EditorsNote: Tweaks in grafs 2, 6 and 11
CC Sabathia pitched seven effective innings and Greg Bird hit a pair of solo homers as the New York Yankees opened a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox with an 8-1 victory Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
In front of the Yankees’ 12th sellout crowd of 47,120 and largest crowd of the season, Sabathia (5-3) allowed one run on six hits and completed seven innings for the fourth time. He struck out five, walked one and threw 62 of 97 pitches for strikes.
The veteran left-hander also contained Boston stars Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez.
Betts went 2-for-4 but grounded back to the mound to end the seventh after Jackie Bradley Jr. was hit by a pitch. Martinez went 0-for-3 off Sabathia (0-for-4 overall) and flew out twice with runners in scoring position.
Sabathia also improved to 16-9 against the Red Sox with the Yankees and 12-0 following a New York loss since the start of last season. It was his 125th win as a Yankee, the 12th player in team history to reach that mark.
Bird recorded his second career multi-homer game and first since Aug. 19, 2015, by homering in the fourth off Eduardo Rodriguez (9-3) and off Justin Haley in the eighth.
It was the Yankees’ 15th instance of a player hitting two homers this season, and Bird’s showing occurred after Brandon Drury was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to get some time at first base.
Rookie Miguel Andujar drove in three runs with an RBI single and a two-run homer as the Yankees improved to 4-3 in the season series with Boston and improved to 33-5 when getting at least five runs.
Aaron Judge added a two-run homer for the Yankees, who recorded their eighth game with at least four homers.
Boston snapped a four-game win streak and lost for just the second time in its last eight games. The Red Sox were held under three runs for the 17th time this season.
Andrew Benintendi’s double accounted for Boston’s lone run. Steve Pearce made his debut after being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday and went 2-for-4.
Rodriguez matched a season high by allowing five runs on seven hits in six innings. He dropped his second straight start after winning the previous six.
—Field Level Media