Rick Porcello

Brian Fluharty/USA Today Sports

Red Sox 6, Yankees 3: Dominant Rick Porcello making 2017 a very distant memory

John Tomase
April 12, 2018 - 10:54 pm

A night after a wild melee marked the official return of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, Rick Porcello raised his arms and demanded silence.

The right-hander was masterful in a 6-3 victory, taking a no-hitter into the seventh and improving to 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA. In the process, he continued establishing that his struggles of 2017 are a thing of the past, which can only mean good things for a Red Sox team built around an exceptional starting rotation.

Porcello limited New York to two hits, none until Aaron Judge led off the seventh with a double to deep center. An infield hit by Giancarlo Stanton gave Porcello his only challenge of the night, and he responded by striking out Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks to escape the threat. He pumped his fist while leaving the mound, his work done.

The offense, meanwhile, lost Hanley Ramirez, who was hit by a pitch in his first at-bat and did not return. One night after Joe Kelly's fastball to Tyler Austin's shoulder blade had kicked off a brawl, both teams were on high alert, but no one viewed Sonny Gray's pitch as intentional; Ramirez was trying to swing at it when it hit him.

He left the game and replacement Mitch Moreland responded by going 2-for-3 and making a handful of excellent defensive plays. The Red Sox scored all the runs they'd need with a four-run second highlighted by the first four batters reaching base. Sandy Leon (single), Mookie Betts (sacrifice fly), Andrew Benintendi (fielder's choice), and Moreland (single) each drove in runs.

From there, the game belonged to Porcello. Painting corners and featuring an excellent slider that he threw more than 30 times, the right-hander won his third straight start to open the season. He also suggested that his even-odd dichotomy will continue. In 2014, he broke out with 15 wins and a 3.43 ERA. A year later, he lost 15 games with an ERA near five. In 2016, he won the Cy Young Award. Last year he nearly lost 20 games and led the American League in home runs allowed.

Now he's rolling again, and so are the 10-2 Red Sox.

The Red Sox were forced to burn closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth after reliever Marcus Walden walked two and allowed three runs in what was supposed to be mop-up duty protecting a 6-0 lead.

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