BOSTON – New York right-hander Masahiro Tanaka’s introduction to the rivalry between his new club and the Boston Red Sox was more ice than fire on Tuesday with 7⅓ cool innings in a 9-3 win on a rainy evening at storied Fenway Park.
Tanaka (3-0) allowed seven hits, including a pair of solo homers, and no walks, while striking out seven to win his 31st consecutive regular-season decision dating back to Aug. 26, 2012. The 25-year-old Tanaka had solid command of his four-seam fastball, slider and splitter and rarely looked out of sorts or troubled.
“I felt a special atmosphere at this historic ballpark,” Tanaka said. “They have a big-hitting lineup and it’s a small park, so at times I was overthrowing.”
The proceedings began with Boston fans giving former Red Sox star Jacoby Ellsbury a loud but mixed welcome in his return with the Yankees. Ellsbury wasted no time making an impact, opening the game with a triple off the wall in center that started a two-run rally off Red Sox ace John Lester (2-3).
Derek Jeter singled Ellsbury home and went to third as a result of a passed ball and a throwing error when catcher A.J. Pierzynski tried to nail Jeter at second. Carlos Beltran singled home Jeter.
Ichiro Suzuki led off the Yankees’ second with a single, but Lester got out of a one-out, bases-loaded pickle with an easy double play. The lefty did that again in the third, but not before the Yankees padded their lead with three straight doubles to open the inning.
Former Hiroshima Carp Alfonso Soriano led off with a drive to center for two. Mark Teixeira plated the run with a flair that landed just fair down the right-field line. Brian McCann hit an opposite-field double to left to make it 4-0 Yankees.
Tanaka, who had allowed two hits through 3⅓ innings, misplaced a 3-1 fastball with none on to Ortiz, who crushed it for a long home run to right-center. Tanaka then left a 1-1 two-seam fastball up in the zone to Napoli, who deposited it into the seats above the green monster.
“They hit fat pitches,” Tanaka said. “After that I bore down a little more.”
“I think I’ll face them again, so I have to learn from this.”
Ichiro finished 2-for-4.
Tigers 8, White Sox 6
In Detroit, Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer and Justin Verlander pitched seven solid innings.
Rays 7, Twins 3
In St. Petersburg, Florida, David Price allowed six hits in his first complete game of the season.
Rangers 5, Athletics 4
In Oakland, Michael Choice singled in the go-ahead run in the ninth for Texas.
Astros 5, Mariners 2
In Seattle, Collin McHugh struck out a career-high 12 in his season debut.
Royals 8, Indians 2
In Cleveland, James Shields allowed two runs in six innings and Mike Moustakas hit a three-run homer.
Norichika Aoki was 1-for-3 for Kansas City in the win.
Blue Jays 9, Orioles 3
In Toronto, Brett Lawrie and Melky Cabrera each hit three-run homers in the eighths.
Marlins 1, Braves 0
In Atlanta, Jose Fernandez matched his career high with 14 strikeouts in eight innings and combined with Steve Cishek on a three-hitter.
Cardinals 3, Mets 0
In New York, Adam Wainwright threw seven easy innings before leaving with a knee injury.
Phillies 3, Dodgers 2 (10)
In Los Angeles, Domonic Brown doubled home the go-ahead run in the 10th.
Reds 4, Pirates 1
In Pittsburgh, Johnny Cueto tossed his second three-hitter against the Pirates in a week.
Cubs 9, Diamondbacks 2
In Chicago, Jason Hammel pitched seven strong innings, and Mike Olt hit a three-run homer.
Padres 2, Brewers 1 (12)
In Milwaukee, Chase Headley homered in the top of the 12th inning.
Rockies 2, Giants 1
In Denver, Nolan Arenado hit a homer leading off the fifth and Franklin Morales outdueled Madison Bumgarner.