NEW YORK John Farrell is getting tired, tired of watching the Boston Red Sox waste opportunity after opportunity.
The World Series champions failed each of the four times it had runners in scoring position, eking out just two hits while facing No. 5 starter Vidal Nuno and three relievers in an 6-0 loss to the New York Yankees on Friday night.
“Again, the base hit with the guy in scoring position has been elusive,” Farrell said.
The Red Sox put runners on in each of the first three innings against Nuno (2-4), who gave up 13 runs in 9 1-3 innings over his last two starts, but came up empty in the sixth loss in eight games against New York this season.
Boston is hitting .227 with RISP, a big part of the reason they are just 36-44.
The Red Sox scored three runs or fewer for the 11th time in 13 games and losing for the sixth time in eight games. Fourth in the rugged AL East, Boston trails the Yankees, who entered the night in third, by six games.
“I think we’ve got the right guys in here, guys who have been around and know what they have to do,” Brock Holt said. “It’s just a matter of going out and doing it.”
Brandon Workman (1-1) pitched seven adequate innings but allowed a sacrifice fly to Mark Teixeira and consecutive homers to Kelly Johnson and Brett Gardner. Workman allowed four runs, seven hits and two walks. He struck out five.
“Little bit of a grind the whole time,” Workman said. “I was constantly pitching with guys on.”
Brian McCann added a two-run homer off Craig Breslow in the eighth.
In his first at-bat as a 40-year-old, Derek Jeter fisted a single to right field with one out in the first. His birthday was on Thursday, the Yankees’ final day off before playing 17 straight going into the All-Star break.
After Jacoby Ellsbury doubled, Jeter scored on Teixeira’s sacrifice fly for the early lead. The Yankees captain also singled in the fourth for hit No. 3,390 and went 2 for 4 in New York’s second win in six games.
New York manager Joe Girardi could have skipped the struggling Nuno and given the ball to rookie ace Masahiro Tanaka because of the extra day of rest but, in a feisty pregame Q&A with media, Girardi insisted he was interested in protecting his entire staff, not just the Japanese sensation.
Nuno rewarded Girardi with 5 2-3 impressive innings. He yielded a leadoff single to Jonny Gomes in the second and a one-out double in the third to Holt. Nuno then retired 10 straight before walking David Ortiz, his last batter.
“I’ve had confidence in him but we’re in a situation where these are the five guys that we have,” Girardi said. “He’s pitched some good games for us. … He seems to always bounce back and give us a good outing.”
Dellin Betances, Adam Warren and Matt Thornton finished the three-hitter.
Holt possibly saved a run in the second when he made a leaping catch above the wall on Brian Roberts’ fly to right field. But he could only watch as Johnson’s two-run homer in the fourth went deep into the bleachers in right field, his first home run in 85 at-bats.
“It was a good feeling,” Johnson said, “to drive a ball like that but also to give us some more breathing room.”
Gardner connected six pitches later, giving New York a 4-0 lead.
NOTES: Red Sox SS Stephen Drew snapped an 0-for-29 skid with a double in the seventh. … Farrell said LHP Felix Dubront is being bumped to the bullpen. Dubront was not happy. “I have to stay positive and do my work,” Dubront said. … Boston OF Shane Victorino (strained right hamstring) and 3B Will Middlebrooks (broken finger) had setbacks in their rehabs. Both have stopped baseball activities and there are no timetables for their return. … Yankees LHP CC Sabathia (right knee) will make his first rehab start Saturday for Class-A Tampa. Sabathia has been out since May 11 with degenerative cartilage problem in his knee. He will likely need to make two more rehab starts. … Up next: a matchup of aces. Boston LHP Jon Lester (8-7) vs. Tanaka (11-2).