The Yankees didn’t get what they wanted heading into their Friday game, when they failed to sign Aaron Judge to a long-term extension by his opening day deadline.
On the field, however, they picked up a dramatic victory over the Red Sox to start the season when Josh Donaldson hit a game-winning single to tag ghost runner Isiah Kiner-Falefa for a 6-5, 11-inning victory at Yankee Stadium. .
Michael King threw a perfect top of the 11th before Kiner-Falefa became the ghost runner. Donaldson, facing right-hander Kutter Crawford, who was playing only the second game of his MLB career, picked center to lead in the bottom of the 11th, driving Kiner-Falefa and giving the Yankees the win on his debut with the LA franchise.
General manager Brian Cashman announced before the game that the Yankees and the judge were unable to agree on a long-term extension and that the right fielder would be directed to arbitration. Then the Yankees trailed 3-0 to a sold-out crowd of 46,097 when Gerrit Cole was beaten by the Red Sox for three runs top of the first.
The Yankees ace walked Kiké Hernandez on four pitches to start the game, then allowed a two-run home run into the second deck from right by Rafael Devers to put the Yankees in an early holeshot. It was Devers’ fourth homer against Cole in 20 career at-bats.
Xander Bogaerts followed with a laser on the left wall for a long single. He scored on a double from JD Martinez on the right, causing an explosion of boos from the stadium crowd as the Yankees fell behind, 3-0.
Cole eventually earned the first out of the game on a returning Alex Verdugo, prompting a fake cheer. He finished the inning and allowed those three runs on a four-inning outing before being retired after 68 pitches.
It was another bad outing for Cole against the Red Sox. He was also hit hard last year in the Wild Cards game in Boston, when he didn’t register a third-inning out before being knocked out in the Yankees’ season-ending loss.
The Yankees came back into the game late in the first, when Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer to right-center Nathan Eovaldi after Judge chose with one out.
Giancarlo Stanton tied the score at 3-3 with a first homer late in the fourth.
Chad Green replaced Cole and threw a scoreless fifth before the Yankees nearly took the lead in the bottom of the inning.
Donaldson started with a single and moved to second when Rizzo was punched in the wrist by a 97mph fastball from Eovaldi. Stanton struck, however, and DJ LeMahieu’s liner on the left was caught by a diving Verdugo.
Clay Holmes came in to start the sixth and immediately gave Bogaerts a brace.
Bogaerts moved to third on a grounder at second by Martinez and scored on a Verdugo single across the infield shot to restore the Red Sox lead.
Holmes was ripped off after a two-way single by Bobby Dalbec. Miguel Castro came in and walked Jackie Bradley Jr. before pulling out Christian Vazquez to end the inning.
LeMahieu tied the game in the bottom of the eighth with a homer to right center from former Yankees prospect Garrett Whitlock.
Aroldis Chapman retired the team in order in the top of the ninth.
Bogaerts hit an RBI single and put the Red Sox up one run in the top of the 10th before Gleyber Torres’ sacrificial fly tied the score.