NEW YORK — General manager Ben Cherington was among those in the sellout crowd of 48,522 on Friday night watching the Red Sox face the New York Yankees.
Cherington said earlier this month he needed to see more from his team before he would consider making additions at the trade deadline.
Now could be the reverse become true?
The Red Sox continued to look like a team that should be broken up after a lifeless 6-0 loss against their rivals.
In his first career appearance against the Red Sox, pedestrian lefthander Vidal Nuno and three relievers combined on a three-hitter. The Sox never advanced a runner beyond second base and had one hit over the final six innings.
“We didn’t put much together,” said Mike Napoli, who struck out three times and walked. “Not sure what else to say.”
The 36-44 Red Sox are 2-6 on their 10-game road trip, getting outscored, 46-23. Friday was the seventh time already this season they were shut out and the fifth time they were held to three or fewer hits.
It was the first time the Sox were shut out at Yankee Stadium since Sept. 26, 2009.
Nuno came into the game with a 5.88 earned run average after allowing 12 runs on 14 hits over 9⅓ innings in his two previous starts. The 26-year-old has been the weakest link in the New York rotation.
“We felt like coming into this ballgame we had a chance to do something against their starter,” manager John Farrell said.
The offensively inept Red Sox turned Nuno (2-4) into an ace. He allowed two hits over 5⅔ shutout innings with two walks and five strikeouts.
Trailing, 1-0, the Red Sox had a chance in the third inning when Brock Holt doubled to the gap in right with one out. But struggling Dustin Pedroia popped to left field and David Ortiz grounded to second.
“It’s a bit frustrating,” shortstop Stephen Drew said. “We need some timely hitting.”
Nuno retired 10 straight before walking Ortiz with two outs in the sixth inning.
With his starter at 91 pitches, Yankees manager Joe Girardi went to righthander Dellin Betances. He walked Napoli but pinch hitter Daniel Nava grounded to third base and the ball popped up off the bag and third baseman Kelly Johnson had an easy force to end the inning.
Drew doubled to left field with two outs in the seventh against Betances, ending an 0-for-29 slump. Betances then struck out Jackie Bradley Jr. on five pitches.
The Red Sox were 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position, leaving them 4 of 53 (.132) on the road trip.
“We’ve got to continue to put up quality at-bats, continue to take the relentless approach this group has been known for,” Farrell said.
Does Farrell believe Friday was evidence of quality at-bats and a relentless approach?
“At times,” he said. “To say up and down [the lineup] for nine innings of work, no, when you put a zero up on the board.”
Red Sox starter Brandon Workman was pitching for the first time since June 15. The righthander had served a six-game suspension for throwing at Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria on May 30.
Workman allowed four runs on seven hits over seven innings, a performance that is often successful at hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. But Workman (1-1) had no support.
“It was a grind from the start,” he said.
The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Derek Jeter, who turned 40 on Thursday, singled to right field with one out, went to third when Jacoby Ellsbury doubled down the line in right and scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by Mark Teixeira.
Workman loaded the bases with one out in the third inning and came back to strike out Teixeira before getting Carlos Beltran to ground to first. That kept the deficit at one.
“It didn’t look like it was going to be hard to overcome,” Workman said.
The game got away from Workman in the fourth inning. Brian McCann led off with a single and scored on a two-out homer to right field by Johnson, the No. 9 hitter.
Brett Gardner then homered to right field and it was 4-0.
Workman did not allow another run but the Red Sox never threatened to make it a game against the New York bullpen. Craig Breslow pitched the eighth inning and allowed a two-run homer by McCann.
Holt was 1 for 3 with a walk and made several nice plays in right field, including a catch against the wall to take at least a double away from Beltran in the eighth inning.
Holt has been the best hitter on the team since his promotion from Triple A Pawtucket in May. Mookie Betts, the organization’s top offensive prospect, could be next. The Sox have been converting the second baseman into an outfielder with an eye on bringing him to the majors. Betts is hitting .322 for the Paw Sox.
Farrell said no roster additions are planned before Saturday night’s game against New York ace Masahiro Tanaka. Farrell then met with Cherington in his office.
Ortiz pointed in that direction when asked if the Sox need help.
“Our GM is somewhere right here. Ask that question to him,” he said. “I’m just a player.”Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.