NEW YORK -- Takeaways from the Bronx, where Red Sox manager John Farrell has had his fill of MLB’s vaunted replay system, both teams started short-handed and the Yankees almost required volunteers, both teams had runners thrown out on the basepaths, Mike Napoli hit one to Yonkers and Ichiro turned back the clock.
The result: The Yankees, with reliever David Phelps striking out pinch hitter Mike Carp with the bases loaded in the eighth, held on to beat the Red Sox 3-2 before a crowd of 46,081 in Yankee Stadium. The Yankees, who won only six of 19 meetings against the Sox last season, took three of four in Boston’s first visit to the Bronx. The teams resume hostilities April 22 in Boston. Temporary closer Shawn Kelley, filling in with David Robertson on the DL, set down the Sox in order in the ninth, with Jacoby Ellsbury running down Grady Sizemore's drive to left-center to end it.
The ejection: Farrell became the first manager in the majors this season to be ejected in a dispute over replay. Farrell was tossed by first-base umpire Bob Davidson after a challenge by Yankees manager Joe Girardi was upheld and it was ruled that Francisco Cervelli had beaten the throw at first in the fourth inning. Instead of an inning-ending double play, Cervelli was ruled safe and a run scored, the Yankees’ third of the night.
Farrell, who expressed his displeasure with the replay system before Sunday’s game, was still steamed about the umpires’ failure Saturday to overrule their “safe” call on Yankees shortstop Dean Anna, even though replays clearly showed Anna’s foot had come off the bag while Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts was applying the tag at second base.
“I have not heard directly [from MLB] but I’ve seen the statement that they released,” Farrell said before the game. “It’s unfortunate. At field level, you’ve got two points. One, in which our replay was conclusive that he was off the bag, and the other was the ‘safe’ call. In between, there’s a lot of questions that come up. It really challenges the validity of the process that’s being used.”
Short-handed Sox: The Red Sox were down to 23 players Sunday night, as closer Koji Uehara remained unavailable (shoulder stiffness) and second baseman Dustin Pedroia (sore left wrist) was scratched after taking some early batting practice. Both players are scheduled to return to Boston for medical exams Monday. Farrell was optimistic after Uehara’s throwing session Sunday that he would rejoin the team in Chicago, but Pedroia’s condition bears watching. He played through a torn ligament in his thumb last season, so you know the wrist has to be really bothering him.
Short-handed Yankees: Girardi elected to keep shortstop Derek Jeter out of the lineup with a sore quad and Brian Roberts underwent an MRI for a strained back muscle. Then Cervelli blew out a hamstring on the disputed play, forcing Girardi to move Carlos Beltran to first base for the first time in his career. When Yangervis Solarte pulled up lame on another close play at first base in the sixth, it appeared Girardi might have to call upon Jeter, but Solarte remained in the game.
Irresistibly Ichiro: Ichiro Suzuki, who was on the bench when the game began and entered as a pinch runner for Cervelli in the fourth, crashed into the right-field scoreboard while making a leaping catch of David Ortiz’s bid for extra bases in the eighth. Suzuki turns 41 on Oct. 22.
JBJ’s arm 1, Ellsbury’s speed 0: Jacoby Ellsbury’s double in the first put runners on second and third and Sox starter Felix Doubront in an early jam. Alfonso Soriano followed with a line drive to center that was caught by Sox rookie center fielder Jackie Bradley, and Bradley gunned down Ellsbury, who unwisely tried to advance to third. That cost the Yankees a run, as Carlos Beltran, who was on third, failed to score before Ellsbury was erased.
Brett Gardner’s arm 1, Brian Butterfield 0: Red Sox third-base coach Brian Butterfield elected to send Bradley home on a line-drive single to left by Grady Sizemore in the second inning, but Gardner fielded Sizemore’s drive on one hop and came up firing, easily erasing Bradley at the plate.
Napoli launches another one: Napoli hit seven home runs in 56 at-bats against the Yankees last season, four at Yankee Stadium. He hit his first of 2014 against New York leading off the sixth inning against Ivan Nova, and did so with authority: ESPN Stats and Information estimated the drive, which cleared the visitors bullpen in left, at 439 feet.
Doubront comes up short: Doubront gave the Sox a quality start (6 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 3 B, 2 K’s), but dropped to 1-2. He was bedeviled by Beltran, who singled, doubled and hit a two-run, opposite-field home run to left in the third.