Five months after a miserable 2012 season ended with a 14-2 loss to the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox returned to open their 2013 campaign, but this time it was a much different result as the Sox came away with a convincing 8-2 win.
It was a balanced attack for Boston, with many players contributing to the win. Five players had multi-hit games and six pitchers combined to hold the Yankees to just two runs. [embedgallery id=128718]
Jon Lester, making his third Opening Day start, earned his first win of the season going five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and striking out seven. Aside from the fourth inning where he allowed the two runs, Lester looked very sharp.
Jacoby Ellsbury (2 RBIs) and Jose Iglesias paced the offense with three hits apiece, while Shane Victorino (3 RBIs), Dustin Pedoria and Jonny Gomes each finished with two hits.
It didn’t take long for the Red Sox to get to Yankees ace CC Sabathia as they scored four runs in the second inning to take a commanding 4-0 lead, never looking back.
After Iglesias legged out an RBI infield single to load the bases to take a 1-0 lead, Victorino delivered the big blow with a two-RBI single to left. Pedroia followed with an RBI single of his own to account for the fourth run of the inning.
Sabathia was forced from the game after the fifth inning, allowing the four runs on eight hits. He struggled with his command as he walked four and was left the game after throwing 102 pitches.
Jackie Bradley Jr. (three walks) got his first major league RBI in the seventh and the Sox plated three more insurance runs in the ninth to account for the eight runs. Ellsbury delivered a two-RBI single followed by another RBI single from Victorino as the Red Sox totaled 13 hits on the day.
With only two extra base hits, the team used aggressive base running and patience at the dish to plate the eight runs. The 13 hits and eight walks were the most for the Red Sox on Opening Day since 2002.
Koji Uehara, Andrew Miller, Andrew Bailey, Junichi Tazawa and Joel Hanrahan combined to pitch four scoreless innings in relief to preserve the win.
The two teams will be off Tuesday before returning to the field Wednesday night (7 p.m., NESN). Clay Buchholz will get the nod for the Red Sox and will be opposed by Hiroki Kuroda.
Follow Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84