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Alex Verdugo leaves in revenge game, Red Sox falls to Yankees 8-1

The Boston Red Sox welcomed the New York Yankees to Fenway Park on Friday night for their first of three games, and after a rain delay, Alex Cora’s team was dealt an 8-1 loss.

Boston’s starter, Brayan Bello, continued to struggle, as he gave up five runs (four earned) on six hits and three walks while striking out five in 4 2/3 innings. That included a two-run home run for former Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo, a run in the fourth that he allowed to score on his own fielding error, which was perhaps the team’s worst fielding error of the year (and that’s saying something). .

Verdugo finished the night 3-for-5 with four total RBIs while reminding Boston why he was the biggest part of the return in the Mookie Betts trade.

Cam Booser (1/3 inning) and Zack Kelly (two innings) did their work in relief with scoreless performances out of the bullpen, but Chase Anderson (two innings) allowed the final three runs.

But even though the Red Sox pitching staff was fine, they couldn’t do anything offensively. They struck out fourteen times while recording only five total hits (no one had more than one). Their only run game came from an Enmanuel Valdez RBI double in the fourth inning.

The loss drops Boston to .500 on the season (35-35) and just 16-20 at Fenway Park. The two teams will meet again for Game 2 on Saturday.