The Red Sox carried over the energy from Opening Day with a 7-4 victory against the hated Yankees to take a commanding 2-0 series lead. The Sox got on the board early following a Jarrod Saltalamacchia single in the first that drove in Daniel Nava, who reached safely on a single through the left side of the infield. The offense continued to keep the pressure on, scoring in each of the next two innings, including a four run outburst in the third.
Shane Victorino (2-5, RBI) was at the center of the offensive exploits, starting the 2nd inning off with a line drive that drilled Hiroki Kuroda in his throwing hand. Kuroda tried to pitch through the pain, but eventually succumbed following two hit-by-pitches, including one to Jackie Bradley Jr. Replacing Kuroda (1.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 K, 1 BB) was Cody Eppley, who wasn’t any more successful. Saltalamacchia (2-5, RBI) started things off with a single, and later moved to second following a wild pitch. After a Middlebrooks strikeout, the wheels came off for Eppley, allowing three straight hits, RBI singles to Shane Victorino and Jackie Bradley Jr. (his first career hit) and a double to the surprisingly hot Jose Iglesias. Jacoby Ellsbury capped off the inning with another RBI single, giving the Sox a comfortable 6-0 lead.
That was all Clay Buchholz needed, as he was phenomenal in his seven innings of work. Other than a fourth inning solo shot to Travis Hafner, Buchholz was flawless, striking out four and allowing only six hits. Throughout the night, the Yankees could never seem to get anything going and Buchholz’s quickened pace was a welcome change to his previously painstakingly slow time between pitches. Whether that has any influence on how he pitches remains to be seen but from a pure viewing standpoint, his pace and excellent stuff was more than enough to keep this writer entertained and focused throughout the game.
Although Alfredo Aceves made things interesting in the eighth, allowing a three-run home run to newly acquired Vernon Wells, equally newly acquired Joel Hanrahan closed the game out and recorded his first save in a Sox uniform.
Also adding to the Sox offensive output were and Daniel Nava (2-3, BB, RBI) and Dustin Pedroia (2-5, RBI), producing out of the second and third spots in the lineup, respectively.
Tomorrow, the Sox go for the Opening Series sweep, with Ryan Dempster making his regular season debut. Countering the native Canadian is long-time Yankee left-hander, Andy Pettitte. Game time is 7:05 p.m.