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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Red Sox newcomers arrive in time for win over Yankees

BOSTON – If Yoenis Cespedes didn’t know much about the Boston Red Sox while growing up in Cuba, he found the perfect person to teach him all about the history of the franchise and its ballpark.

The ex-Oakland outfielder, who was traded to Boston for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes on Thursday, spoke with fellow Cuban and former Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant in the Fenway Park clubhouse before Friday night’s game against the New York Yankees. ...

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BOSTON – If Yoenis Cespedes didn’t know much about the Boston Red Sox while growing up in Cuba, he found the perfect person to teach him all about the history of the franchise and its ballpark.

The ex-Oakland outfielder, who was traded to Boston for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes on Thursday, spoke with fellow Cuban and former Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant in the Fenway Park clubhouse before Friday night’s game against the New York Yankees.

“I’m very happy to share part of my career with the Red Sox, with such a legendary team,” Cespedes said through an interpreter in a pregame meeting with reporters. “The legend of Fenway Park precedes itself.”

Mired in last place in the AL East after losing eight of their previous nine games, the 2013 World Series champions gave up on their title defense by trading away four-fifths of the starting rotation they opened the season with. Having sent Jake Peavy to San Francisco last week, the Red Sox traded Lester and Gomes to the A’s, righty John Lackey to the Cardinals for outfielder Allen Craig and Felix Doubront to the Cubs for a player to be named.

Also shipped out were shortstop Stephen Drew, and lefty reliever Andrew Miller. But Red Sox manager John Farrell said all the moves should not signal a surrender – even though Friday night’s lineup against their archrivals featured four rookies plus starting pitcher Anthony Ranaudo, who was making his major league debut.

“We’re not in a developmental phase. This is not a prospect-laden situation,” Farrell said, noting that the Red Sox obtained major leaguers in return. “Our intent every night is to go out and win.”

Craig was in the lineup against the Yankees, lacing a double down the left-field line in Boston’s two-run third inning in his first appearance at Fenway Park since the Red Sox beat the Cardinals in the World Series. Craig was part of one of the most memorable endings in Series history when he was awarded the winning run without touching home plate after he was tripped by Boston third baseman Will Middlebrooks in Game 3.

Middlebrooks and Craig now have lockers next to each other in the Red Sox clubhouse.

And they weren’t the only players introducing themselves.

The Red Sox recalled Ranaudo, outfielder Mookie Betts, left-hander Tommy Layne and right-hander Alex Wilson from Triple-A Pawtucket. Middlebrooks was activated from the 15-day disabled list.

Saying goodbye were outfielder Shane Victorino, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain, and first baseman-outfielder Mike Carp, who had complained about his diminishing role, was designated for assignment.

Drew made his Yankees debut at Fenway, receiving a warm ovation after a highlight video. His manager, Joe Girardi, said he thought all the activity on Thursday was good for baseball because it kept fans talking about the sport.

And the fact that two top pitchers had left the division?

“Nothing wrong with that,” Girardi said.

Rookie Ranaudo goes six
innings to get win

Anthony Ranaudo pitched six solid innings in his major league debut and Dustin Pedroia drove in two runs as the Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory.

Ranaudo (1-0) allowed two runs and four hits, including a solo homer Carlos Beltran hit into the New York bullpen in the fourth. Ranaudo walked four and struck out two, and he scattered the few mistakes he made well enough for Boston to hang on after taking a 2-0 lead in the third.

Derek Jeter led off the eighth with a shot over the Green Monster to pull the Yankees within 4-3, but they failed to drive Mark Teixeira for the tying run after his ground-rule double with one out.

Koji Uehara pitched the ninth for his 22nd save.

The Red Sox, mired deep in last place in the AL East after losing eight of nine, have won three straight over the Yankees.

Boston got to Chris Capuano (1-2) in the third when Brock Holt hit a one-out triple down the right-field line, then scored when Pedroia followed with a drive over Jacoby Ellsbury’s head in center. The ball bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double and Pedroia scored easily from second on a single by David Ortiz.

After Beltran’s 13th homer of the season cut the lead to 2-1, the Red Sox got an RBI single from David Ross in the fourth and added an insurance run in the seventh when Pedroia singled home Mookie Betts, who led off with a single and advanced on a sacrifice.

Trainer’s room

Will Middlebrooks returned for Boston after missing 67 games with a broken finger and started at third base. Ross came up limping when he grounded out to end the sixth. He left the game and was replaced by Christian Vazquez.