In my pre-game post, I highlighted Ivan Nova's quest for consistency and Rob Refsnyder's major league debut as the stories that I was particularly paying attention to in this game. Unfortunately, neither story had the ending that any of us wanted, as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 5-3, snapping the Yankees' four-game winning streak at Fenway Park.
Nova didn't pitch poorly, finishing his night with four runs allowed on eight hits while striking out three and walking none on 86 pitches, but the offense didn't hit, and he got the loss. He actually only allowed three runs while in the game, but Adam Warren allowed one of his inherited runners to score. The Sox mostly picked at Nova, with hits here and there throughout the night. The first run scored on an RBI ground out (great play by Refsnyder on that one), but the big blow came in the bottom of the fourth, when Hanley Ramirez hammered one out the other way for a two-run homer. At the time, it gave the Red Sox a 3-1 lead, and they would not look back. The Sox tacked on two more in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI triple by Mookie Betts and an RBI infield single by Bogaerts.
That's all they would need, because the Yankees offense just couldn't get it going. For the second night in a row, Alex Rodriguez homered in the top of the first to give the Yankees a brief 1-0 lead. Anyone else notice that Alex has given his batting gloves to little kids in the front row after homering in each of the last two games? I'm curious to see how long he's been doing it. Great gesture by a guy who is working really hard to reconstruct his public image with his bat and his attitude. Jacoby Ellsbury pulled the Yankees to within one with a home run in the top of the sixth. It was an absolute bomb to just right of the triangle in center. The third Yankees run came on an RBI double by Brett Gardner in the eighth. We love you, Gardy. Sadly, they got the tying run on in the ninth with a two-out double by Chris Young, but Brian McCann's towering fly ball went to no man's land and was caught in that dreaded triangle by Betts. If that's 40 feet to the right, we probably have a tie game. Oh well.
Now, let's talk about Refsnyder. It was a so-so night for the 24-year-old making his major league debut. He played very well in the field, showing off a great arm and making a couple of good plays on the run with quick feet, which is good, considering defense is his perceived weakness. At the plate, however, things didn't go so well. He grounded into a double play in the top of the third, nearly singled in the sixth (Alejandro De Aza made a nice play on a sinking liner to right) and popped up in the eighth, taking an 0-3 in his debut. Hey. There have been worse debuts. I'm happy he played well in the field. We've already had three months of all glove/no hit second base play anyway. He'll be in there again tomorrow, and I'm confident he'll get that first hit out of the way.
That's really kind of it from Fenway. Nova took the loss to go to 1-3. Eduardo Rodriguez got the win to go to 5-2, in what has been a pretty great rookie campaign for him so far. A-Rod hit his 18th homer, Ellsbury hit his second of the year, and his first ever as a visitor at Fenway Park. The Yankees' center fielder had three hits on the night, and Young had two. No one else had more than one, and four different hitters went hitless. By the way, Bryan Mitchell looked pretty good in the ninth inning. He could be a big help this year.
Here's hoping the Yankees come back to win the series tomorrow afternoon. Nathan Eovaldi will take the hill against Wade Miley. I like our chances.