Luis Severino started tonight’s game after making a handful of appearances out of the bullpen over the past few weeks. If he was auditioning to take over Ivan Nova’s now empty spot in the rotation, the audition didn’t go so well. Severino ended up being responsible for all five runs that the Red Sox scored. Meanwhile, the Yankees scored a couple of runs early off of Rick Porcello then fell behind for the remainder of the game. Although they tried to mount a comeback in the ninth inning, they ended up falling short and dropped the first game in this series 3-5.
The Yankees got on the board first in the second inning after Starlin Castro hit a leadoff double, and Chase Headley doubled to drive in the run. They tacked on another run in the third after Brett Gardner hit a leadoff double of his own and Brian McCann hit an RBI single. The offense was quiet for the next few innings before things got interesting in the seventh. Headley hit another leadoff double but was thrown out diving into third base. After he stood up, Porcello said something to Headley, and Headley turned and started to walk towards him. The benches ended up clearing, but there weren’t any punches thrown. It was unclear what started the spat between Porcello and Headley.
After things settled down again, Gary Sanchez grounded out, then Aaron Hicks reached on a fielding error by Travis Shaw. With two outs, Gardner hit a double down the left field line and the third base coach was waving Hicks home as he rounded third...but Hicks didn’t see him. Hicks easily could have scored on the play but hesitated and ended up staying at third. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a fly ball to end the inning.
The Red Sox tied things up in the bottom of the third after Andrew Benintendi singled to left, Mookie Betts doubled off the wall in center, and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run RBI double to right. Things fell apart in the fifth inning after Sandy Leon hit a leadoff triple and Benintendi hit was ended up being a double. It was originally ruled a double by the umpires, then they decided it was a home run. Joe Girardi had the umpires in New York review the play and they ruled that it was a double. The ball hit very close to the yellow line in center, but NESN later said that it would have had to hit on the right side of the line to be considered a home run.
Severino was able to get Betts to line out, but gave up yet another double to Pedroia before he was pulled from the game. He ended the night having surrendered five earned runs off seven hits with three strikeouts. Tommy Layne made his debut against David Ortiz, who hit an RBI single that was charged to Severino. Layne got four easy outs before Anthony Swarzak replaced him to get the final out in the sixth inning.
Down three runs in the ninth inning, the Yankees had to face Craig Kimbrel. After striking out Didi Gregorius, Kimbrel walked Headley, Hicks, and Gardner to load the bases. With two outs, Ellsbury worked a walk to give the Yankees their third run of the game. Matt Barnes took over after that and it would have been a neat time for a grand slam, but Mark Teixeira struck out to end the game.
Tomorrow Nathan Eovaldi will take the mound against Drew Pomeranz at 7:10 EST.