NEW YORK — Jackie Bradley Jr. and the Red Sox were daring on the basepaths. Jon Lester and the Boston bullpen were aggressive against a barely recognizable New York Yankees’ lineup.
The Red Sox looked as if they were in a hurry to put a dreadful 2012 season behind them. They’re off to an impressive start, giving new manager John Farrell an 8-2 win on opening day Monday.
“I think how you saw it (Monday) is how we can win a lot of ballgames,” new designated hitter Jonny Gomes said. “It was kind of all there early.”
Shane Victorino led a revamped Red Sox lineup with three RBIs and Bradley walked three times and scored twice in his big league debut. Boston’s big day against CC Sabathia (0-1) came a year after it lost its first three games under Bobby Valentine and went on to a 69-93 finish.
Facing a Yankees lineup minus injured Derek Jeter for the first time since 2001 and just three starters from opening day a year ago, Lester (1-0) gave up five hits and two runs in five sharp innings against the defending AL East champions.
“It’s big,” Lester said. “It’s obviously a lot nicer than the past couple of years to be on top 1-0 instead of going through a whole road trip without a win again.”
Yankees stars Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira also are on the disabled list.
“You’re talking about some of the best players in the game. It’s going to be a little different,” Sabathia said. “But we know what we have to do and who’s not here. That’s not an excuse.”
Bradley, meanwhile, made an immediate impact after earning a spot with a strong spring training performance.
In his first plate appearance, the ever-smiling 22-year-old outfielder worked a one-out walk after falling behind 0-2. That helped Boston touch up the big lefty for four runs in the second inning — and start the angry rumblings of 49,514 anxious Yankees fans.