BOSTON (AP) — Joe Kelly walked to the back of the pitcher’s mound to give the Fenway crowd a chance to cheer for Derek Jeter.

Then he wanted to get him out.

Kelley struck Jeter out in his first at-bat Saturday, then gave up an infield chopper to the retiring New York Yankees captain in the third inning. By that time, the Red Sox had a nine-run lead and they coasted to a 10-4 victory over their AL East rivals.

“I tried to … let him have his time. He deserves it,” said Kelly (4-2), who allowed four runs and nine hits in 7 1-3 innings. “It’s awesome to see him get a standing O and people cheering for him. After that, it’s baseball — you’ve got to get back on the mound and throw strikes and try to beat the other team.”

Jeter went 1 for 2 as the designated hitter before he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the fifth inning — according to plan, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. Jeter is expected to be in the lineup as designated hitter again on Sunday for the last game of his major league career.

“I’ll text him in the morning and see what he wants to do,” Girardi said.

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 DH, 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.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said he didn’t talk to the team about staying focused amid all the Jeter hoopla.

“I think if you looked at the way Joe Kelly approached things, he’s not caught up in the moment. I don’t think any of our guys are,” Farrell said. “We recognize a great career that’s coming to a close. But our guys are professional, and they’re going out to compete and win.”

Jeter hit a high bouncer over Kelly’s head in the third. 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.

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.

BIG INNING: The Red Sox sent 14 batters to the plate in the second inning. Tanaka retired two of his first three batters in the second around Rusney Castillo’s walk and stolen 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.

TRAINERS ROOM: 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.

UP NEXT: Michael Pineda (4-5) pitches for the Yankees 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.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.