Game over: Red Sox 8, Yankees 2: The Red Sox ended last season at Yankee Stadium in disarray, the players trudging home after the worst showing for the franchise in nearly 50 years.
The manager was replaced, the roster turned over and there was renewed optimism when the team took the field in the Bronx on Monday afternoon to face the rival Yankees.
The new-look Sox were successful, rolling to an 8-2 victory before a sellout crowd of 49,514.
Shane Victorino drove on three runs in his first game for the Sox while rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. walked three times, scored two runs, drove in a run and made a run-saving catch. Jacoby Ellsbury was 3 for 6 with a triple and two RBIs. The Sox had 13 hits.
After Jon Lester went five innings, the Sox used five relievers to go the last four innings. They did not allow a run.
The Sox are 1-0 for the first time since 2010. They were 0-6 to start the 2011 season and 0-3 in 2012.
Middle of the 9th: Red Sox 8, Yankees 2: The Sox scored three runs off Joba Chamberlain in the ninth inning. Saltalamacchia walked for the third time before Gomes singled and Bradley walked again.
Ellsbury reached on an infield single to the right side. Saltalamacchia scored and Gomes alertly kept coming and caught the Yankees sleeping. Victorino then singled in Bradley.
Top of the 9th: Red Sox 5, Yankees 2: Tazawa allowed a single by Hafner. But he got Ichiro to ground into a double play. Interesting that he was the set-up man and Bailey saw one batter.
Middle of the 8th: Red Sox 5, Yankees 2: Shawn Kelley dispatches of the Red Sox in order.
Top of the 8th: Red Sox 5, Yankees 2: Miller had an Andrew Miller inning, at least the 2011 version. He walked two then came back to strike out Nunez and Cano with major heat. Bailey was next and he fanned Youklis with an elevated 95-mph heater.
Middle of 7th: Red Sox 5, Yankees 2: Middlebrooks and Salty walked. Middlebrooks took third when Gomes flied to right. Boone Logan came in to face Bradley, who squared to bunt three times ended up driving in a run with a groundout. 0 for 2 with two walks, an RBI and a nice catch for the kid so far.
Miller in for the Sox.
Top of the 7th: Red Sox 4, Yankees 2: Five pitches, five strikes, three pop-ups for Koji Uehara. All the guy does is get outs.
Middle of the 6th: Red Sox 4, Yankees 2: With David Phelps in for Sabathia, Ellsbury led off the inning with his first triple since Sept. 14, 2011. But the Sox could not score. Victorino grounded to second with the infield in. Ellsbury was then thrown out at the plate when Pedroia grounded to third. Napoli (0 for 4) flew to left.
Lester is done after five innings.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 4, Yankees 2: Lester handled the Yankees in the bottom of the inning. He is at 96 pitches.
Middle of the 5th: Red Sox 4, Yankees 2: With two outs, the Sox loaded the bases. Salty doubled before Gomes was intentionally walked and Bradley was unintentionally walked. But Iglesias popped to first. Sabathia is at 102 pitches.
Top of the 5th: Red Sox 4, Yankees 2: Youkilis doubled to start the inning before Wells walked. Ichiro’s soft single to center loaded the bases with one out. Nix fanned for the second out but Cervelli ripped a two-run single to left on an 1-2 pitch. Gardner then lined to right.
Lester at 84 pitches after four. Way too many.
Middle of the 4th: Red Sox 4, Yankees 0: Bradley struck out. Iglesias bunted for a hit and Ellsbury singled. But Victorinop grounded to the mound and Pedroia grounded to shortstop.
Top of the 4th: Red Sox 4, Yankees 0: With two outs and a runner on second, Cano hit a blast to left that went over Bradley’s head. But Bradley went back and made a terrific catch at the warning track to save a run.
Farrell has been saying that Bradley will make them a better team purely on what he does in the field. That was an example right there.
Consider this: Until about a week ago, Bradley had never played left field.
Middle of the 3rd: Red Sox 4, Yankees 0: Sabathia strikes out Middlebrooks and Salty and gets Gomes to pop to shortstop. No messing around that inning.
Top of the 3rd: Red Sox 4, Yankees 0: Lester walked Francisco with one out and worked round it as Ichiro grounded into a force and Nix fanned looking. Big to follow up the four runs with a zero.
Middle of the 2nd: Red Sox 4, Yankees 0: Salty walked with one out before Gomes singled off the glove of Nix at third. Bradley was next and in his first MLB appearance, he fell down 0-2 and worked a seven-pitch walk. Iglesias then delivered a single to left to score a run. Ellsbury grounded to first and Gomes was out at the plate. But Victorino (7 of 21 against Sabathia) singled in two with a rip to left. Pedroia then made it 4-0 with a sharp single to center. Napoli ended the inning with a fly ball to deep center.
Sabathia threw 34 pitches in the inning.
Top of the 2nd: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0: Lester dispatched of the Yankees on 17 pitches. Cano struck out swinging but reached on what was called a wild pitch. Youkilis then lined to right on a 1-1 pitch.
It’s weird hearing Yankees fan “Yooooouk.”
Middle of the 1st: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0: Ellsbury popped weakly to shortstop and Victorino struck out on a 3-2 changeup before Pedroia singled sharply to center. But Sabathia then fanned Napoli on four pitches, the last three swinging.
Pre-game: Good afternoon from Yankee Stadium and Opening Day. It’s 62 degrees and sunny here in the Bronx.
The pre-game ceremony included a moment of silence for the victims of the Newtown tragedy. As both teams stood on the baselines, the scoreboard showed a slow scroll of all the names. It was sobering.
The players are all wearing Newtown patches and there are two Newtown town crests painted on the field.