NEW YORK – Clay Buchholz chilled the Yankees’ bats, speedy Jackie Bradley Jr. got his first major league hit and the Boston Red Sox beat New York 7-4 on a cold Wednesday night to open a season with consecutive wins for the first time since 1999.
Pitcher Hiroki Kuroda became the latest Yankees player to get hurt, leaving in the second inning with a 2-0 deficit, four batters after Shane Victorino’s line drive bruised the middle finger of his pitching hand.
While the Red Sox under new manager John Farrell are off to their best start since going 5-0 in 1999, New York has been outscored 15-6 and outhit 26-15. The Yankees have failed to hold a lead at any point in their opening two games for the first time since 1998.
Boston burst ahead 6-0 with a four-run third against Cody Eppley, and the Yankees never challenged.
Buchholz (1-0) allowed one run and six hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked two. Joel Hanrahan pitched the ninth for his first save with Boston.
Jacoby Ellsbury drove in two runs for the Red Sox, and Bradley singled up the middle in the third for a hit he’ll long remember.
New York said Kuroda (0-1) was being sent for X-rays and other tests. The Yankees already have five All-Stars on the disabled list: shortstop Derek Jeter, third baseman Alex Rodriguez, first baseman Mark Teixeira, outfielder Curtis Granderson and pitcher Phil Hughes.
Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells hit their first home runs for the Yankees, a solo drive by Hafner in the fourth and a three-run drive by Wells in the eighth against Alfredo Aceves.
Before the first pitch, the Yankee Stadium sound system played Foreigner’s “Hot Blooded.” But it was 43 degrees at gametime, and Boston shortstop Jose Iglesias and first baseman Mike Napoli wore ski masks.
The crowd of 40,216 was the smallest for a Red Sox-Yankees game in the Bronx since 27,631 were across the street at the old ballpark on May 27, 1999, according to STATS. And for the second straight game, the stadium was nearly empty in the late innings.
Kuroda, New York’s most dependable starting pitcher last year at 16-11, allowed three singles in the first and fell behind on Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s two-out hit.
Victorino’s drive hit Kuroda’s right hand leading off the second inning. Kuroda was checked by the Yankees and stayed in the game, then hit Bradley with a pitch in the lower leg.
One out later, Kuroda walked Ellsbury on four pitches and forced in a run by hitting Daniel Nava in the lower leg. Yankees Manager Joe Girardi went to the mound along with pitching coach Larry Rothschild, trainer Steve Donohue and an interpreter — allowed for the first time under a rules change this year.
Kuroda left after 11/3 innings and was replaced in the game by Eppley.
Run-scoring singles by Victorino and Bradley made it 4-0 in the third, and Iglesias’ double chased Eppley. Ellsbury greeted Adam Warren with a two-run single.
Hafner, wearing short sleeves, homered into the Yankees’ bullpen in right-center. That was the first home run of the year for New York, which hit a team-record 245 last season.
Dustin Pedroia added an RBI grounder in the sixth.
NOTES: The cover of The New Yorker dated April 8 features an illustration of the Yankees by Mark Ulriksen with Andy Pettitte on crutches, Rodriguez in a wheelchair, Mariano Rivera and Jeter using walkers, Ichiro Suzuki with a cane and Teixeira with an arm in a sling. At 31 years, 138 days, the Yankees had the oldest average age on opening day, according to STATS. Tampa Bay was second at 30-290. … Ben Francisco, Hafner, Shawn Kelley, Lyle Overbay, Wells and Kevin Youkilis made their Yankee debuts Monday, the most in a game for the franchise since the transformed Baltimore Orioles began play as the New York Highlanders on April 22, 1903. … When Yankees catcher Chris Stewart tumbled over the rail into the Boston dugout after grabbing Victorino’s foul pop in the seventh, Pedroia rushed over to keep him from falling.