Red Sox unload on Yankees
Winning eight of nine games against the aggressively tanking Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins signaled that the Red Sox had been prepared well for the season but not much more than that.
When the Yankees arrived at Fenway Park on Tuesday, the Sox and their fan base figured to get a better assessment of where the team truly stood.
Mookie Betts had four hits, including a grand slam, as the Sox rolled to a 14-1 victory against the Yankees before a crowd of 32,357 at Fenway Park.
The 9-1 Sox have won nine straight games for the first time since an 11-game streak in September 2016.
Chris Sale pitched six strong innings for his first win of the season. But it was a relentless lineup that won this game.
The first three hitters in the order — Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Hanley Ramirez — were 8 of 9 with eight runs scored, nine RBIs, and five extra-base hits.
Betts scored five runs, his career high. He is only the seventh player in history to score five or more runs against the Yankees, the first since Luis Castillo of the Mets in 2008.
The 14 runs were the most for the Sox against the Yankees since a 14-1 victory on Aug. 22, 2009.
The Red Sox knocked Yankees starter Luis Severino out of the game after five innings and 94 pitches. He was fortunate to get that far given the Sox left six runners on base when he was in the game.
Betts led off the first inning with a double to left-center. Andrew Benintendi walked before Ramirez singled to center to drive in a run.
When Rafael Devers walked with one out, the Sox had the bases loaded. But Eduardo Nunez popped up and Jackie Bradley Jr. struck out.
But Severino did not take advantage of the reprieve. Christian Vazquez singled to lead off the second inning. Betts also singled before Benintendi lined a triple into the right-field corner.
Betts scored when Ramirez dropped a single into left field.
The top of the order created another run in the fourth inning. Betts drew a walk, went to third on Benintendi’s double and scored on Ramirez’s sacrifice fly to right field.
Ramirez has 11 RBIs in nine games. It took him 20 games to get to 11 RBIs last season.
The Yankees went to their bullpen in the sixth inning and the Sox scored nine runs as 12 batters came to the plate.
J.D. Martinez just missed a grand slam, his shot to center field off Tommy Kahnle resulting in a two-run double. Devers followed with a sacrifice fly.
With two outs, an error by third baseman Miguel Andujar allowed a run to score. Chasen Shreve then walked Brock Holt to force in a run. Betts followed with a line-drive grand slam into the Monster Seats and the Sox had a 14-1 lead. It was his second home run of the season.
In the last seven games, Betts is 14 of 26 with six extra-base hits, 13 runs, and six RBIs. He is hitting .432 with a 1.263 OPS this season.
With Sale at 87 pitches after six innings, the Sox went to the bullpen to finish up the game.
Sale allowed eight hits and one run, that coming on a home run deep into the center field bleachers by Aaron Judge in the fifth inning. It was measured at 444 feet.
Judge was 0 for 12 with 10 strikeouts against Sale last season, his first time facing the lefthander. He was 3 for 3 on Tuesday.
Sale has a 1.06 ERA through three starts and has struck out 23 in 17 innings.
David Price starts the second game of the series on Wednesday. He will face Masahiro Tanaka.