Yankees crash Fenway party with win over Sox
By Larry Fine
BOSTON (Reuters) - The New York Yankees spoiled a day of feel-good nostalgia at Fenway Park on Friday by blasting five home runs in a 6-2 win over the Red Sox on the 100th anniversary of the first game played at the ballpark.
Back-up third baseman Eric Chavez belted his first two home runs of the young season while Alex Rodriguez, in the lineup as designated hitter, Nick Swisher and Russell Martin also added solo shots to back the pitching of Ivan Nova.
Nova improved to 3-0 as he won his 15th successive regular season decision dating back to last year. Boston starter Clay Buchholz surrendered all of New York's runs in dropping to 1-1 and the Red Sox suffered their fourth consecutive loss.
"I made five mistakes and they hit them," said Buchholz.
The warm, sunny day began with good vibes as over 200 former Red Sox players gathered to celebrate the 100th birthday of the quirky stadium widely known for its towering Green Monster wall in left field.
But the Yankees proved to be party poopers.
"Before the game was spectacular," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "It's a downer now."
Wearing gray throwback uniforms without numbers on the back while the Red Sox wore plain home whites, the Yankees resembled the Bronx Bombers of another era as they swatted three shots over the Monster, one to center and another to right.
New York scored an unearned run in the first after second baseman Dustin Pedroia dropped a pop fly he lost in the sun, and added two runs in the second on homers by Swisher and Chavez.
David Ortiz put Boston on the scoreboard with a homer in the bottom of the second to make it 3-1, but Chavez connected in the fourth, Rodriguez went long in the fifth and Martin cleared the Monster in the sixth to give Nova all the cushion he needed.
Boston won the inaugural April 20, 1912 game at Fenway Park, baseball's oldest stadium, 7-6 in 11 innings against the New York Highlanders, who changed their name to the Yankees the next season.
This Yankees team was too deep and powerful on the day.
"Obviously, today was our day," said Swisher, who said the ceremony made it "a great day for baseball.
"Five home runs, that's pretty impressive, that doesn't happen very often. That just shows you what this lineup can do from top to bottom."
Rodriguez agreed. "We have a great lineup one through nine. The luxury to have a guy like Chavez to hit from the eighth slot and hit two mammoth home runs that just tells you a little bit about our depth."
The home run was the 631st in A-Rod's career, moving him out of a tie with former Seattle Mariners team mate Ken Griffey Jr. for fifth place on the all-time list. Next target for Rodriguez is Willie Mays at 660.
Yankee captain Derek Jeter also broke his tie with Hall of Famer Dave Winfield with an infield single in the second inning that gave him 18th place on the all-time hits list with 3,111.
The win improved the Yankees to 8-6 and dropped the Red Sox to 4-9.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in Boston; Editing by Frank Pingue)