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Sports

April 2, 2013

Lester, Red Sox shut down Yankees on opening day

(Continued)

One team in New York won on Monday, though. In a first, the Yankees and Mets opened on the same day at the same time. The Mets finished off an 11-2 victory while their Bronx counterparts were in the eighth inning.

Before the game, the Yankees held a tribute to the victims of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and honored first responders at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Both teams wore a patch that included the Newtown seal, a black memorial ribbon and 26 stars, one for each victim.

No matter the colorful history between the clubs, the reality in 2013 is this: The two teams that have dominated the division for more than a decade enter opening day with considerably less swagger.

Heck, the Yankees played as if they were still trying to get to know each other — and they were, with several March acquisitions.

The Bleacher Creatures’ roll call was loaded with new names because of injuries and the departures of free agents Nick Swisher and Russell Martin.

One name the Creatures did include was closer Mariano Rivera, who is coming back from a torn knee ligament and said during spring training he plans to retire at the end of the season.

But he wasn’t needed in this one after Boston jumped out to an early lead. That was enough for Lester, who looked more like the pitcher who won at least 15 games every year from 2008-11 and not the one who went 9-14 last year.

Boston wasn’t at full strength, either. David Ortiz is on the disabled list with sore heels, the first time he was not the Red Sox designated hitter for the opener since Jeremy Giambi in 2003.

The Red Sox had only four players from their opening-day lineup last year starting in this one: Dustin Pedroia, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Ellsbury and Lester, making his third consecutive such start.

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