- Associated Press - Saturday, May 7, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - Aaron Hicks made Yankee Stadium’s new lights flash. Two innings later, the tempers of David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox sparked.

Hicks hit a tiebreaking home run off Rick Porcello leading off the seventh inning, causing Yankee Stadium’s new lights to flash like strobes at a rock concert as New York rallied past the Red Sox 3-2 on Friday night.

The game will remembered most for its ninth-inning drama, when David Ortiz and Boston manager John Farrell were ejected during wild arguments as Big Papi was called out on strikes with the bases loaded. Andrew Miller then struck out Hanley Ramirez to end it.

“Just a crazy game,” Hicks said. “A lot of stuff going on. But we came out on top, and that’s what matters to me.”

Acquired from Minnesota during the offseason, Hicks was hitting .088 with no extra-base hits and two RBIs in 34 at-bats when he sent a hanging changeup from Porcello (0-1) over the Yankees bullpen and into the right-field bleachers.

“It definitely felt good, especially to finally help this team,” said Hicks, who moved to center when Jacoby Ellsbury got hurt and got a pair of poor jumps that allowed Boston to load the bases in the sixth.

As Hicks circled the bases, the Yankees used the strobe function of their LED lights, installed during the offseason and used previously only during soccer games.

“I knew it got a little dark, but that was about it,” Hicks said.

On a 50-degree, rainy night, Hicks provided Kirby Yates (1-0) with the second win of his three-season big league career. New York had lost seven of its previous eight games, and at 10-17 the Yankees are off to their worst start since 1991.

To hold the lead, manager Joe Girardi used Dellin Betances for a third straight day for the first time in the reliever’s major league career. After Travis Shaw’s infield hit in the eighth, Girardi brought in Miller for a four-out save.

“We’ve been struggling,” Girardi said. “I thought it was important that we win this game tonight.”

Last-place New York, off to its worst start in a quarter-century, put pitcher CC Sabathia on the disabled list before the game because of a groin strain, then lost Ellsbury to a hip muscle strain in the first inning, an injury Girardi said is likely to sideline the center fielder for a couple days. Earlier in the week, Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez went on the DL because of a hamstring injury.

Ortiz hit a two-run homer in the first off Michael Pineda, but McCann hit an RBI double in the bottom half and Dustin Ackley singled in a run during the second.

Boston loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, and Ortiz watched Miller’s 3-1, slider hook past him as crossed-up catcher Brian McCann reached down to grab it. Ortiz heard plate umpire Ron Kulpa call strike and stuck out both arms in anger.

“No!” Big Papi screamed a half-dozen times, convinced he had just walked to force in the tying run. Farrell bolted out of the dugout to block Ortiz and quickly was ejected, then waved his right arm as if he were tossing the umpire.

Ortiz returned to the batter’s box, took another slider for strike three, walked to the dugout, threw down his bat and helmet, then barked some more. When he, too, was ejected, Ortiz ran back onto the field, screaming at Kulpa and pointing with his arms.

“My heart’s still racing,” Miller said a half-hour after the final out. “I think it’s something that’s going to take a little while to come down from.”

DEBUTS

Yankees OF Ben Gamel made his major league debut as an eighth-inning defensive replacement in right. Two pitches in, he caught a flyball by Ortiz, then checked inside his hat. Why? He tucked defensive instructions for each batter inside.

HOME COOKING?

Pineda’s last 16 home runs allowed have all been at Yankee Stadium as well as 23 of his last 26.

UP NEXT

David Price (4-0 despite a 6.14 ERA), who beat the Yankees last weekend while allowing six runs in seven innings, pitches for the Red Sox against Nathan Eovaldi (1-2) in a rematch of Sunday’s starters.

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