LONDON -- Aaron Judge said that he felt chills as he stood along the third-base line, having been introduced to a crowd of 59,659 fans at London Stadium. Olympic-style flames danced in center field, but the fireworks would be on display over the next hour in a first inning that no player on either side is likely to forget.
As the Red Sox and Yankees brought their old rivalry to new ground in London, the festivities opened with a scoring barrage of epic proportions, setting the tone for a wild evening in which the Bombers blasted their way to a 17-13 victory over Boston on Saturday.
"I had a great pitch to hit and I was able to put it out of the ballpark," Hicks said. "It feels pretty good to have the first home run here. That’s something they can never take from me, so I’m excited."
Twelve runs scored, 20 men batted and 92 pitches were thrown in a frame that took 58 minutes to play. It marked the first time in the history of the storied Red Sox-Yankees rivalry that both teams scored six runs in the first inning of a game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"It was weird, you could say that," Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. "They put up six. We put up six. I don’t think that was something you see very often. ... I think both pitchers maybe didn’t feel comfortable. From a hitter's point of view, we were seeing the ball really well."
Porcello and Tanaka both said that they did not believe field conditions were a contributing factor.
"Not from my point of view," Porcello said. "I have no excuse other than I feel I failed to execute those pitches. That’s all it comes down to."
"As far as my pitching goes, I have no excuse for that," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "You just have to kind of tip your cap to the other team. I just wasn't efficient and I wasn't able to do my job out there."
It was the first time since June 23, 1989, that two MLB teams both scored six runs or more in the first inning. In that game, the Blue Jays scored seven in the top of the first and the Athletics got six in the bottom of the inning. Toronto won, 10-8.
Porcello had two men on with one out when Luke Voit hit a popup that tested the large patch of foul territory down the first-base line at London Stadium. Chavis got there in time, but whiffed on the catch. That helped set the wheels in motion for New York’s outburst.
Voit took advantage of his second opportunity and roped an RBI double down the line in left. Netherlands-born shortstop Didi Gregorius followed with a two-run double and Edwin Encarnacion laced an RBI double to set the table for Hicks, who parked a projected 386-foot blast, per Statcast, into the Boston bullpen in right.
"I think most fans want to see runs scored in games, so we showed off for them tonight," Voit said.
The rookie scalded his homer to center with an exit velocity of 110 mph and a projected distance of 425 feet, per Statcast.
"I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many runs in the first inning between two teams," Chavis said. "I think both teams played pretty well. I think it’s pretty impressive how we didn’t really get down on ourselves, even after the first inning and then later on, we didn’t give up the game. I think that’s pretty impressive."
That unforgettable first inning was just an appetizer for the scoring to come. With 30 runs scored, it marked the second-highest run total between Boston and New York, with only a 31-run outburst on Aug. 21, 2009 -- a 20-11 Yankees win -- topping what the clubs experienced on Saturday.
"Scoring 30 runs, that's something I've never been a part of, especially that first inning," Judge said. "With how crazy our first half [of the inning] was, then for them to come out and do the same thing, it's kind of like, 'All right, let's get this game rolling.' I enjoyed it all, the ups and the downs. It was pretty fun."