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No hard feelings between Aaron Boone and Alex Cora

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone looks up

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone looks up on his way to the dugout during the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox on July 1.   Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

BOSTON — A day later, there was no carryover, as Aaron Boone and Alex Cora predicted.

There was carry-over from a light-hitting Yankees offense, yes, but not from the first-inning dust-up Friday night.

To review: Red Sox starter Rick Porcello hit leadoff man Brett Gardner with an 0-and-2 pitch in the first inning of Friday night’s 4-1 Boston victory. In the bottom of the inning, Luis Severino came in high and tight with a fastball on his first pitch to Red Sox leadoff man Mookie Betts, who had gone 4-for-4 Thursday night. Warnings were issued to both teams, which brought an enraged Cora out of the dugout, and the first-year Red Sox manager  quickly was ejected.

Cora kept the fire going after the game, insisting that Severino threw at Betts on purpose, and took a parting shot at the Yankees’ ace.

“We scored four runs in less than six innings,” Cora said. “Is that a quality start?”

Boone, who is close friends with Cora, said he understood “the emotion of the moment” when the Red Sox manager saw Betts go to the ground.

“But I also hope they realize there’s zero intent from our dugout,” Boone said. “We don’t think Gardy got hit on purpose. There’s no message for us to send through Sevy out there. So I think that was just the emotion of that moment of the game. I think it’s yesterday’s news.”

Speaking before the game, Cora didn’t expect anything to come of it either and said his relationship with Boone is unchanged. 

“We texted about transactions this morning,” Cora said. “He texted me his moves and I texted him mine. I consider Aaron a friend of mine.”

Outright thievery

The Red Sox entered Saturday 13-for-13 in stolen bases against the Yankees this season, including 5-for-5 in the first two games of this series.

Though backup catcher Kyle Higashioka had much more of a history with Saturday’s starter, Chance Adams – both spent most of the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre – Boone went with Austin Romine on Saturday. Numbers for this series aside, Romine still is the better catcher of the two when it comes to throwing arm.

Boone said he did think about starting Higashioka but added,  “The running game that they have is certainly a factor and it’s something we need to do a better job of curtailing.”

The Red Sox did not attempt to steal a base Saturday.

Gray matter

Sonny Gray, demoted from the rotation after Wednesday’s outing against the Orioles, was available out of the bullpen Saturday.

“We’ve kind of talked to him about being prepared for a lot of different roles and really driving home the importance of the roles,” Boone said. “Because there are going to be games where he gets an opportunity to maybe keep the game close, give us some length, protect different guys in the pen, and there may be nights where he comes on for an inning. We’re trying to prepare him for as many roles [as possible].”

Welcome back

The Yankees acquired righthander George Kontos from the Indians for cash considerations and assigned him to Triple-A.  Kontos, 33, was selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2006 draft and made his big-league debut with them in 2011. He was dealt to the Giants at the end of spring training in 2012 in exchange for catcher Chris Stewart.

Extra bases

Before the game, the Yankees optioned Tommy Kahnle, who pitched a scoreless inning Friday night, to Triple-A. They acquired infielder Giovanny Urshela from the Blue Jays for cash considerations and assigned him to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

With Bob Herzog

New York Sports