Ellsbury triples in first game as Yankees top Red Sox

New York Yankees' Jacoby Ellsbury, right, high fives on-deck batter Mark Teixeira.(Chris O'Meara/AP)

TAMPA, Fla. — Jacoby Ellsbury tripled in his spring training debut, Alex Rodriguez had two hits and the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 6-4 on Saturday.

Ellsbury tripled to right-centre on his final at-bat after being retired earlier on an infield liner and grounder. The centre fielder didn’t make his first appearance until the Yankees’ fourth game to allow for a few extra days of onfield drills.

"All the time you put in, not just the last couple days but the off-season and everything, it’s nice to see results out of the gate," Ellsbury said.

Rodriguez had a pair of singles and walked. In two games, he is 3 for 4 — including a homer Thursday against Philadelphia on the second pitch he saw — with two walks.

Top Yankees' prospects Jorge Mateo and Aaron Judge both homered.

"I think you see the young players and how close they are getting," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "The talent level, it's there."

Brennan Boesch and Ryan Lamarre hit home runs for the Red Sox, who didn't bring David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval on the two-hour trip from Boston's spring training facility in Fort Myers.

"We're a more balanced team," Boston manager John Farrell said. "Our pitching staff is deeper. I think our bench is very complimentary to the projected starting lineup. So when you look at that, there's an evenness across our roster that might not have been there the last couple years."


Red Sox: Knuckleballer Steven Wright allowed two runs and five hits in three innings.

Yankees: Tyler Cloyd gave up one run and two hits in one inning. The non-roster right-hander went 11-11 with a 5.19 ERA in 28 starts last year with Samsung of the Korean Baseball Organization.


Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (right knee) continues throwing on level ground but is not ready to throw off a mound. ... OF Rusney Castillo didn't make the trip so he could complete his team physical.

Yankees: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (mild groin tightness) threw 22 of 31 pitches for strikes during a two-inning simulated game and is scheduled to make his first start Thursday. ... Reliever Chasen Shreve, hit in the upper back by a ball during batting practice earlier this week, struck out one during a perfect second.


Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman is scheduled for a simulated game Sunday, which is one of the final steps before making his first game appearance.

Acquired from Cincinnati, Chapman joins the backend of a bullpen that also features Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances.

"A powerful bullpen got deeper," Farrell said. "You see a guy averaging nearly two strikeouts an inning, it's almost unheard of."

Miller and Betances will pitch for the first time Monday against Houston.


Red Sox: RHP Clay Buchholz will face Baltimore RHP Mike Wright on Sunday.

Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka, coming back after having a procedure in October to remove a bone spur on his throwing elbow, will make his first start Sunday against Philadelphia. RHP Charlie Morton will be starting for the Phillies.