The Associated PressBOSTON (AP) — A monster night by Mookie Betts kept the Red Sox rolling.
Betts hit a grand slam and scored five times, leading Chris Sale and Boston over the New York Yankees 14-1 Tuesday for its ninth straight victory. The Red Sox improved to 9-1 for the first time in franchise history.
Betts went 4-for-4 and drove in four runs. His third career slam cleared the Green Monster in left field and capped a nine-run burst in the sixth inning that turned the first matchup of the season between longtime rivals into a rout.
“I just got some good pitches to hit and put some good swings on it today,” Betts said. “I think just all of us putting together good at-bats kind wears guys down.”
Manager Alex Cora has been pushing his new team to be aggressive in the strike zone. He sat down with Betts this spring and showed the All-Star outfielder how effective he can be when he does.
“A slugger leading off,” Cora said. “He’s going to make contact. But now he understands that he can do damage in the strike zone.”
Betts joined Ken Griffey Jr. (1996) as the only players to have four hits, five runs and four RBIs in a game against the Yankees.
Sale (1-0) allowed one run in six innings, scattering eight hits. He struck out eight without a walk. He said the run support helped him settle in.
“The biggest key is it just allows you to go out there and throw strikes,” Sale said. “You’re not too worried about making mistakes.”
Boston’s starting pitchers improved to 6-0 on a night in which the temperature dipped below freezing. Hanley Ramirez went 2-for-2 with three RBIs. Andrew Benintendi added a two-run triple, along with a double.
Luis Severino (2-1) allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings.
Aaron Judge had three hits for the Yankees, including a drive off Sale over the center-field wall in the fifth for his third home run of the season.
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Boston’s J.D. Martinez went 1-for-5, but had a two-run double in the sixth.
Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-4. He struck out his first two times up against Sale, and has now fanned 22 times in 46 at-bats.