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Sox Defeat Yanks 8-2 on Opening Day

Jon LesterThe Jackie Bradley Jr. and John Farrell Era officially began Monday, as the Sox defeated their division rival the New York Yankees, 8-2, in Yankee Stadium.

Jon Lester got the Opening Day nod from Boston’s newest skipper John Farrell and C.C. Sabathia took the mound for New York. C.C. looked good in the first inning but then started to struggle in the second and the Red Sox jumped at the opportunity.

The 22-year-old star prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. got his first major league at-bat and opened some eyes with great plate discipline. Down 0-2 in his first appearance at the plate, Bradley didn’t bite on any of Sabathia’s outside pitches, and battled back to earn himself a walk. Bradley Jr. also showed some great hustle and base running awareness as he beat out what looked like a sure force out at second on a Jose Iglesias ground ball hit between the shortstop and third base.

Due to Bradley’s speed on the base paths, everyone was safe and allowed Salty to score the games first run. Even though Bradley didn’t record a hit (0-2, 3BBs), he was highly effective, making good at-bats in timely situations.

Iglesias, who is looked at as more of a defensive player, was a surprise yesterday, going 3-5 with an RBI and a run scored despite not hitting a ball out of the infield.

After a Shane Victorino base hit that scored Iglesias and Bradley Jr., Dustin Pedroia (2-6, RBI) singled to right field, extending the Sox lead to 4-0 after two.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Lester began to have some control issues allowing two runs to score. Former Red Sox fan favorite and now a member of the New York Yankees, Kevin Youkilis, doubled off his old teammate. Youkilis, along with Vernon Wells, eventually came around to score on a Francisco Cervelli single that cut the deficit in half, 4-2.

After five inning of solid work, Lester’s day was done. He threw 96 pitches in total, and 63 were for strikes. It was an overall good performance for Lester, who is coming off the worst year of his career where he posted a 9-14 record and a 4.82 ERA. Lester was able to show command, despite a lack of velocity – something he’ll look to regain as the season progresses.

The score remained 4-2 all the way until the top of the seventh inning when Bradley Jr. got his first major league RBI. Boston’s third baseman Will Middlebrooks scored from third on a fielders choice that resulted in Bradley Jr. being thrown out at first.

Yankee fans were heading to the exits early, and even throwing some of their trash onto the field in the top of the ninth inning after Jacoby Ellsbury hit a single off Joba Chamberlain with the bases loaded scoring both Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Johnny Gomes, for a 6-2 lead.

Right after, Shane Victorino (2-6, 3 RBI) provided some extra cushioning by driving in Bradley Jr. & Ellsbury on a single to right.

Joel Hanrahan, who was acquired by the Red Sox in the offseason from the Pittsburgh Pirates, threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning, closing out the game and giving the Sox their first win of the MLB season.

Along with the rest of the Major League Baseball, the Red Sox and Yankees wore a special patch in memory of the tragic shooting that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary. The patch featured the town’s official seal centered on a black ribbon with 26 stars surrounding the ribbon, representing all the lives that were lost that day. A moment of silence was held before the first pitch.

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