The situation was so bad for the Boston Red Sox that manager John Farrell had outfielder Mike Carp pitch the ninth inning.
By that time they had made five errors and trailed by eight runs in their 14-5 loss to the New York Yankees on Thursday night.
“Any time you end up with a position player on the mound, it’s not been a good night,” Farrell said.
Carp walked five and allowed one run in his major league pitching debut, relying largely on a knuckleball.
“Kind of every little kid’s dream,” he said, “but, at the same time, (it’s) a tough ballgame to have to go in, but it was good to save our bullpen.”
Boston’s pitching problems began early as Felix Doubront (1-3) gave up seven runs in 2 2-3 innings. But four of those were unearned because of four errors.
“We’re definitely going to get better,” Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. “That’s not the kind of team that we are.”
For the Yankees, CC Sabathia (3-2) provided a lift for the depleted rotation.
First, Ivan Nova decided to have season-ending Tommy John elbow surgery. Then Michael Pineda was suspended for 10 games for using pine tar.
After those developments were announced Thursday, Sabathia went out and threw six solid innings in his second straight strong start.
“He’s taken the mindset since spring training he needs to be the ace of this staff,” Yankees catcher Brian McCann said. “He gave us a great outing.”
He had plenty of help from both teams.
Yangervis Solarte drove in four runs, Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits and three RBIs and Mark Teixeira hit his first homer of the season. Boston’s contributions included five errors, 12 walks, three wild pitches and a passed ball. The Red Sox also allowed three stolen bases, all in the third inning.
“The sooner we move past this one the better,” Farrell said.
Sabathia struck out eight while allowing two runs on three hits in six innings as the Yankees rebounded from a 5-1 loss Wednesday night in which Pineda was ejected in the second inning for having pine tar on his neck.
“It felt good to get a win. I just wanted to have a good outing,” Sabathia said.
After allowing at least four runs in each of his first starts, he rebounded with a one-run, seven-inning performance at Tampa Bay a week before facing Boston.
“CC can be a guy to get on some rolls,” New York manager Joe Girardi said.
The costliest stretch for the Red Sox was the first three innings, when they fell behind 7-0. They made four errors, allowed three stolen bases and had a wild pitch and passed ball.
Doubront retired the first two batters of the game before Carlos Beltran reached on an error by Bogaerts and scored on a double by Alfonso Soriano.
The Yankees added three runs in the second. Brett Gardner led off with a walk before second baseman Dustin Pedroia dropped third baseman Brock Holt’s throw for an error, allowing Brian Roberts to reach first. Solarte then doubled in two runs, took third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.
Teixeira started the three-run third with his homer before Gardner reached on Doubront’s error. Gardner stole second and third and scored on Brian Roberts’ single. Roberts stole second then made it 7-0 when Ellsbury’s single drove him in.
Boston cut the lead to 7-2 in the third on a sacrifice fly by David Ortiz and an RBI double by Johnny Gomes.
New York added five runs in the seventh when all nine batters against Craig Breslow reached base, including Beltran on a forceout at second. Solarte and Derek Jeter had two-run singles and Ellsbury doubled in a run.
Boston cut the lead to 12-5 in the bottom of the seventh, scoring on a double by Bogaerts, a sacrifice fly and a passed ball by McCann.