Hot bats atone for wobbly defense

The Yankees’ defensive woes continued as their ninth error of the season helped fuel a three-run Boston rally in the fourth inning Sunday night.

Masahiro Tanaka also contributed to the ugly frame with two wild pitches following a leadoff walk to David Ortiz that put the Red Sox designated hitter on third base with none out. Hanley Ramirez got him home with a fly ball to right-center.

The Red Sox restarted the rally with a single by Pablo Sandoval and a walk to Mike Napoli. Tanaka got what appeared a potential double-play ball by Shane Victorino on a grounder to the right side, but second baseman Stephen Drew threw wildly past shortstop Didi Gregorius for an error that loaded the bases.

Zander Bogaerts followed with a double down the left field line that scored two runs. Tanaka held firm after that and struck out Ryan Hanigan and Mookie Betts on split-fingered fastballs, still his best pitch in a decidedly lower-velocity arsenal from last year.

The lively bats offset the wobbly glove work as the Yankees continued their assault against Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz, who was mugged for seven runs in the first inning, and knocked him out of the game before the fourth inning was over. They strung together four straight singles and a sacrifice fly to return to their seven-run advantage. At this point with a 10-3 lead, all nine Yankees in the starting lineup had scored at least one run.

It has been by all means a team effort.

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