Red Sox aim to remain perfect vs. Yankees

MLB Baseball

The presence of their first full-capacity sellout crowd of the season was an undoubted boost for the Boston Red Sox in their victory over the visiting New York Yankees on Friday night.

The Red Sox will look to carry the momentum over into the second contest of a three-game series against their rivals Saturday. Boston recorded its fourth win in as many meetings this season with New York following a 5-3 victory on Friday.

Left-hander Jordan Montgomery (3-1, 4.03 ERA) will take the mound on Saturday as he bids to get the Yankees back on track. Righty Nathan Eovaldi (7-4, 3.90) is set to go for the Red Sox.

Boston was bumping from the start Friday courtesy of a pregame ceremony honoring fan favorite Dustin Pedroia, who announced his retirement in February after 17 years with the organization. The Red Sox scored three runs in the first inning, and the energy remained all the way until Matt Barnes escaped a two-on jam in the ninth with a game-ending double play.

“I’ve been saying, Friday nights at Fenway are cool,” manager Alex Cora said. “It was another great atmosphere.”

The bullpen especially stood out for Boston after starter Martin Perez pitched only 3 2/3 innings. Hirokazu Sawamura, Garrett Whitlock, Adam Ottavino and Barnes combined to hold New York to three hits over the final 5 1/3, striking out seven.

“We felt coming into this game our righties were going to be important,” Cora said. “… They really did the job.”

The hurlers brought to a halt a Yankee offense that had slugged 29 home runs in its previous 14 games. New York was held scoreless from the second inning on a day after an eight-run outburst at home against the Kansas City Royals.

“We’ve got to come out and grab it,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “If we’re going to be the team we expect to be, we’ve got to play better against the top teams in the division.”

The Yankees are 17-22 against American League East opponents and now 5 games back of the first-place Tampa Bay Rays in the division. Friday’s loss was just their third in their last 10 games.

Reliever Zack Britton exited the contest in the eighth inning with a hamstring injury. “Hopefully, it’s nothing too serious. We’ll have to see,” Boone said.

Montgomery held the Oakland Athletics to one run on three hits over 5 1/3 innings in his last time out. He hasn’t been defeated in his last 11 starts.

The southpaw is 1-0 with a 4.13 ERA in six career starts against Boston.

Eovaldi was tagged for four runs (three earned) on seven hits over four innings in a loss to the Royals last Sunday. He defeated the Yankees on June 4, when he held them to two runs (one earned) on eight hits in six innings.

Lifetime, Eovaldi is 2-2 with a 3.30 ERA in 10 games (seven starts) against his former club.

-Field Level Media

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