LONDON – Rest assured, British fans: Most baseball games are not like this, not even the crazy ones between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
Major League Baseball arrived in Europe on Saturday night with Ye Olde Slugfest. Each team scored six runs in a first inning that lasted nearly an hour, with Aaron Hicks hitting the first European homer. Brett Gardner had a tiebreaking, two-run drive in the third, Aaron Judge went deep to cap a six-run fourth and the Yankees outlasted their rivals 17-13 in a game that stretched for 4 hours, 42 minutes — 3 minutes shy of the record for a nine-inning game.
“Well, cricket takes like all weekend to play, right? So, I’m sure a lot of people are used to it,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We should remind them there’s not 30 runs every game.”
Before a sellout crowd of 59,659 at Olympic Stadium that included supporters from Britain, Beantown and the Big Apple plus royalty, batters behaved like good tourists and minded the gaps — and the fences. As a Union Jack fluttered above center field along with the Stars and Stripes, both teams jacked and jacked and jacked.
“I think we’re getting as good a reception as football has for the last couple years,” Yankees first baseman Luke Voit said.
AL batting leader DJ LeMahieu had four hits and five RBIs , including a three-run double in the fourth and a two-run single in the fifth that opened a 17-6 lead. Voit had four hits, including three doubles, before leaving with a left abdominal injury in the fifth. He’ll be evaluated before Sunday’s series finale.
No British reserve with these offenses. Hicks was especially proud to hit the first homer.
“That’s something they can never take from me,” he said.
New York set season highs for runs and hits by the fifth inning and outhit Boston 19-18 overall as both teams batted around twice. The 30 runs were the most in a big league game since Boston beat Baltimore 19-12 last Aug. 10, according to STATS.
Red Sox rookie Michael Chavis hit a pair of three-run homers, the second in a six-run seventh .
“Definitely the biggest crowd I’ve played in front of. The loudest, as well,” Chavis said. “With the overhang, there was kind of an echo.”
Jackie Bradley Jr. had four hits, including a home run. Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts left in the eighth after calf muscles in both legs cramped, then said he should be available Sunday.
Boston starter Rick Porcello and New York’s Masahiro Tanaka got hammered — fittingly in the home of the Premier League soccer club West Ham, nicknamed the Hammers. Neither got out of a first inning that lasted 58 minutes and included 20 batters and 94 pitches. It took 1:51 to play the first three innings and 2:58 for 4½, but unlike in cricket, the teams did not break for tea.
Zack Britton retired Marco Hernandez on a bases-loaded grounder that ended the eighth, and Sam Travis hit into a game-ending double play against Aroldis Chapman on the 422nd pitch.
“The stadium, the atmosphere, just looking up into the outfield and seeing all those people there, it is pretty special to play out there,” LeMahieu said.
Chad Green (2-2) allowed four hits in two scoreless innings. Steven Wright (0-1) lost in his first decision and second appearance since an 80-game suspension for a positive drug test.
New York won for the 12th time in 13 games, maintained a seven-game lead over second-place Tampa Bay in the AL East and reached the halfway mark at 53-28, one fewer win than at last year’s midpoint. The defending World Series champion Red Sox dropped a season-high 10 games back at 44-39.
The 2,200th regular-season meeting between the teams was a scorcher — the hottest day of the year in London at 93 degrees Fahrenheit (34 Celsius), and still 92 when the first pitch was thrown at 6:10 p.m. And it was the first on artificial turf.
While Boston was the home team and hit last, both teams wore their white home uniforms. Prince Harry and wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, met with both teams and took part in the ceremonial first pitch ceremony. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was on hand, as he was when the Yankees played Tampa Bay at the Tokyo Dome in 2004.
“I got chills from our intros coming out,” Judge said.
Organizers brought touches of home, such as the grounds crew dancing to the Village People’s “YMCA.” The sound system played “Sweet Caroline” in the eighth and “New York, New York” after the final out.
Orioles 13, Indians 0
In Baltimore, Andrew Cashner threw seven innings of three-hit ball, Renato Nunez had two of Baltimore’s four home runs and the Orioles clinched their first series win since April.
Anthony Santander hit the 100th home run, and 45th by an Oriole, to land on Eutaw Street since the stadium opened on April 6, 1992.
Chance Sisco also homered for Baltimore, which has outscored Cleveland 26-0 over the first two games. The Orioles will go for their first three-game sweep of the season Sunday.
Cashner (8-3) was scratched moments before the first pitch as thunderstorms passed through the area. When the start of the game was announced for 5:10 p.m. — an hour and six minutes delay — Cashner was renamed the starter. He finished with six strikeouts and one walk.
The Orioles earned back-to-back shutouts for the first time since June 28, 2015, also against Cleveland in a doubleheader.
Trey Mancini had three hits and drove in three runs for the Orioles. Núñez tied a career-high with four RBIs.
Rays 5, Rangers 2
In St. Petersburg, Florida, Brendan McKay took a perfect game into the sixth inning of his major league debut and Tampa Bay beat Texas.
McKay (1-0) didn’t allow a baserunner until Danny Santana flared an opposite-field single to right with one out in the sixth. The lefty allowed one hit, a walk and struck out three in six innings. Three relievers completed a five-hitter.
Avisail Garcia homered for the Rays, who won for the fourth time in 12 games. Willy Adames and Travis d’Arnaud hit consecutive homers in the seventh.
Adrian Sampson (6-5) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings and took the loss.
McKay is scheduled to pitch again Friday night against the AL East-leading New York Yankees, who have a seven-game lead over the Rays.
Cubs 6, Reds 0
In Cincinnati, Javier Baez hit his first grand slam of the season, and Jose Quintana went six innings for his first victory since May 5, leading Chicago over Cincinnati.
The benches and bullpens cleared after Pedro Strop hit Yasiel Puig in the thigh with a pitch in the eighth. Puig slammed his batting helmet to the ground and walked toward Strop while yelling and gesturing, but players intervened. Puig had taunted Cubs baserunner Albert Almora Jr. from right field during the series opener.
Quintana (5-7) allowed six singles in six innings.
Jason Heyward connected for a solo shot off Luis Castillo (7-3), who allowed three hits and three walks in seven innings.
Athletics 4, Angels 0
In Anaheim, California, Brett Anderson pitched 7⅔ dominant innings of two-hit ball, and Matt Chapman hit a two-run homer in Oakland’s victory over Los Angeles.
Anderson (8-5) didn’t allow an Angels runner to reach second base until Luis Rengifo’s eighth-inning double chased him on his 100th pitch.
Marcus Semien and Josh Phegley drove in runs for the A’s, who have won four of five and 12 of 17 overall to push past the Angels in the middle of the AL West pack. Oakland has won 16 of its last 21 road games, as well.
Mike Trout went 1 for 3 with a walk and a ninth-inning single, and Shohei Ohtani went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts as Los Angeles was shut out for the first time since April 16, failing to get any runners to third base.
In Other Games
Blue Jays 7, Royals 5
Braves 5, Mets 4
Tigers 7, Nationals 5
Marlins 9, Phillies 6
Twins 10, White Sox 3
Rockies 5, Dodgers 3
Brewers 3, Pirates 1
Astros 6, Mariners 5 (10)
Diamondbacks 4, Giants 3
Padres 12, Cardinals 2
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5