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With a little help from the replay room, Carlos Beltran and the banged-up Yankees did just enough to hold off Boston.
Beltran hit a two-run homer, Ivan Nova rebounded from a rough outing, and New York beat the Red Sox 3-2 Sunday night with the aid of another disputed video review that led to the ejection of Boston manager John Farrell.
"Extremely difficult to have any faith in the process that's being used," Farrell said.
Ichiro Suzuki robbed David Ortiz of extra bases in the eighth inning, crashing into the outfield fence for a spectacular catch, and New York took three of four in the first series of the season between the longtime rivals.
Beltran had three hits and was pressed into his first career appearance at first base when Francisco Cervelli was injured.
"We have to do what it takes," Beltran said. "I hope I don't have to do it again."
Mike Napoli homered and Felix Doubront (1-2) went 6 2-3 innings for the Red Sox, who scratched star second baseman Dustin Pedroia due to a sore left wrist.
New York, playing without Derek Jeter for the second consecutive game, scored its third run with the benefit of instant replay in the fourth.
With runners at the corners and one out, the Red Sox thought they turned an inning-ending double play on Cervelli's grounder. First base umpire Bob Davidson called Cervelli out on a bang-bang play, and Cervelli grabbed his right hamstring as he tumbled to the ground.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi challenged the call, which was overturned after a 3-minute replay review. That gave New York another run and a 3-1 lead.
Farrell, surely still bothered by a replay review that curiously went against Boston the day before, pointed to his eyes as he argued with two umpires. He was quickly ejected by Davidson.
Managers aren't allowed to argue replay rulings.
"We felt it was clear that the replay was inconclusive," Farrell said. "Any angle that we looked at, you couldn't tell if the foot was on the bag behind Mike Napoli's leg."
Major League Baseball acknowledged it made the wrong call on a replay challenge that went against the Red Sox during New York's 7-4 victory Saturday.
"Where this became conclusive is a hard pill to swallow," Farrell said. "On the heels of yesterday, it's hard to have any faith in the system."
Suzuki entered to run for Cervelli, who was filling in at first base for injured Mark Teixeira. When the Yankees took the field in the fifth, Suzuki was in right field, and Beltran moved from right field to first base - with Cervelli's mitt.
"Thank God nobody hit the baseball to me," said Beltran, who made three putouts.
It was the first time Beltran had played any infield position in his 16-year career. Jeter was getting a rest and oft-injured second baseman Brian Roberts was sidelined with a sore back, preventing Girardi from shuffling his infielders after Cervelli went down.
"I didn't have a whole lot of choices tonight," Girardi said. "Just tells you the type of player he is. ... Willing to do anything you ask him to do. Very, very unselfish."
David Phelps struck out pinch-hitter Mike Carp with the bases loaded to end the eighth, pumping his fist as he bounced off the mound. Shawn Kelley struck out two in a perfect ninth for his third save.
Jacoby Ellsbury made a sliding catch in left-center to end it.
Nova (2-1) received a warm ovation after giving up two runs and eight hits with no walks in 7 1-3 innings. He was tagged by Baltimore for seven runs and 10 hits over 3 2-3 innings during a 14-5 loss in his previous outing.
"I thought he had better command of his curveball tonight, which was a huge difference," Girardi said.
Jonathan Herrera started in Pedroia's place and had an RBI single to go with a sensational defensive play.
Fans in the crowd of 46,081 chanted Jeter's name when Yankees infielder Yangervis Solarte came up limping in the sixth. Solarte stayed in the game.
Jeter was out of the lineup for the second straight day after feeling tightness in his right quadriceps Friday night. Girardi said he could have played Jeter, but wanted to give him three days off in a row - the Yankees have a day off Monday.