The Yankees opened the series with a 6-0 win, their largest shutout win vs the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium since a 6-0 win on August 9, 1992.
Vidal Nuno held the Red Sox to just two hits in 5⅔ scoreless innings in his first career appearance vs the team.
Nuno is the third Yankee pitcher over the last century to throw at least five scoreless innings with no more than two hits allowed in his first career start against the Red Sox. The others were Rip Collins in 1920 and Sam Militello in that 1992 game referenced above.
Nuno also got his first win at Yankee Stadium, snapping a winless streak of eight home starts. That was the second-longest such streak by a Yankee to begin his major-league career over the last 100 years: Jim Beattie was winless in his first 10 career home starts in 1978.
After the game, Brian McCann said about Nuno: “When the ball stays in the yard, he puts up zeros.” Basically true… Nuno is 3-0 in seven career starts when he does not allow a homer, and 0-5 in nine career starts when he allows at least one homer.
If only Tanaka could hit
Despite another outstanding performance by Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees lost in a pitchers’ duel, 2-1, on Saturday night.
Tanaka continued to re-write the Yankee and MLB record books with his 16th straight quality start.
He is the first Yankee in at least the last 100 years to begin a season with 16 consecutive quality starts. He also tied the franchise record over the last century for the longest quality-start streak at any point in a season, first set by CC Sabathia in 2010.
The only other pitcher in major-league history to begin a career with 16 quality starts is his first 16 MLB games was the Expos Steve Rogers in 1973.
Tanaka threw nine innings of two-run ball in the loss. He is the first Yankee with a complete-game loss and no more than two runs allowed against the Red Sox since Roger Clemens on May 28, 2000.
Tanaka has now allowed two runs or fewer and struck out at least seven batters in each of his first two career games vs the Red Sox, becoming the first Yankee in at least the last 100 years to achieve that feat.
Mike Napoli hit a go-ahead solo homer with two outs in the top of the ninth inning for the Red Sox, the second time in two years he has beat the Yankees with a two-out home run in the ninth inning or later.
He is the first Red Sox player in the last 75 seasons with multiple two-out, go-ahead homers in the ninth inning or later vs the Yankees. The only other Red Sox player in that timespan with at least two go-ahead homers in the ninth inning or later vs the Yankees – regardless of outs – was Carl Yastrzemski.
The Chase is Off
The Yankees lost the rubber game on Sunday night as Chase Whitley had his second straight poor start, allowing five runs in four innings.
However, there were some rare offensive highlights in the loss for the Yankees:
Derek Jeter reached another milestone in this game, recording his 2,535th career single in the first inning. That moved him past Willie Keeler and into fourth place on the all-time MLB singles list.
Ichiro Suzuki hit a leadoff triple in the fifth inning, which made him the oldest Yankee with a triple in a game since a 42-year-old Enos Slaughter in 1958.
Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira both hit homers in the fourth inning. For Beltran, it was his 366th career home run in the fourth inning, tying Lance Berkman for fourth place all-time among switch hitters. For Teixeira, it was his 356th career homer, moving past Greg Vaughn and into 85th place all-time.