No relief for Red Sox pen against Yankees

For a while there Tuesday night, it appeared as if Brian McCann might not survive this game. With Dellin Betances bouncing balls in the dirt in the seventh inning, McCann collected black-and-blue marks galore and at one point seemed destined to come out of the game when his right knee buckled.

He shook it all off, however, long enough to provide one of the crushing blows in the Yankees’ 13-3 victory over the Red Sox, a three-run home run off lefthander Craig Breslow that helped turn a close game into a rout during a nine-run seventh that secured the Bombers’ triumph.

Turning back the Red Sox kept the Yankees 5 1/2 games out in front in the American League East as the Blue Jays also won. It also took some of the pressure off rookie Luis Severino, who will make his major-league debut as the Yankees’ starting pitcher Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Rookie Henry Owens was in that spot for the Red Sox Tuesday night. The lefthander actually pitched well but was hung with a losing decision because the Boston bullpen was so ineffective. Owens began the sixth inning with a 2-1 lead but was removed from game after he gave up a single to Chris Young and a double to Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees then began mugging Red Sox relievers, starting with Robbie Ross.

Mark Teixeira, who has been an extra-base hit machine this year, tied the score with his second RBI single of the game. McCann then quickly put the Yanks back in front with a double. Teixeira went to third on the hit and eventually scored on an infield out.

The Red Sox made it a one-run game again in the top of the seventh on a leadoff home run by Pablo Sandoval off Masahiro Tanaka. Considering that Sandoval has given up switch hitting after going 2-for-41(.049) batting right-handed, it was surprising that Yankees manager Joe Girardi did not start the inning with lefthander Justin Wilson, who entered the game after Tanaka gave up his sixth home run in his past four starts. But it is hard to criticize a manager in a 10-run victory.

A throwing error by Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts opened the floodgates for the Yankees in the seventh, first off righthander Jean Machi and then off the left-handed Breslow. Chase Headley and Carlos Beltran followed McCann’s 18th homer with doubles. Jacoby Ellsbury chased Breslow with an RBI single, and Young greeted righthander Alex Ogando by driving his first pitch to left for a three-run home run.

In three innings against four Boston relievers, the Yankees had 10 runs (nine earned), nine hits and four walks. Yankees relievers, meanwhile, gave ample support to Tanaka by limiting the Red Sox to no runs, two hits and one walk in three innings.

Since the start of 2011, the Yankees are 9-1 when facing an opposing starting pitcher making his big-league debut and 2-0 this year. The 10 opposing starters are 1-7 with a 5.40 ERA in 53 1/3 innings during that span.

With Severino starting Wednesday night after Owens started Tuesday night, they are only the second set of Yankees and Red Sox pitchers since 1914 to make their major league debuts in the same series against each other. The others were the Red Sox’ Jim Bagby April 18, 1938 and the Yankees’ Atley Donald April 21, 1938, both games at Fenway Park.

Over the last 51 seasons (since 1965), only two Yankees pitchers have made their big-league debuts as starters against the Red Sox: Randy Keisler Sept. 10, 2000 at Boston and Sam Militello Aug. 9, 1992 at Yankee Stadium.

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