Every fact from Yankees-Red Sox Game 1

June 30th, 2019

What looked like a one-sided contest turned out to be a Jolly Good (The) Show across the Pond, with the Yankees holding off the Red Sox, 17-13, on Saturday in the London Series opener.

It was the second-highest scoring game between the two rivals (30 runs), with only a 31-run outburst between the two teams on Aug. 21, 2009, topping the London Stadium affair.

The slugfest in Game 1 of the inaugural London Series started right off the bat. Saturday's game marked the first time that both teams scored at least six runs in the first inning of a game since the Blue Jays took a 7-6 lead over the A's into the second inning on June 23, 1989, at Oakland Coliseum. It's just the third game overall since earned runs became official in 1912 in which both starters gave up six runs and didn't finish the opening frame, following that game in Oakland and a matchup between the Red Sox and St. Louis Browns on Aug. 4, 1948.

FIRST HOMER: Home runs, and the record pace at which MLB clubs are slugging them, is one of the major storylines of this season, and London Stadium’s cozy dimensions (385 feet to straightaway center field) some enticing fences. Aaron Hicks was the first to take advantage when he launched Red Sox starter Rick Porcello’s pitch into the right-center field seats to give the Yankees a 6-0 lead in the first. That knocked Porcello out of the game after just 1/3 of an inning.

Fans in Tokyo had to wait until the seventh to see Cubs third baseman Shane Andrews hit a two-run dinger off Dennis Cook in March 2000, while Dodgers left fielder Scott Van Slyke’s fourth-inning blast off Miley marked the only tater of Game 1 of the 2014 Australia series.

FIRST PITCH: Porcello tossed the first MLB pitch on European soil to Yankees leadoff hitter DJ LeMahieu for a strike. Porcello joins Mike Hampton and Wade Miley, who threw the first regular season pitches on Asian and Australian soil, respectively.

FIRST HIT: LeMahieu notched the game’s first base hit when he singled the other way off Porcello on the second pitch of the game. He now resides alongside Damon Buford (Japan, off Mets starter Mike Hampton) and Aaron Hill (Australia, off Kershaw) in the first-hits-on-foreign continents fraternity.

Once the Red Sox came to the plate, Mookie Betts led them off with a single against Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka and came around to score Boston's first run on Rafael Devers' RBI double.

FIRST RUN: “Runs” are one term baseball shares with cricket, one of England’s favorite sports, and LeMahieu scored Saturday’s first run when he scampered home from second on Luke Voit’s first-inning RBI double to left field. Buford (first-inning RBI single off Hampton in Japan) and Andre Ethier (second-inning RBI groundout off Miley in Australia) drove home Eric Young and Adrian Gonzalez, respectively, to open scoring in Tokyo and Sydney.

FIRST STRIKEOUT: Red Sox reliever Colten Brewer recorded the first strikeout Saturday, punching out LeMahieu for the final out of the top of the first -- but not until the Yankees had batted around. Brewer joins Jon Lieber (Japan, against Todd Zeile) and Miley (Australia, against Yasiel Puig) in that club.

Facts you should know

• Yankees slugger Edwin Encarnacion and Tanaka both padded their passports. This is the third continent in which Encarnacion has suited up for a game during this year alone, following his participation in the season-opening Japan Series with the Mariners and his regular-season games in the U.S. And this is also Tanaka's third continent as a professional player, of course, following his career in Japan's Pacific League.

• This was Major League Baseball’s first regular-season game played on European soil, and Europe is now the fourth continent to host a big league game following previous matchups in Japan and Australia. Clayton Kershaw led the Dodgers to a 3-1 win over the D-backs in the first Australia game on March 22, 2014, while Sammy Sosa paced the Cubs to a 5-3 win over the Mets in MLB's first game at the Tokyo Dome on March 29, 2000.

• This was the first Major League game in which both teams scored at least 13 runs on 18 hits and three homers since Sept. 14, 1998, when the White Sox outslugged the Tigers, 17-16, in 12 innings. It was just the fifth time the feat had occurred in a nine-inning game, and the second going back to 1970. On June 30, 1996, the Dodgers and Rockies did it in a 16-15 Rockies victory at Coors Field.

• The Yankees scored six runs in the first and fourth innings. The Red Sox scored six runs in the first and seventh innings. According to baseball researcher Doug Kern, it was the first Major League game in which both teams managed multiple innings of at least six runs since May 17, 1979, a wild affair in which the wind blowing out at Wrigley Field helped the Phillies beat the Cubs, 23-22.

• LeMahieu, just voted in as the AL’s starting second baseman in the All-Star Game, went 4-for-6 with five RBIs out of the top spot in the order. He became only the third Yankees leadoff man, since at least 1908, to combine at least four hits and five RBIs, joining Johnny Damon (2006) and Hank Bauer (1952).