NEW YORK — There was a one-man revolution against the replay system, two players asked to learn a new position on the fly, a spectacularly athletic play by a 40-year-old who started the night on the bench, and two All-Stars who never made the field.
Just what you expect when the Red Sox and Yankees get together on a Sunday night.
All the weirdness fell the way of the Yankees. They beat the Red Sox, 3-2, before a crowd of 46,081 that had plenty to talk about before this game was over.
The Red Sox, now 5-8, lost three of four in the series and have dropped seven of their last 10 games. They are off Monday before starting a three-game series against the White Sox in Chicago on Tuesday night.
“That’s the only way we right this and get back on track, that is to go out and try to win every pitch that we execute offensively or defensively,” said Sox manager John Farrell, who was ejected for arguing against a video replay.
Both teams were without centerpiece players. The Red Sox had Dustin Pedroia in their original lineup, but he was taken out with pain in his left wrist and sent back to Boston to be examined. The Yankees did not have Derek Jeter for the second consecutive game because of a tight right quadriceps.
Carlos Beltran was 3 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs for the Yankees. Jacoby Ellsbury was 1 for 4 and finished the series 5 for 14 against his former team. He ended the game with a sliding catch to take at least a double away from Grady Sizemore.
Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. saved a run for the Red Sox in the first inning.
With runners on second and third and one out, Alfonso Soriano sent a fly ball to center. Beltran tagged at third and Ellsbury at second. Bradley made a strong throw to get Ellsbury at third base, with the tag by Ryan Roberts coming before Beltran crossed the plate.
That Ellsbury has a weak arm in center field added a touch of irony to the play.
“I knew I didn’t have a play at the plate,” Bradley said. “I assumed Jacoby was going to try to do it. I don’t know why he would; he’s already in scoring position. It worked out in our favor.”
The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the second inning as Roberts, Bradley, and Jonathan Herrera had singles off Ivan Nova with two outs. It was Herrera who replaced Pedroia in the lineup.
When Sizemore made it four consecutive hits with a single to left field, third base coach Brian Butterfield sent Bradley to the plate. Brett Gardner, who has a strong arm, easily threw Bradley out to end the inning.
Gardner singled off Felix Doubront with one out in the third inning for the Yankees before Beltran drove a curveball down the line in left for his second home run of the series.
The Yankees scored a controversial run in the fourth inning.
Doubront lost command of his fastball and walked Brian McCann and Yangervis Solarte. Kelly Johnson grounded into a force at second base before Francisco Cervelli grounded to third base.
The Red Sox turned a double play, getting Cervelli at first base, according to umpire Bob Davidson. Yankees manager Joe Girardi challenged the call and upon review Cervelli was ruled safe, giving the Yankees a run after the inning appeared over.
Farrell felt that replays of the call were inconclusive. He came out to argue and was ejected by Davidson almost immediately.
On Saturday, the Red Sox lost a review challenge that seemed sure to be changed. Officials later admitted that MLB’s review center in Manhattan did not have the proper angle and the call was mishandled.
“On the heels of [Saturday], it’s hard to have any faith in the system, to be honest with you,” Farrell said. “This is a tough pill to swallow.”
Cervelli was injured as he crossed first base and left the game. The Yankees moved Beltran from right field to first base, his debut at the position after 17 years in the majors.
The Red Sox cut into the lead in the sixth inning when Mike Napoli homered deep into the seats in left field. It was his third home run of the season.
Doubront allowed three runs on seven hits over 6⅔ innings. He walked three and struck out two.
“Overall, it was a challenging game. It was pretty rough. The good thing is that I got out of those challenges,” Doubront said.
Nova allowed two runs on eight hits over 7⅓ innings. He struck out four without a walk.
Matt Thornton, the former Red Sox reliever, came out of the bullpen to face Ortiz, whom he struck out Saturday. This time Thornton left a slider over the plate and Ortiz hammered it to the gap in right field.
Ichiro Suzuki, who came into the game when Beltran moved to first base, made a leaping catch in front of the scoreboard to take an extra-base hit away from Ortiz. The Red Sox slugger laughed as he went back to the dugout, having seen Suzuki do that before to him.
“Someday I’ll get him,” Ortiz said. “He’ll watch it someday.”
Facing righthander David Phelps, Napoli doubled down the line in left field. Daniel Nava drew a walk to extend the inning. A.J. Pierzynski was then hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Mike Carp hit for Roberts. Phelps fell behind, 2 and 0, before getting two called strikes. Carp fouled the next three pitches off before striking out swinging at a curveball in the dirt.
Phelps threw two straight full-count curveballs. Carp fouled off the first and missed the second.
“It was a good pitch. I give him credit for that,” Carp said. “All you can do is react when you’re in that position. I wasn’t trying to guess what pitch it would be.”
Carp played third base in the eighth inning, his first time at that position in the majors.
“There was a lot going on in this game,” he said. “That would have been a nice one to win.”Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.