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Yankees 14, Red Sox 4: Big first inning pushes Yankees past Red Sox

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With a seven-run first inning, the Yankees finally found some offense and managed to prevent a Boston sweep in the Bronx.

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

After a heartbreaking 19-inning loss in Friday night's game, followed by an ugly loss last night, the Yankees needed to get something going in Sunday's series finale against the Red Sox.  Masahiro Tanaka took the mound against Clay Buchholz, looking to show that his season debut on Monday wasn't an indicator that he was hurt and bound to struggle during his second season.  While he wasn't quite as dominant as he was early last year, Tanaka did show some signs of finding his rhythm in this game, throwing five innings of four hit ball.  However, on this night, it didn't really matter.

The Yankees jumped on the Red Sox early, scoring seven runs in the first inning.  Yes, that's right, they scored seven runs in the first tonight after scoring exactly zero runs in the first inning across their first five games of the young season.  Jacoby Ellsbury worked a walk to open the bottom of the first, and then the Yankees got a bit of good luck on the hit-and-run, Gardner hit a grounder to short.  Since Xander Bogaerts had broken to the bag to cover against the stealing Ellsbury, the grounder that would've been routine under normal circumstances trickled through the hole left by Bogaerts, giving the Yankees two on with no one out.  Ellsbury then scored on a Carlos Beltran grounder - but the Yankees weren't done.  After Mark Teixeira walked and Brian McCann reached on an error, Alex Rodriguez cleared the bases with a three-run double off Buchholz.  Rodriguez then scored when Chase Headley ripped a two-run homer to left.  Even after all that, though, somehow the Yankees weren't done, as Stephen Drew, of all people, hit a homer directly after Headley, giving the Yankees a 7-0 lead after just one inning of baseball.

In the fourth, the Red Sox finally got on the board.  After David Ortiz walked, he advanced all the way to third on a wild pitch from Tanaka.  Hanley Ramirez promptly brought Ortiz home, hitting a deep sacrifice fly to get Boston a run.  Tanaka then proceeded to give up a single to Pablo Sandoval before walking Mike NapoliShane Victorino then grounded to second to set up what should've been a double play, but a bad throw by Drew cost the Yankees, and everyone was safe.  This of course set up the bases for Bogaerts, who promptly doubled to left to score two runs, making it 7-3 Yankees.  Luckily, Tanaka struck out Ryan Hanigan and then Mookie Betts, ending the threat and keeping the Yankees quite a ways ahead.

The Yankees responded in the bottom half of the inning, as Didi Gregorius and Ellsbury scored on a Gardner single,  and Gardner then scored on a sacrifice fly from Teixeira.  Boston added another run in the fifth when Hanley Ramirez hit a solo shot, but the Yankees made up for it in the sixth.  After starting the inning off with three straight singles, Beltran scored when A-Rod drew a walk, and then Teixeira scored after Healdey singled to center.  The Yankees tacked on one more when Drew hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring McCann and making it 13-4 New York.

McCann would add one final Yankee run in eighth, pulling a homer out to to left field and giving the Yankees a 14-4 lead.  David Carpenter and Kyle Davies combined to throw three scoreless innings in relief, giving up just four hits to the potent Boston lineup.  All in all, it was a good day of baseball, as the Yankees offense finally showed some life, and Tanaka pitched well enough to at least quiet some of his critics for a time.

The Yankees take on the Orioles in Baltimore tomorrow night, as Michael Pineda will face Wei-Yin Chen.