NEW YORK — Clay Buchholz breezed through seven innings as the Boston Red Sox improved to 2-0 for the first time since 1999 with a 7-4 victory over the New York Yankees on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
After posting a 0.79 earned run average in spring training, Buchholz continued pitching well by allowing only a solo home run to Travis Hafner in the fourth inning among six hits. He worked efficiently, needing just 94 pitches to get through a Yankees lineup missing injured hitters Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson.
The rest of the Yankees, including former Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, were little match for Buchholz, who entered with a 7.19 ERA in nine previous appearances against New York. He struck out four, issued two walks and encountered trouble in just one inning.
Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda lasted just 1 1/3 innings after suffering a contusion in his right middle finger trying to knock down a line drive by Shane Victorino. Kuroda threw 41 pitches and his finger required further testing.
Boston’s lineup produced 13 hits and has 26 while outscoring the Yankees by a 15-3 margin in the first two games.
Every starter except Will Middlebrooks had a hit, while Jacoby Ellsbury drove in two runs. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Dustin Pedroia, Victorino, rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. and Daniel Nava also had run-scoring hits as the Red Sox opened a season with two straight wins against the Yankees for the first time since 1935.
New York made the score respectable when Vernon Wells hit a two-out three-run home run in the eighth off reliever Alfredo Aceves.
Joel Hanrahan worked the ninth for his first save with Boston.
The Red Sox had three singles in the first inning and opened a 1-0 lead on a two-out base hit by Saltalamacchia. The Yankees wasted first and third with two out in the bottom half when Hafner flied out to right field.
Kuroda was hurt when hit in the right hand by Victorino’s single that opened the seventh inning. He remained in the game but hit Bradley with a pitch, then walked Ellsbury on four pitches. Kuroda then hit Nava in the foot with a fastball, and the starter was removed and replaced by Cody Eppley, who retired Pedroia on an inning-ending double play.
The Red Sox added two more runs with two outs in the third on consecutive singles by Victorino and Bradley. Boston extended its lead to 6-0 on a two-run single by Ellsbury.
Buchholz lost his shutout bid with two outs in the fourth when Hafner hit his first home run as a Yankee.
NOTES: A day after announcing that he was dropping Scott Boras as his agent and going to the Roc Nation sports agency group headed by rapper Jay-Z and a division of Creative Artists agency, Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano said little about the decision in a brief interview with reporters. He said it was a family decision and this would be the last time he would discuss the decision and his contract status during the season. “Right now, my focus is on playing baseball,” he said. “There’s no contract or anything like that on my mind. The season has started, and I don’t want to be a distraction for my teammates. All I want to do is focus on playing right now. … Boston designated hitter David Ortiz will head to Florida on Thursday to continue his rehab from an injured right Achilles tendon. Ortiz is expected to do more running before heading to Triple-A Pawtucket for a rehab appearance that will likely consist of 25 to 30 at-bats. “We’re going to gauge that on him and when he’s ready to take that next progressive step,” manager John Farrell said. “But I think it’s most important to note that he continues to move along the prescribed plan that’s in place. I know with each passing day he feels better about himself with the intensity ramping up with his running. So, we’ll get a better read when he returns to Florida.” … Boston shortstop Stephen Drew continued his recovery from a concussion by going 4-for-4 in a simulated game. Farrell said that Drew is feeling better and will start a rehab assignment Thursday with Double-A Portland. If that goes well, Drew could return for the home opener on Monday.
Correction: The original headline was incorrect. The Red Sox have won the first two games in the series with the Yankees and will play the final game of the series Thursday.