BOSTON -- The rivalry was rekindled on a wild Tuesday night at Fenway Park in which the Red Sox held on for a 5-3 victory over the Yankees that contained several elements of excitement.
The most winning combination for Boston has Rick Porcello pitching at Fenway Park. The sinkerballer improved to 11-0 with a 3.11 ERA at home this season, and Boston is 12-0 in his home starts. It was the 100th career win for the right-hander, who is 15-3 with a 3.40 ERA this season.
"It was a big win for us," said Porcello. "We came off a long, tough road trip, so we definitely needed to start the homestand off the right way. It was a good way to start the series."
With both the Orioles and Blue Jays losing, the Red Sox moved to within 1 1/2 games of the American League East leaders.
Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel got into a jam in the ninth, walking four batters to allow a run. After 37 pitches, he was removed in mid-save opportunity. Matt Barnes came on with the bases loaded and two outs and ended it by getting Mark Teixeira looking. It was the first career save for the hard-throwing righty. Alex Rodriguez, who will be granted his release from the Yankees later this week to move into an advisory role for the club, did not play, though Fenway fans roared, "We want A-Rod" in the late innings.
"It's part of it," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who announced prior to the game that he plans to only start Rodriguez on Thursday in this series. "I'm sure I'm going to hear it, but I've got to do what I think is best."
Andrew Benintendi had a solid Fenway debut, going 3-for-3, scoring twice and driving in a run. Dustin Pedroia had a pair of doubles and drove in three runs.
Things got tense between the rivals in the top of the seventh, when Jackie Bradley Jr. made a magnificent throw to third to nail Chase Headley. Headley seemed irked at Porcello after being tagged out by Brock Holt, and he walked toward the pitcher. The benches and bullpens briefly cleared.
"It was just an exchange of words," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Didn't see anything coming. There was an exchange after Headley tries to extend that ball into a triple. Next thing you know, there's some people on the field. Just guys in a competitive moment."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Benintendi an instant hit at Fenway: Benintendi continues to be unfazed by his new surroundings. The left fielder sprayed a line drive to left for a single in his first at-bat at Fenway, then came just inches from a home run in his second at-bat before settling for a double. The performance came on the heels of his three-hit game at Dodger Stadium on Sunday.
"It's something I've dreamt of, not just since I've been drafted but since I was a little kid," said Benintendi. "To walk into the stadium and take BP and things like that, especially here at Fenway, it's a dream come true." More >
Severino struggles in first start back: Prior to Tuesday night's game, Girardi talked about how impressed he had been with the lastest relief outing by Luis Severino. The right-hander, making his first start for the club since May 13, seemed to roll over that success by allowing only a single over the first two innings. It was downhill from there, as Severino (1-7) was unable to hold a 2-0 lead and the Red Sox bats plugged away for six hits and five runs over the following 2 1/3 innings, running the Yankees' starter from the game in the fifth inning.
"This is a tough lineup," said Girardi. "If you don't make your pitches, they're going to make you pay." More >
Barnes saves night: With Kimbrel in a precarious jam, Farrell could have gone with Brad Ziegler, who has 84 career saves. Instead, Farrell went to Barnes, who converted his first career save opportunity by freezing Teixeira on a 99-mph heater.
"You know, again, with the two left-handers coming, we just wanted the power [arm], particularly against Teixeira where we've seen the power kind of works as a better matchup," said Farrell. "And how he's been with men on base this year. He's been outstanding as far as stranding inherited runners. No more important time than tonight." More >
Headley heats things up: In the top of the second inning Chase Headley followed up on a leadoff double by Starlin Castro with a double of his own. With one out, Headley took a 1-1 pitch to the farthest part of the Green Monster in left-center, catching Jackie Bradley Jr. off guard as the carom rolled past the Sox center fielder and Castro came around for the first run of the game. Headley would offer up another double to a similar part of the Monster in the sixth, but he was gunned down at third by Bradley before he and Porcello exchanged words.
"We haven't had one of those dustups with the Red Sox in while, so it got me going a little bit," said Headley.
"No. I've heard nothing but great things about him. We have the same agent." -- Headley, when asked if he had any prior history with Porcello
"I don't really have anything to comment on that. That's baseball stuff. Happens down on the field and just going to let it stay there between me and Headley." -- Porcello
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Porcello is the first Red Sox pitcher to win his first 11 home decisions in any season since Dave Ferriss (13-0) and Joe Dobson (11-0) accomplished the feat in the pennant-winning season of 1946.
Benintendi's first career home run seemed scripted until a crew chief review overturned it. In the fifth, the rookie crushed a fly ball that landed on the yellow marker in center field. It was first ruled a homer, but after a three-minute and 32-second review, the call was overturned to a double.
WHAT'S NEXT Yankees:Nathan Eovaldi (9-8, 4.80 ERA) will toe the rubber for New York looking to snap a personal two-game losing streak while also trying to reach the double digit win mark for the second straight season. It will be Eovaldi's third start of the year versus the Red Sox, having picked up a no decision in his lone Fenway appearance this season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Red Sox: Left-hander Drew Pomeranz (0-2, 6.20 ERA) will try to get his first win for the Red Sox on Wednesday night at Fenway Park. Pomeranz gave up four hits and two runs over six innings in his last start, but he walked six.