This night also belonged to Japanese import Masahiro Tanaka.
The two former free agents, who cost the Yankees $328 million
counting Tanaka's posting fee, combined to lead New York to its
fourth win in five games against the rival Red Sox this April.
Ellsbury heard boos, heard cheers, was given a nifty video tribute
but had a long triple and an outstanding catch in the first inning
and then doubled home two runs in the fifth. Tanaka worked 7 1/3
strong innings and shook off hefty back-to-back fourth-inning home
runs by designated hitter David Ortiz and first baseman Mike Napoli
and raised his record to 3-0 to go with a 2.15 ERA.
Tanaka, 24-0 in Japan last year, has pitched 29 1/3 innings in the
major leagues, striking out 35 and walking two.
"He has a great presence on the mound," said Yankees shortstop Derek
Jeter, who had a pair of RBI singles and extended his hitting streak
to 11 games as the Yankees beat up on nemesis Jon Lester. "It
doesn't seem like he's fazed by too much. He has a lot of confidence
in his ability — on top of having a lot of ability. He's fun to
play behind. He's been a lot of fun to watch."
Said Yankees manager Joe Girardi: "We knew his command was good but
it's been really, really good. He didn't walk people in spring
training — he's got a real good idea of what he's doing."
Speaking through an interpreter, Tanaka said, "I think I was a
little pumped up today just because I knew how good this lineup
Talking about his control, he said, "The number of walks I've given
up, I'm pretty satisfied."
Ellsbury, hitting .342 as a Yankee, had a wild night.
"Any time we win it's a good game. I'm happy I could go out there
and help the team win tonight," he said. "I thought the fans were
great. I thought the reception was nice. The tribute the Red Sox
gave on the video board was unexpected and I thought it was very
classy of them to do that."
DH Carlos Beltran hit a solo homer (No. 5) and the Yankees, 4-1
against Boston this season, collected seven extra-base hits in
raising their record to 12-8 with their second straight win. Catcher
Brian McCann had three of New York's 15 hits. Six Yankees players
had at least two hits.
Rain started falling in the fourth inning but was mostly light,
until the ninth when it started to come down heavier.
For the Red Sox, sitting in last place in the scrambled AL East at
9-12, falling behind is nothing new. Boston has been outscored 53-27
in the first four innings of games this season. Last year, they had
a 426-298 advantage in the first four innings.
[to top of second column]
Lester came in off four strong starts and owning all kinds of
success against the Yankees, but threw 117 pitched in 4 2/3 very
shaky innings Tuesday. Five of the eight runs he allowed were
unearned, but he was still hit hard from the start, when Ellsbury
opened the game with a triple on an 0-2 pitch. It was actually a fan
interference call at the center-field wall and Ellsbury was awarded
Lester gave up five extra-base hits, including three straight
doubles to start the third inning. That dug a hole and Tanaka made
it stand up.
"He throws a lot of strikes. He never gave in," Boston manager John
Farrell said of Tanaka. "He forced us to swing the bat early in the
count at times."
NOTES: New Yankee CF Jacoby Ellsbury made his first return to Fenway
Park with his new team on Tuesday night — and heard boos when he
led off the game. He tripled, then made a nifty catch in the bottom
of the inning and received a video salute from the Red Sox — and
then an ovation — after the bottom of the first. He waved to the
crowd on camera. ... The Yankees activated RHP/closer David
Robertson from the 15-day disabled list (he warmed up in the ninth
inning), but learned RHP Ivan Nova has been advised to have Tommy
John surgery that would require 12-18 months of rehab. ... New
York's Michael Pineda, with a 1.00 ERA in his first three starts,
faces RHP John Lackey on Wednesday night. Lackey has allowed six
earned runs in each of his last two starts, the first of those in a
loss at Yankee Stadium. ... The national-champion University of
Connecticut men's basketball team was honored on the field before
the game, with star guard Shabazz Napier throwing out the first
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