There were chants of "We want Tito" late Friday amid the Red Sox's 6-2 loss, as the Fenway Park crowd grew restless during the opener of a three-game set with the Yankees, who handed the Red Sox a fourth straight defeat. Boston won't have its stopper on the mound on Saturday in a 4:05 p.m. ET game that left-hander Felix Doubront is scheduled to start, but New York doesn't have an ace going, either. Veteran right-hander Freddy Garcia will make his third start.
"I hope it gives our club confidence," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi following Friday's win. "You want to put together streaks. We had the every-other-day thing going against the Twins and the Angels. You want to put things together, where we have some winning streaks."
One game into this year's New York-Boston rivalry extravaganza, Girardi wasn't feeding the rivalry's fire.
"It feels good to win," Girardi said. "We want to win each and every game, regardless of who we're playing. We can't sit around and worry about how difficult our schedule is. We know Boston is good. We have to play well here."
Garcia, in search of his first win this season, fell to the Twins on Monday, letting up five runs in 5 2/3 innings during a 7-3 loss. Doubront, who hasn't recorded a decision yet this season, allowed four runs on nine hits in five-plus innings on Sunday as the Sox defeated the Rays, 6-4.
That was the last time Boston won.
"Well, we're working on getting it together," manager Bobby Valentine said. "It's still a very talented team -- good group of guys. ... I see the guys battling the way they did the last couple of games. I want to make sure that they don't get frustrated that all the balls are going to get [caught] when they hit them hard."
Yankees: Jeter, A-Rod reach milestones
Alex Rodriguez hit his 631st home run on Friday, moving into sole possession of fifth place on the all-time list. Shortstop Derek Jeter, meanwhile, collected his 3,111th career hit, moving past his boyhood idol and Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, into sole possession of 18th place on the all-time list.
"I look up to him," Jeter said. "To have your name next to his in anything -- in my opinion -- is an honor, especially considering I've looked up to him. It means a lot."
"It means I'm getting older, that's for sure -- quickly," Rodriguez said. "Griff was a great friend and a mentor and a great teammate. It's kind of flattering, humbling, when you start being mentioned with some of these great names."
Red Sox: Despite losses, some bats hot
The lefty swingers are bringing it for the Red Sox.
David Ortiz hit his second homer of the season on Friday, and he has hit safely in six of the seven games in Boston's current nine-game homestand. Ortiz's line on the homestand: .464 (13-for-28) with five doubles, two homers and nine RBIs.
Also ripping for the Sox is outfielder Ryan Sweeney, who hit second in the lineup on Friday and drove in a run with an RBI double. Sweeney's hitting a team-high .405 on the season (15-for-37).
Sweeney in the two-hole is not ideal for the Sox's lineup, but it's been necessitated by injuries. Mike Aviles has been batting leadoff.
"Sweeney is a very patient guy, so there's not a problem with Mike having a quick at-bat, with Sweeney coming up, and taking a pitch and not having Dustin [Pedroia] sitting there, thinking he might be the guy to do that," Valentine said of his thinking when filling out the lineup card. "So that kind of grouping works a little, I hope. It wasn't one of the ones I was planning in Spring Training, believe me."
The Yankees hit five home runs on Friday off Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz, marking the second time this season that's happened to a Boston pitcher. Josh Beckett gave up five homers to Detroit on April 7.