Chris Sale pitched effectively into the sixth inning, J.D. Martinez hit a three-run home run in the first and the Boston Red Sox opened the American League Division Series by holding on for a 5-4 victory over the visiting New York Yankees on Friday night.
Game 2 is Saturday night. David Price starts for Boston and opposes Masahiro Tanaka.
In his second career postseason start, Sale (1-0) allowed two runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings. Limited to about 100 pitches, Sale threw 93 while getting eight strikeouts and issuing a pair of walks.
The ace left-hander was lifted after allowing a single to Giancarlo Stanton in the sixth, and the Red Sox’s bullpen held on for the final 11 outs.
Ryan Brasier came in first and allowed an RBI single to Luke Voit and a run-scoring groundout to Didi Gregorius before throwing a wild pitch to advance Gregorius to second.
After Brasier walked Miguel Andujar, Brandon Workman took over and walked Gary Sanchez on four pitches to load the bases. Workman then struck out Gleyber Torres to end the sixth.
Workman opened the seventh by allowing singles to Andrew McCutchen and Aaron Judge.
Matt Barnes took over and threw a wild pitch to advance the runners before allowing a run on Voit’s groundout.
Rick Porcello recorded the first two outs in the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel allowed a leadoff homer to Judge in the ninth before securing the four-out save.
The Red Sox took a 3-0 lead when Martinez homered over the Green Monster in left field off J.A. Happ (0-1).
Boston opened the third with a double from Betts and a single by Andrew Benintendi to knock out Happ.
Steve Pearce made it 4-0 with a single to left off Chad Green, and Xander Bogaerts followed one out later with a sacrifice fly.
In his fourth career postseason start, Happ allowed five runs on four hits in two-plus innings.
The Yankees lost starting center fielder Aaron Hicks to right hamstring tightness in the fourth. He was lifted after opening the inning with a single.