BOSTON (AP) — A monster night by Mookie Betts kept the Red Sox rolling.
Betts hit a grand slam and scored five times, leading Chris Sale and Boston over the New York Yankees 14-1 Tuesday for its ninth straight victory. The Red Sox improved to 9-1 for the first time in franchise history.
Betts went 4 for 4 and drove in four runs. His third career slam cleared the Green Monster in left field and capped a nine-run burst in the sixth inning that turned the first matchup of the season between longtime rivals into a rout.
“I just got some good pitches to hit and put some good swings on it today,” Betts said. “I think just all of us putting together good at-bats kind wears guys down.”
Manager Alex Cora has been pushing his new team to be aggressive in the strike zone. He sat down with Betts this spring and showed the All-Star outfielder how effective he can be when he does.
“A slugger leading off,” Cora said. “He’s going to make contact. But now he understands that he can do damage in the strike zone.”
Betts joined Ken Griffey Jr. (1996) as the only players to have four hits, five runs and four RBIs in a game against the Yankees.
Sale (1-0) allowed one run in six innings, scattering eight hits. He struck out eight without a walk.
He said the run support helped him settle in.
“The biggest key is it just allows you to go out there and throw strikes,” Sale said. “You’re not too worried about making mistakes.”
Boston’s starting pitchers improved to 6-0 on the season on a night in which the temperature dipped into the 30s.
Hanley Ramirez went 2 for 2 with three RBIs. Andrew Benintendi added a two-run triple, along with a double.
Luis Severino (2-1) allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings.
Aaron Judge had three hits for the Yankees, a drive off Sale over the center field wall in the fifth for his third home run of the season.
The highest profile acquisitions both showed a little something at the plate after early-season slumps
Boston’s J.D. Martinez went 1 for 5, but had a two-run double in the sixth.
Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton went 2 for 4. He struck out his first two times up against Sale, and has now fanned 22 times in 46 at-bats.
“It’s good progress,” Stanton said. “We’ve got two more here, so pick up where I left off here today and get it going. “
He said his introduction to the rivalry was “cool.”
“Not a cool outcome, but it was cool to see the passion and what goes on,” he said.
Of Boston’s nine runs in the sixth, six were unearned.
The Yankees brought in Chasen Shreve with two outs in the inning and runners at first and second. He hit Jackie Bradley Jr. with the first pitch to load the bases, and Christian Vazquez followed with a grounder that Miguel Andujar botched at third, allowing Martinez to score on the error.
Brock Holt walked and Betts cleared the bases to put the Red Sox up 14-1.
Yankees: Manager Aaron Boone said he chose to use c Gary Sanchez (right calf) in the DH spot Tuesday as opposed to catcher just as a precaution. … Boone said they are still waiting on more information on the status of INF Brandon Drury (severe migraines). He went through several tests Monday. Boone said some of the early results are promising, but it will take a few days for other tests to come back
Red Sox: Cora said the command was off for Drew Pomeranz (left forearm flexor strain) during his rehab start at Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday. Pomeranz wants one more start to “tune in his mechanics,” Cora said, and will make it at Double-A Portland on Friday. … 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee surgery) will go to their spring training facility in Fort Myers, Florida, next Tuesday to continue his rehab when the team begins its upcoming nine-game road trip. Cora said Pedroia has started to run the bases and is progressing.
The Yankees lost by their largest margin since at 15-1 loss to Houston on Aug. 25 2015. It is their largest against Boston since Aug. 22, 2009, also a 14-1 loss at Fenway.
Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts said he is optimistic about being able to make it back to action in the initial 10-to-14 day timeframe doctors made after he cracked a bone in his left ankle while sliding into Tampa Bay’s dugout during Sunday’s win.
“It depends on how my body recovers from it or responds to it. I think my body is normally really good at that,” he said. “So we’ll see how long it takes. Whenever I’m ready I’ll be out there and be with the team again.”
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (1-1, 2.92 ERA) is 2-1 with a 3.35 ERA, giving up 17 earned runs and 41 hits in seven career games at Fenway Park.
Red Sox: LHP David Price (1-0, 0.00 ERA) has given up no runs and just seven hits in 14 innings during his first two starts this season. He is 15-11 with a 4.53 ERA in 38 career appearances (37 starts) against New York.
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