Newcomers show grit sought by Red Sox
NEW YORK -- For all the Jackie Bradley Jr. hype that has engulfed the Red Sox in recent days, it was easy to forget that several other players had a chance to wear the Boston uniform for the first time in a regular-season game on Monday afternoon.
And there were key contributions from some of them in an 8-2 victory over the Yankees.
One of the biggest plays of the day came from Jonny Gomes in the top of the ninth. Lauded for his clubhouse demeanor, Gomes has perhaps not received enough credit for his all-out play on the field.
It was on full display when Jacoby Ellsbury hit one deep into the second-base hole and Robinson Cano bobbled the ball for an instant. Not only did Jarrod Saltalamacchia score from third, but Gomes never stopped running and hustled home from second.
The respect a play like that generates from teammates was evident by the reaction in Boston's dugout, as just about every player came over to greet Gomes.
"When you break it all down, that's an extra run for the team, and it's an extra RBI for my teammate," said Gomes. "When we have each other's backs like that, when we go the extra 90 feet for our teammates, that kind of stuff becomes contagious, and we're putting pressure on the defense. Granted, it was one run, one RBI, but a lot more goes into that."
In the top of the second, Shane Victorino, who signed a three-year, $39 million deal to come to Boston, laced a clutch two-out single to right to help keep a four-run rally alive.
"Any time you get a 'W,' that's what makes it fun," said Victorino.
Victorino went 2-for-6 on the day with three RBIs. Gomes was 2-for-4 and drew a walk. Mike Napoli, Boston's new starting first baseman, went 0-for-5.
The two key new members of the bullpen did their jobs. Koji Uehara was first out of the bullpen and mowed through the Yankees with a 1-2-3 sixth inning.
Joel Hanrahan had a non-pressurized situation in his first game as closer, blowing through the Yankees in a flawless ninth.
"Well, again, I think the players that were targeted to be brought in here, there's a track record and a history of those individuals to be quality teammates, talented players," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "So the things we have control over will help us respond to challenges, and that's how we have one another's back in this clubhouse. That will be a key for us going forward throughout the entire year."