The baseball season is officially under way, but for the Yankees, the opener did not go the way they had hoped.
Early on the pitchers did their thing, as the first eight batters of the game were retired. But with two outs in the top of the second that changed, as Jorge Posada hit a Josh Beckett pitch off the Pesky Pole to score the first run of the season.
Curtis Granderson was up next and belted a homer to right center past the bullpen. Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner followed with singles, but the two-out rally would end with a Derek Jeter groundout.
The Sox got a run back on an Adrian Beltre sac fly in the bottom of the second, but no more damage was done (score after second: 2-1 Yankees).
The third inning was a 1-2-3 inning for both teams, as A-Rod and Marco Scutaro grounded into double plays in each half of the inning. Once again the Yankees would rally with two outs as they scored three in the fourth inning, all with two outs.
Gardner and Jeter singled in a run each, and then a double steal would result in Gardner stealing home, giving the Yankees a 5-1 lead. But as we all know, no lead is safe in a Yankees-Red Sox game.
CC Sabathia looked strong after a 1-2-3 fourth but had a minor bump in the fifth where the Sox scored one run on a Scutaro single, bringing the game to a 5-2 Yankee lead after the fifth.
Going into the bottom of the sixth, Sabathia had a three-run lead and Beckett was already out of the game, but Boston refused to lie down. The Red Sox smacked Sabathia around in the sixth, and he was pulled after allowing two runs.
David Robertson relieved Sabathia and inherited a runner on third. His first pitch to Beltre resulted in a Beltre single and a tie game. Robertson got his act together and brought the game into the seventh inning tied.
The Yanks immediately took the lead back in the seventh with an RBI groundout by Robinson Cano and a Posada RBI single, bringing the score to 7-5 going into the bottom of the seventh.
Chan Ho Park made his Yankee debut in the bottom of the seventh but didn’t make the first impression he likely wanted to. Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run homer into the seats on top of the Green Monster to knot the game at seven, and Park was chased from the game after allowing a double to Kevin Youkilis.
Damaso Marte was the next reliever in, and Boston took the lead, 8-7, after a wild pitch and passed ball that allowed Youkilis to score. Joba Chamberlain would make his return to the bullpen by finishing the seventh inning off, coming in with two out and getting Beltre to ground out.
The Yankees went into the eighth inning with their nine, one, and two spots in the batting order due up and got it to Mark Teixeira after a Nick Johnson walk, but Teixeira would ground to second to end the half-inning.
Boston added an insurance run in the eighth against Joba on a Pedroia single, giving the ball to Jonathan Papelbon with a 9-7 lead. Papelbon wouldn’t even need the insurance run, as he worked around a two-out single by Posada to put away Granderson and give the Red Sox a 9-7 victory on Opening Night.
Posada: 2-for-4 with a HR and two RBI.
Jeter/Cano: 2-for-5 with one RBI each
Posada/Granderson back-to-back HR was first time since May 2008 that Beckett gave up two HR in one inning
Youkilis: 3-for-4 (three XBH)—first BoSox player since Carlton Fisk in 1973 to have three-plus XBH in first game of season
Pedroia: 2-for-4, HR, three RBI, game-tying two-run shot
Sabathia: 5.1 IP 6 H 5 ER 2 BB 4 K
Beckett: 4.2 IP 8 H 5 ER 3 BB 1 K
W: Hideki Okajima L: Park SV: Papelbon
Time of Game: 18 Hours, 24 Minutes (JK!)
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