New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi looks on from the...

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi looks on from the dugout against the Boston Red Sox in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, April 11, 2015. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

It would be easy to pin the afternoon of slapstick baseball on the 19-inning marathon from the night -- and the morning -- before.

But observers of the Yankees, and likely the players themselves, know better.

They didn't hit or field with much competence during spring training, and it went about the same during the first four games of the regular season.

Nineteen-inning affair or not, there was little reason to expect Game No. 5 to be any different, and it wasn't.

Red Sox righthander Joe Kelly, fresh off the disabled list, allowed one hit in seven innings in an 8-4 victory over the Yankees on Saturday in front of 46,678 at the Stadium. He retired the final 17 batters he faced.

"It's difficult when you're not scoring runs early, playing from behind all the time," Joe Girardi said. "[We] made mistakes defensively, we've made mistakes baserunning-wise, we're not hitting enough to cover those up. It's the reason why we're 1-4."

Don't be fooled by the reasonably close final score, either. Trailing 8-1 in the eighth and with Kelly out of the game, the Yankees -- hitting .193 with a .280 on-base percentage five games in -- got a three-run homer from Chris Young off Alexi Ogando to make things look semi-respectable.

"It's early," said Alex Rodriguez, who started at first base and made a critical error but is one of the few regulars hitting, leading that group with a .278 average. "It's not time to panic."

Overall, the crowd saw a familiar combination: little production at the plate and blooper-reel defense. The Yankees' three errors gave them eight in five games.

Additionally, leftfielder Brett Gardner and rightfielder Garrett Jones both had balls glance off their gloves -- two-out plays that were not scored errors but allowed a combined four runs to score.

"We're better than that, but we've got to clean it up," said Chase Headley, who committed one of the errors.

Team defense was supposed to be a strength of the Yankees this season but has been anything but.

"Some of the errors we've made, it is confusing," Girardi said. "'I still feel defense is going to be strength of ours, but we haven't shown it yet."

Kelly, who had been on the DL with a right biceps strain and faced big-league hitters for the first time since March 16, allowed a leadoff single by Rodriguez in the second. The Yankees pushed across a run that inning on Didi Gregorius' sacrifice fly to tie it at 1-1, but after issuing a one-out walk to John Ryan Murphy, Kelly retired the next 17 batters. Ogando then retired the first two hitters he faced to run the streak to 19.

Adam Warren, who won the fifth starter job during spring training, more than did his job. He allowed two runs (one earned), five hits and two walks in 51/3 innings, throwing a career-high 98 pitches.

Boston scored an unearned run in a 31-pitch second. Gregorius scooped Mike Napoli's routine grounder and threw across the diamond, but the shin-high throw bounced off the heel of A-Rod's glove for an error. Two outs later, Daniel Nava hit an opposite-field drive to leftfield. After charging back, Gardner got spun around and saw the ball hit off the top of his glove for what was scored an RBI double.

Dustin Pedroia doubled home two runs in a three-run seventh and Brock Holt (four hits) had a three-run double off Jones' glove in the eighth. All three runs were unearned because of Headley's two-out throwing error as he pulled Rodriguez off the bag, a play in which the Red Sox won a replay challenge.

"I think we're a much better team than what we've played," Girardi said. "If you were to play at this pace the whole year, you wouldn't have very many wins, and I think we're much better than this."

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