It's an age old question: Which do you want first? The good news, or the bad?
Me, I'm partial to the bad news. Get it out of the way and finish on a high note. So that's what we'll do.
David Price had another bad start, and it might be just about time to start getting worried. The Yankees, perhaps having paid attention to Price's huge strikeout night against the Braves, were not interested in seeing strike three. They were attacking early, and Price couldn't seem to adjust around it.
Far from the 14 Ks of last week, Price managed just three this time. He managed to survive a leadoff double in the first thanks to Travis Shaw throwing out Jacoby Ellsbury when he tried to score from third on a ground ball, but there was no escaping the third. It was backup shortstop Robert Torreyes who got the attack started. And while Joe Girardi elected to play small ball with a sacrifice bunt, he wouldn't need it. Jacoby Ellsbury jumped on Price's first-pitch fastball for an RBI double, and after Brett Gardner grounded out on the first offering he saw, Alex Rodriguez put a charge into his, taking David Price deep to give the Yankees three runs.
If Price had managed to avoid damage the rest of his night, that rough start would be fine. But he faced control problems in the fifth against the same portion of the lineup, grazing Jacoby Ellsbury, walking Brett Gardner, and almost allowing Alex Rodriguez to take him deep again. Instead, Rodriguez had to settle for a big double, scoring two more. He would score himself on a Mark Teixeira single, making it six runs for the Yankees off of Price, who did manage to finish seven, but with so much damage, that's not the greatest of accomplishments. David Price just has to be better than he has been to start this year, and for all that the flashes of brilliance are great, there's just been way too much bad.
So onto the good news: the Red Sox scored one run more than the Yankees, and swept them straight out of Fenway Park to take the lead in the AL East!
The Red Sox are just hitting everything right now, and once again, they got started in the first inning against Nathan Eovaldi. Back-to-back singles put runners on the corners for Xander Bogaerts, and while he didn't manage to take full advantage, Chase Headley elected to go to second base rather than home, recording just the one out as Mookie Betts came in to score.
With Rodriguez having put them behind in the third, the Sox quickly got back to work in the bottom of the inning. Dustin Pedroia's second single of the game and Xander Bogaerts' first put two on for David Ortiz, who took a big hack at a 3-0 pitch, but settled for a walk to load the bases. Hanley Ramirez singled up the middle to plate two, and while he was thrown out trying to take third on a hit from Brock Holt, David Ortiz managed to get in to score before the tag was down, giving the Red Sox their one-run lead back at 4-3.
Again, the Sox would respond to a Yankees attack in the fifth, though they weren't able to get all three back. This time it was Travis Shaw getting the job done. Eovaldi had made him look pretty bad in his previous at bats, getting ahead with first-pitch curveballs and blowing him away with heat. Turns out, trying to go to the well for a third time was a very bad idea. Shaw was ready for the breaking ball, and crushed it for a two-run bomb to right, knotting the game at six all.
Shaw would be part of Boston's final attack too, reaching base on a one-out single in the seventh. But the big swing that sealed the deal came from the most unlikely of matchups. Dellin Betances vs. Christain Vazquez. It's an absolute mismatch on paper. But as had been the case for the Yankees all game and Shaw in the fifth, Vazquez didn't wait around, and swung for the fences on the first pitch. He hit no fences, but cleared them entirely, sending Betances' fastball deep into the night over the Monster to put the Red Sox up 8-6.
Vazquez would help to give one back in the top of the eighth, allowing Sarlin Castro to come in and score when he couldn't handle a wild pitch from Koji Uehara, but that was just the one run, and Craig Kimbrel had no problems at all in closing out the ninth 1-2-3 with a pair of strikeouts.
The point of bad news first was to end on a good note, so let's do so. With the win, the Red Sox advance to 15-10, a half-game above an Orioles team that started the season 7-0. They will head to Chicago in sole possession of first place in the AL East, and no matter what's going right or wrong on the mound, this lineup can score enough runs to overcome it. You can ask for a better start to the season, but you'd sound mighty unreasonable doing so.