BOSTON -- The fireworks came early during Boston's 4-1 win over the Yankees at Fenway Park on Friday night.
Rick Porcello opened the game by plunking Yankees leadoff hitter Brett Gardner on an 0-2 pitch. Luis Severino then whizzed a first-pitch fastball by Mookie Betts' head in the bottom of the first inning. Home-plate umpire Adam Hamari issued a warning to both benches, and Red Sox manager Alex Cora came charging out of the dugout.
The animated Cora exchanged words with Hamari and was then ejected. Boston's manager said he called his family to apologize for acting out of character during the events that led up to his ejection.
"I didn't appreciate them throwing at my leadoff guy," Cora said. "I didn't like the fact that they gave a warning. If they felt that way, and that pitch had intent, just throw him out of the game.
"I was upset at the whole situation. If they retaliate because we hit Brett Gardner on an 0-2 pitch, that's their problem. At the end, we won the game. We're going to turn the page tonight, and we're going to come in tomorrow and play the game we know how to play."
It was Cora's second career ejection. He was tossed out of a game as the Astros' bench coach last season, but he was never ejected as a player during his 14-year career.
Red Sox bench coach Ron Roenicke took over for Cora and managed a game for the first time since 2015 with Milwaukee, where he was the Brewers' skipper for five seasons.
"First pitch of the game, I got a warning," Severino said. "It's gonna be surprising, of course. I wasn't trying to hit anybody. ... If I'm going to hit somebody, I'm not gonna miss. And not even Mookie, you know. Mookie's a great guy, and if I'm gonna hit somebody, I'm not gonna do it to the head. I mean, that's not right."
The Red Sox quickly responded when Steve Pearce belted a two-run homer, his fourth blast in the past two days, and Eduardo Nunez added an RBI single in a three-run first inning. Cora said he doesn't think his ejection fired up the team, because the Red Sox play hard every day. Porcello, on the other hand, after tossing an 86-pitch one-hitter, believed it locked the Red Sox in.
I'm trying to throw a good fastball. I'm not trying to hit Brett Gardner and put the first batter of the game on," Porcello said. "It's more important to us to win ballgames than to play a bean-ball war. So I don't know what his problem was besides getting hit with a fastball. If that's it, I understand that part of it. I'd be upset, too. But more than that, I don't know what it was about."
When asked if Cora thinks the heat between Severino and Boston is over, Cora had one last thing to say.
"We scored four runs in less than six innings," he said. "Is that a quality start?"