NEW YORK (AP) — Until a week ago, rookie Chase Whitley was doing a wonderful job filling in for the New York Yankees.
Two starts later, he’s beginning to look overmatched.
David Ortiz hit his 450th homer, a colossal three-run drive, and Dustin Pedroia had three RBIs during his second consecutive three-hit game to lead the Boston Red Sox over Whitley and the Yankees 8-5 Sunday night.
“You’re behind in the count, you’re walking people and giving them extra baserunners, it usually leads to damage,” manager Joe Girardi said.
John Lackey (9-5) labored through five innings before four Red Sox relievers pitched shutout ball the rest of the way. Held to two runs in the first two games of the series, Boston took two of three anyway to finish a 4-6 road trip.
“I always believe that when you play against guys in your division, those are series you’ve got to win,” said Carlos Beltran, who homered, doubled and finished with three hits.
Mark Teixeira also went deep for the Yankees, who have dropped six of eight. Whitley (3-2) struggled for the second straight start as six New York pitchers combined for eight walks.
Mostly a reliever in the minors, the 25-year-old right-hander is one of three subs holding down spots in New York’s injury-depleted rotation. He was pitching well until last Monday, when Whitley was rocked for eight runs and 11 hits in 3 1-3 innings of an 8-3 loss in Toronto, ending a three-start winning streak.
This time, he gave up five runs and eight hits in four-plus innings, raising his ERA from 2.56 to 4.70 in a span of two starts.
“I think he had better stuff tonight,” Girardi said. “He made some mistakes in the middle that they didn’t miss. Last time, he really didn’t have his stuff.”.
Pedroia made a diving play at second base to limit a Yankees rally, and center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. Threw out Beltran at the plate to keep the score 8-5 in the sixth.
It was Bradley’s ninth assist of the season.
“Changed the momentum of the game,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Koji Uehara worked a perfect ninth for his 18th save in 19 attempts.
Pedroia bounced a hit-and-run single through the right side in the third, and Ortiz was booed by the sellout crowd of 48,124 as he stepped to the plate. The slugger answered with a long drive well into the raised bleachers in right-center to make it 4-0.
Ortiz tossed his bat aside and took his time on a wide trot around the bases, saluting his family in the stands as he approached third base.
“My son, he always enjoys watching daddy go deep. He was dancing,” Ortiz said.
The home run put Big Papi in sole possession of 37th place on the career list, two behind Adam Dunn and Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski.
Handed a comfortable cushion, Lackey grew frustrated and shook his head as Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter fouled off pitch after pitch in the third. They combined to see 21 pitches in consecutive at-bats, and Lackey screamed, cursed and gestured wildly when Jeter grounded an RBI single to right.
Perhaps worn down a bit, Lackey gave up solo homers to Teixeira and Beltran in the fourth, cutting it to 4-3.
But then Whitley and reliever Shawn Kelley threw 10 straight balls to begin the fifth, combining to walk the bases loaded with none out. Pedroia blooped a two-run single and later stayed in a rundown long enough for Daniel Nava to score from third.
“I’m most frustrated with the pitch to Ortiz, obviously, and the walk to Bradley that set up the fifth. That was unacceptable,” Whitley said.
NOTES: Boston is 27-26 at the current Yankee Stadium, the best winning percentage for any visiting AL team. … New York LHP CC Sabathia (right knee) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Monday at Yankee Stadium, then the team will make a decision about his next rehab outing. Sabathia made his first rehab start Saturday, pitching 2 1-3 innings for Class-A Tampa. … Beltran, relegated to DH duty since missing 21 games with right elbow inflammation related to a bone spur, developed stiffness in his forearm when he started throwing again. He probably won’t try again until next week, Girardi said. … Before this weekend, the last time the Yankees and Red Sox played consecutive games in 2:47 or less was April 2001. … RHP David Phelps (3-4, 4.35 ERA) starts Monday night against Tampa Bay RHP Chris Archer (4-5, 3.29), trying to become the first pitcher since Hall of Famer Walter Johnson (1907-08) to win his first five career games against New York.