Yankees rally for 6-4 win over Red Sox
BOSTON (AP) - With four-fifths of Boston's starting rotation from the beginning of the season traded away, the Red Sox intend to use the final two months of the season to take long looks at their youngsters.
The downside of that strategy was on display Saturday.
Staked to an early three-run lead, Allen Webster imploded, walking five batters in a four-run third inning as the New York Yankees rallied for a 6-4 victory to spoil slugger Yoenis Cespedes' Boston debut.
"It was clear he lost command of the strike zone," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "And while there's plenty of stuff in terms of fastball action, swing and miss to his changeup, the ability to make adjustment whether pitch to pitch or hitter to hitter was elusive."
In his fifth career major league start - and his first at Fenway Park - Webster (1-1) said he lost his release point. He walked the bases loaded to start the third before Derek Jeter's two-run bloop double to right.
Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran drove in runs sprinkled between two more walks before Farrell lifted the right-hander.
Webster threw only 39 of 71 pitches for strikes, giving up four runs and six walks.
"It's real tough," the 24-year-old said.
Welcome to the second half of the Red Sox season, with tough lessons for all.
"There's a drastic difference between here and Triple-A," Farrell said.
Cespedes declared through an interpreter, "I like it here," after receiving loud cheers as he stepped into the batter's box to lead off the second inning. It was two days after he was acquired from Oakland for ace Jon Lester in a flurry of moves.
Cespedes went after a low, off-speed pitch and pulled it into left field for a single in his first at-bat. But he finished 1 for 4, including a pop out against hard-throwing right-hander Dellin Betances with a runner on second to end the seventh.
Cespedes played left field, although the Red Sox plan to move him to right after he gets more practice time at Fenway Park.
"I haven't really played much right field," Cespedes said. "But in my opinion, good outfielders should pride themselves on being able to play all three positions and that's what I'm going to do."
Mike Napoli's two-run home run to left off starter Shane Greene helped Boston take a 3-0 lead in the second. But reliever Shawn Kelley (2-3) struck out Napoli with two on to end the fifth and the only other Boston run came on David Ortiz's sacrifice fly in the seventh.
New York's Mark Teixeira led off the fifth with a home run off Craig Breslow. And to make the day sting a bit more, Stephen Drew hit an RBI double off Alex Wilson in the seventh.
Drew was hitting .176 for Boston when he was traded to the Yankees on Thursday.