- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - Yankees manager Joe Girardi didn’t budge from the plan he outlined to Alex Rodriguez before New York opened a three-game series against the rival Red Sox.

A-Rod will only start the final game of the series on Thursday. Meanwhile, Girardi said after New York lost to Boston 5-3 on Tuesday night that he and the rest of the Yankees will continue focusing on staying in the AL wild card race rather than get caught up in any sentiment about the slugger’s pending release.

“I know he wants to play. That’s normal. I mean who wouldn’t want to play?” Girardi said. “I’ve got to do what I think is right for the club.”

Rodriguez stayed on the bench all night. Even with the Yankees rallying in the ninth, Girardi stuck with the lineup he filled out before the game.

Red Sox fans chanted “We want A-Rod!” - among other things - but Girardi wasn’t really listening. He said if he thought using Rodriguez as a pinch hitter was the right move, he would have made it.

“I don’t know. How am I supposed to react?” Girardi said. “It’s part of it. I’m sure I’m going to hear it, but I’ve got to do what I think is best.”

Rick Porcello continued to dominate at Fenway Park with eight solid innings and then Matt Barnes cleaned up a mess created by closer Craig Kimbrel for Boston.

Kimbrel walked in a run with the bases loaded in the ninth before handing off to Barnes, who struck out Mark Teixeira for his first save.

After falling behind early, the Red Sox scored three runs in the fifth to lead 5-2. Boston has won 10 of the last 14 meetings between the rivals. Dustin Pedroia had three RBIs.

Porcello (15-3) allowed two runs and struck out six. He improved to 11-0 in 12 starts at home this season.

Luis Severino (1-7) allowed five runs and seven hits over 4 1/3 innings. It was his first start since being demoted to the minors in May.

A-Rod will play his final game in pinstripes Friday night at home against Tampa Bay. Rodriguez expressed disappointment before the game about Girardi’s decision, but said he accepted it.

Rodriguez made his major league debut for Seattle at Fenway in 1994.

“I did talk to him about it. I wanted to play Wednesday and Thursday. I thought it would be a great way to end at Fenway,” he said.

Things got tense for a moment in the seventh inning after Chase Headley was thrown out trying to stretch his double off the Green Monster into a triple. Benches cleared after Headley had words with Porcello, and the two briefly came face-to-face. Umpires quickly stepped in and were able to calm things.

The Red Sox played catch up until putting things together in the fifth.

Andrew Benintendi nearly had his first career homer after hitting a shot next to the yellow line that separates the Green Monster and the wall in center. The umpires conferred briefly before signaling a home run. Benintendi rounded the bases and had a few minutes in the dugout before the call was overturned on a review and ruled a double.

It still drove in Sandy Leon, who led off with a triple to the corner in right, and put Boston up 3-2.

Benintendi scored on a double by Pedroia, and the second baseman came around to put Boston up 5-2 when David Ortiz hit a line drive off the Green Monster.


New York claimed LHP Tommy Layne off waivers and placed him on the active roster, one week after the Red Sox designated him for assignment. Layne made his Yankees debut when he came out of the bullpen in the fifth and replaced Severino.


Yankees: RHP Conor Mullee had ulnar nerve decompression surgery on his right elbow in New York, the team said.

Red Sox: LF/C Blake Swihart (left ankle sprain) needs surgery and is likely done for the season.


Yankees: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (9-8, 4.80) leads the club in wins despite losing his last two starts, allowing a pair of home runs in each.

Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (0-2, 6.20 in AL) is still looking for his first win since coming to Boston in a trade with San Diego on July 14. Pomeranz was 8-7 with the Padres and made the NL All-Star team with an ERA of 2.47.

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