellow line on the Wall. Leon scored to give the Red Sox a lead they would not relinquish. The play was initially called a double, then the umpires changed it to a home run. Benintendi circled the bases and received congratulations in the dugout on his first major league dong. But Yankees manager Joe Girardi challenged that call and, after an extremely long wait, the call was reversed. The ruling was that unlike the foul lines and foul poles, hitting the yellow line means the ball is still "in play" and to be a home run, the ball has to clearly hit to the right of the line. (However, there was a question of whether the ball caromed off the Wall onto the center field ledge, which may have meant it was gone.)
On NESN, both Dave O'Brien and Jerry Remy had absolutely no idea about this Fenway Park ground rule. Good work, guys.
So with the Red Sox rookie back on second, Betts grounded back to the mound before Pedroia doubled to the gap in right-center. After Girardi went to his bullpen, calling on former Boston pitcher Tommy Layne, David Ortiz singled off the Wall and Pedroia's scored the fifth run for the Red Sox.
Jackie Bradley may have saved the team's bacon in the seventh. Headley hit a ball off the Wall in left-center than caromed off the top of the scoreboard. Bradley chased the ball back towards center field, grabbed it, turned and fired a perfect throw to third, where Brock Holt put the tag on Headley. It was an amazing throw and gave Bradley his 11st assist of the year.
Porcello had some words for Headley and pointed to his eyes (was Porcello calling Headley out for sneaking looks at the catcher at the plate to get pitch location?) and a now-angry Headley started towards the mound. Benches and bullpens emptied but nothing much happened beyond some shouting. No one was ejected. With two outs, Travis Shaw made an error and Gardner doubled for his third hit. Porcello bore down and retired Jacoby Ellsbury on a fly to right.
Kimbrel struggled in the ninth, throwing 37 pitches (21 balls and 16 strikes). He needed eight pitches to strike out Didi Gregorius and then he issued a full-count walk to Headley. During these at-bats, the Fenway crowd was chanting "We Want A-Rod". Gary Sanchez hit a bullet right at Benintendi in left for the second out. Then the "fun" began. Hicks walked on seven pitches. Manager John Farrell probably should have made a move at this point, but he instead sent pitching coach Carl Willis out to chat. To say what - "Yo, stop walking guys"?
After Willis's advice, Kimbrel promptly fell behind Gardner 3-0 before walking him and loading the bases. Still no sign of Farrell. Ellsbury then walked on seven pitches, forcing in a run, which is (apparently) when it is okay to remove your closer. And so Barnes came in and got Teixeira looking at a 2-2 strike to end the game. Saves are stupid, but holds are even dumber - and Kimbrel picked up his first hold of the season for his superlative work in holding onto his team's lead.
Benintendi also singled in the seventh, making him 8-for-16 in his short career. His OPS of 1.063 is higher than Ortiz's 1.013!
Betts, RFThe Red Sox are not planning any ceremonies for the soon-to-be retired Alex Rodriguez.
Kevin Millar, on the reception that Slappy McBluelips will receive: "Boo. Boo. Boo. You won't see a standing ovation. You'll see 'boo.' This is still a rivalry. If you wear the pinstripes and you come to Fenway Park, you're getting booed."
Hal Steinbrenner would not rule out a tribute to Alex Rodriguez in Monument Park. "He's done a lot for this organization on the field through the years, but also off the field that people don't know about. He's been a great mentor."
Anthony McCarron, Daily News: "Why A-Rod's No. 13 Should Hang In Monument Park"