Whitlock pitches Red Sox over Yanks 3-2 in rivals' 1st meeting this year
New York — Fans had waited more than two months for the first Yankees-Red Sox game of the year. It did not disappoint, at least for Boston.
With the Red Sox clinging to a one-run lead with two on and two outs in the ninth inning, Anthony Volpe came to the plate and drove a full-count slider from Kenley Jansen deep down the left-field line.
"I knew it was hooking. I just wanted it to hit the pole or something," said the rookie, playing for the first time in the rivalry following years of watching from the stands.
After the ball landed about 10 feet foul, Volpe popped up the next pitch to shortstop and Boston earned a 3-2 win over New York on Friday night in the first of 13 meetings this season.
From 2001 through last year, there were 18 or 19 matchups annually under the unbalanced schedule. A crowd of 46,007 filled Yankee Stadium in the ballpark's sixth sellout this season.
"You can tell from the get-go. When I got out there at 6:30 for a 7 o'clock game, 7:10, you see the people up there in right field, way up there, there's people there, you know it's going to be fun," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "It was loud."
Rafael Devers and Kiké Hernández homered, and Kenley Jansen got his 14th save in 17 chances after giving up two-out singles to Billy McKinney and Gleyber Torres.
Gerrit Cole (7-1) lost for the first time this season after going unbeaten in his first 13 starts.
Garrett Whitlock (3-2) allowed two runs — one earned — and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings with six strikeouts and one walk. The right-hander, who turns 27 on Sunday, came off the injured list in late May after being sidelined for 1 1/2 months with a compressed nerve in his pitching elbow. He has a 4.78 ERA in six starts after pitching out of a bullpen as a rookie in 2021 and alternating between starting and relieving last year.
He credited Corey Kluber and former Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi for passing along their wisdom.
"With pitch selection and reading at-bats, Kluber has helped me tremendously," Whitlock said.
Whitlock was an 18th-round pick by the Yankees in the 2017 amateur draft and was taken by Boston in the December 2020 winter meeting draft of unprotected players. He is 15-8 in big league career, going 4-1 against the Yankees.
"I've never held a grudge," Whitlock said. "I understood the whole thing."
Cole gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings as New York (37-28) dropped 9 1/2 games behind AL East leader Tampa Bay.
"The other Garrett just outpitched me," Cole said. "I threw a nice game, but he threw a better one."
Triston Casas had an RBI single in the fourth, and the Red Sox twice broke out the inflatable dumbbells they use for dugout celebrations after home runs. Devers hit his seventh career homer off Cole, on a changeup in the sixth.
Cole marveled at Devers.
"I haven't come across any other player quite like him," he said.
Josh Donaldson cut the deficit in the bottom half with a 448-foot home run into the netting above Monument Park — five of his six gits this season have been homers.
Hernández homered off Albert Abreu in the seventh and Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled, stole second, took third when Connor Wong's throw bounced into center for an error and came home on a wild pitch.
Tough East, Weak Central
Boston, which lost eight of its previous 11, got back to .500 at 32-32. While the Red Sox are last in the AL East, their record matches that of AL Central-leading Minnesota.
"I think when you look at it like that, it's eye-opening sometimes," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before the game. "But I'm not surprised how good our division is."
Volpe is 10 for his last 67 and Anthony Rizzo is hitless in 16 at-bats since returning from a neck injury.
CF Adam Duvall went 0 for 3 with a walk in his first game since April 9. He missed 54 games after breaking his left wrist while attempting a diving catch. ... RF Alex Verdugo went 2 for 5. He was removed from Wednesday's game in the eighth inning after not running hard on a seventh-inning grounder and didn't play Thursday.
Cora said he isn't interested in the coaching job at the University of Miami, where Gino DiMare quit after five seasons. Cora, who played at Miami, endorsed Hurricanes pitching coach J.D. Arteaga.
Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (stress reaction left scapula) was moved to the 60-day IL and is out until at least August.
Yankees: OF Greg Allen will be sidelined for six-to-eight weeks, according to manager Aaron Boone, after straining his right hip flexor at Los Angeles on June 2. ... Boone wouldn't say whether CF Harrison Bader (strained right hamstring) might need a minor league rehab stint.
RHP Tanner Houck (3-5, 5.46) starts Saturday night for the Red Sox and RHP Domingo Germán (3-3, 3.69) for the Yankees, who will be starting on five days' rest.
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