Red Sox rally past Yankees
By Howard Ulman
BOSTON — The Red Sox stressed run prevention as they built their team for this season. Then it began and they won with run production.
Kevin Youkilis had three extra-base hits, Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run homer and three new starters had big nights with the bat as Boston rallied to beat the defending champion New York Yankees, 9-7, in the major league opener last night.
"We all have faith in ourselves," said Youkilis, who scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball in the seventh inning. "It's good to get a win opening night. It's good for the city. It's good for the fans. It's good for the players. It's good for everyone. ... But it's still just one game."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi had little doubt the Red Sox could hit.
"We expected them to score runs," he said. "We know they have a very good offensive team. You look at the guys they brought in."
The signings of outfielder Mike Cameron, third baseman Adrian Beltre and shortstop Marco Scutaro were part of what general manager Theo Epstein called the "run prevention" approach after a poor defensive season by the club.
The trio went 5 for 9 with two runs scored and three RBIs.
"There's no doubt they're not just defensive (players) like everyone's saying," Youkilis said. "These guys can play."
Boston erased a 5-1 deficit against CC Sabathia in the first night opener in the history of 98-year-old Fenway Park.
"It fell definitely on my shoulders. I'm very disappointed," Sabathia said. "I had a pretty good lead and I was trying to throw the ball over the plate a little too much."
Jorge Posada and Curtis Granderson hit back-to-back homers off Josh Beckett to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the second. It was 7-5 in the bottom of the seventh when Scutaro singled and Pedroia tied it with an opening-day homer for the second straight season.
Youkilis then doubled with two outs, went to third on Damaso Marte's wild pitch and scored when the left-hander's high pitch bounced off Posada's glove.
"You don't really want to give them runs," Girardi said. "That's the last thing you want to do to a club like this."
Pedroia added an RBI single in the eighth.
Hideki Okajima pitched a scoreless inning to get the win and Jonathan Papelbon worked the ninth for the save.