The Yankees didn’t get what they wanted ahead of their game Friday, when they failed to sign Aaron Judge to a long-term extension before his Opening Day deadline.
On the field, though, they delivered a dramatic victory over the Red Sox to start the season when Josh Donaldson hit a game-winning single to score ghost runner Isiah Kiner-Falefa for a 6-5, 11-inning victory at Yankee Stadium.
Michael King pitched a perfect top of the 11th before Kiner-Falefa came on as the ghost runner. Donaldson, facing right-hander Kutter Crawford, who was pitching in just the second game of his MLB career, singled to center to lead off the bottom of the 11th, driving in Kiner-Falefa and giving the Yankees the victory in his debut with the franchise.
General manager Brian Cashman announced prior to the game that the Yankees and Judge had been unable to come to terms on a long-term extension and the star right fielder would be headed to arbitration. Then, the Yankees fell behind 3-0 in front of a sellout crowd of 46,097 when Gerrit Cole was pummeled by the Red Sox for three runs in the top of the first.
The Yankees’ ace walked Kiké Hernandez on four pitches to lead off the game, then allowed a two-run home run into the second deck in right by Rafael Devers to put the Yankees in an early hole. It was Devers’ fourth homer off Cole in 20 career at-bats.
Xander Bogaerts followed with a laser off the wall in the left for a long single. He scored on a JD Martinez double to right, causing the Stadium crowd to erupt in boos as the Yankees fell behind, 3-0.
Cole finally got the first out of the game on a comebacker from Alex Verdugo, eliciting a mock cheer. He finished the inning and wound up allowing those three runs over a four-inning outing before being removed after 68 pitches.
It was another poor outing for Cole against the Red Sox. He was also hit hard last year in the wild-card game in Boston, when he didn’t record an out in the third inning before getting taken out in the Yankees’ season-ending defeat.
The Yankees got back in the game in the bottom of the first, when Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer to right-center off Nathan Eovaldi after Judge had singled with one out.
Giancarlo Stanton tied the score at 3-3 with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the fourth.
Chad Green replaced Cole and tossed a scoreless fifth before the Yankees nearly took the lead in the bottom of the inning.
Donaldson led off with a single and moved to second when Rizzo was drilled on the wrist by a 97 mph fastball from Eovaldi. Stanton struck out, however, and DJ LeMahieu’s liner to left was caught by a diving Verdugo.
Clay Holmes entered to begin the sixth and immediately allowed a double down the line to Bogaerts.
Bogaerts moved to third on a grounder to second by Martinez and scored on a Verdugo single through the drawn-in infield to give the Red Sox the lead again.
Holmes was yanked after a two-out single by Bobby Dalbec. Miguel Castro entered and walked Jackie Bradley Jr. before striking out Christian Vazquez to end the inning.
LeMahieu tied it in the bottom of the eighth with a homer to right-center off former Yankees prospect Garrett Whitlock.
Aroldis Chapman retired the side in order in the top of the ninth.
Bogaerts hit an RBI single put the Red Sox up by a run in the top of the 10th before Gleyber Torres’ pinch-hit sacrifice fly tied the score.