New York Yankees' Anthony Volpe slams his bat after popping...

New York Yankees' Anthony Volpe slams his bat after popping out to right field in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Saturday, June 15, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) Credit: AP/Robert F. Bukaty

BOSTON — That Carlos Rodon made it through five innings Saturday night constituted a victory of sorts.

He labored through a 30-pitch first and needed 32 more to navigate the second.

Rodon extended the Yankees’ franchise-record streak to 73 games to open the season in which their starter made it through at least four innings.

But that brought the curtain down on the good news portion of the evening’s program for the lefthander. He allowed five earned runs in those first two innings, and on a night when the Yankees’ offense was mostly held down by Red Sox pitching, it led to an 8-4 loss in front of 36,673 at Fenway Park.

“To put the team five runs down was tough, so [that] makes it tough for them to claw their way out of it,” Rodon said. “That’s on me. Wanted to do a lot better than that tonight. It’s definitely frustrating.”

He didn’t actually put the Yankees (50-23) down five — they scored twice in the top of the second — but Rodon allowed two more in the second to make it 5-2.

Rodon, 9-2 with a 2.93 ERA entering the night, including 8-1 with a 2.69 ERA in his previous 10 starts, was not scored on again and allowed seven hits. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter.

“Wish I could have figured it out sooner, got to the spots I wanted to sooner,” he said. “They put some good swings up and I made mistakes and they made me pay.”

Said Aaron Boone: “Just looked like he was in the heart of the plate a lot. I thought his stuff was good, but just looking back those first couple of innings, they put some really good at-bats against him and were making really good contact, whether it was slider, fastball . . . but you go back and look at them, a lot of them right in the center and in the heart of the plate.”

The Yankees had two chances to get back in the game as they loaded the bases with one out in the fifth and eighth, but they managed only one run in the two innings.

In the fifth, Alex Verdugo grounded into a 3-2 forceout at the plate and Giancarlo Stanton struck out to leave the Yankees trailing 5-2.

They entered the eighth down 6-3 before facing Bay Shore’s Greg Weissert, among the centerpieces of the trade last December that sent Verdugo to the Bronx. After striking out Stanton, Weissert walked Anthony Rizzo and Gleyber Torres and Austin Wells blooped a single to center to load the bases. DJ LeMahieu grounded into a 6-4 force (a replay review upheld the bang-bang play at second) to make it 6-4 and Kenley Jansen got Anthony Volpe to fly to right.

“Tough night,” Juan Soto said. “We hit a couple of balls, had some good at-bats, we just couldn’t find the hole. At the end of the day, we did what we’re supposed to do every day: put guys on base, try to put traffic [out there] and try to get that clutch hit. The clutch hit didn’t come up today.”

Soto hit his 18th homer and walked twice, making it 11 straight games in which he reached base multiple times, establishing a personal best.

The Red Sox (36-35) made it 7-4 in the bottom of the eighth on a double by Ceddanne Rafaela and an RBI single by Jarren Duran off Victor Gonzalez. Jose Trevino’s wild throw to third later in the inning as he tried to pick off Duran made it 8-4.

But the game was more or less decided early.

Duran led off the first by driving an 0-and-2 slider over Soto’s head in left for a double, moved to third on former Yankee Rob Refsnyder’s fly to right and scored on Tyler O’Neill’s double off the Green Monster in left. Rafael Devers walked and Rodon, after getting ahead of Connor Wong 0-and-2, allowed an RBI single up the middle on a 95-mph fastball. One out later, Jamie Westbrook dented the Green Monster again with an RBI double that made it 3-0.

After LeMahieu’s two-out, two-run single in the top of the second made it 3-2, Devers rocketed a two-out, two-run double to left-center in the bottom half to make it 5-2.

“Just left some balls over the middle, in the heart of the plate,” Rodon said. “First at-bat of the game [Duran], ahead 0-2, just didn’t finish with the slider. Left it out over and a good swing by him, put it off the wall. I was ahead and I should have buried that slider. A lot of instances like that tonight.”

More Yankees headlines

YOU'VE BEEN SELECTED

FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.