BOSTON (AP) — Derek Jeter went 1 for 2 with an infield single and left for a pinch hitter in the fifth inning. Even he wasn’t going to pull the Yankees out of this hole in the next-to-last game of his 20-year big league career.
Boston chased Masahiro Tanaka during an eight-run second inning that backed Joe Kelly, and the Boston Red Sox beat New York 10-4 on Saturday.
After sitting out Friday night’s series opener following his emotional Yankee Stadium finale the previous night, Jeter returned to his usual second spot in the lineup but as the designated hitter, not the shortstop. He received standing ovations before each at bat as fans chanted “De-rek Je-ter! De-rek Je-ter!”
He struck out on three pitches in the first — a called strike on the outside corner, a foul down the first base line and a swing. In the third he hit a high bouncer over Kelly’s head. Third baseman Garin Cecchini raced across to catch the ball but couldn’t make a throw as Jeter was credited with a single.
When Jeter’s turn came in the fifth, Francisco Cervelli pinch hit and grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Jeter is expected to start as the DH again Sunday after a pre-game ceremony in his honor. It would be his 153rd game at Fenway Park, breaking a tie with Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle for most among Yankees.
With the loss, the Yankees (83-78) ensured they will have declining wins totals in three straight seasons for the first time since 1986-90.
Masahiro Tanaka (13-5) allowed seven runs — five earned — in 1 2-3 innings, the shortest of his 20 starts with the Yankees. Tanaka pitched 5 1-3 innings last Sunday in his return from 2 1-2 months out while rehabilitating a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
Kelly (4-2) allowed four runs in seven innings. He was staked to a 9-0 lead as the Red Sox capitalized on two errors while sending 14 batters to the plate in the second.
Yoenis Cespedes had an RBI single in the first, and Tanaka retired two of his first three batters in the second around Rusney Castillo’s walk and stole base. The next 10 batters reached base.
Christian Vazquez singled in a run and the Red Sox loaded the bases on a walk to Mookie Betts and a single by Xander Bogaerts. Daniel Nava singled in two runs, and Cespedes chased Tanaka after 50 pitches with an RBI single.
The inning appeared over when Allen Craig hit a fly to center off Preston Claiborne. But Eury Perez raced in too far and the ball went off his glove, allowing Nava and Cespedes to score. Cecchini then doubled in one run and Castillo singled home another.
Nava’s RBI single made it 10-0 in the sixth. New York finally scored on Brendan Ryan’s sacrifice fly in the seventh and three more runs in the eighth.
Yankees: CF Jacoby Ellsbury missed his eighth straight game with a right hamstring strain and won’t play Sunday. In his first year with the Yankees after seven seasons with the Red Sox, Ellsbury played in 16 games against Boston, hitting .234 with no homers and nine RBIs.
Red Sox: Boston started six rookies, excluding pitchers, for the fourth straight game. DH David Ortiz missed his fourth consecutive game with a sore left wrist. 1B Mike Napoli missed his ninth in a row with finger, toe and back injuries. Brock Holt, who has played all the outfield and infield positions, has been out with a concussion since Sept. 5.
Michael Pineda (4-5) pitches for the Yankees on Sunday against Clay Buchholz (8-10) in the season finale. It’s the first time since 1993 that neither team reached the postseason. The defending champion Red Sox will come in last in the AL East for the second time in three years.