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Yankees, Red Sox play first-ever MLB game in Europe

June 30, 2019

Londoners got a flavor of America's favorite pastime, as New York and Boston delivered an unusually high-scoring game. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were in attendance.

New York Yankeesand Boston Red Sox at a packed London Stadium
Image: picture-alliance/newscom/M. Thomas

The legendary New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox took part on Saturday in the first US professional baseball game ever played in Europe.

Dubbed the "London Series," the game took place in a packed London Stadium, which was converted to a baseball field for the occasion.

The night was a highlight for the sport and it was conceived by Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, borrowing from the successes of the NFL and NBA, who have each held regular season games in Europe since 2007 and 2011 respectively.

"It's exciting. To be part of the first game in London, it's an honor. It's something that guys cherish," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, ahead of the game.

"We want to grow our game. We are bringing over a lot of big-time players that are easy to get excited about," he added.

London Stadium was converted into a baseball field for the event
London Stadium was converted into a baseball field for the eventImage: picture-alliance/newscom/M. Thomas

A slugfest

Both teams wore their home uniforms on a warm, picture-perfect day in London. The first inning was packed with action, lasting nearly an hour, with each team scoring six runs.

The Yankees prevailed over the Red Sox 17-13, in a game that lasted 4 hours, 42 minutes. That was just three minutes short of the modern era record for a nine-inning game. New York's win was the 12th in its last 13 games.

The two offenses totaled 37 hits (19-18 Yankees), making it the second-highest scoring Red Sox-Yankees game in history.

Some 30 runs were scored, to make it the game with the most runs since Boston beat the Baltimore Orioles 19-12 last year.

"We should remind them there's not 30 runs every game," Boone said of the unusual slugfest.

The 'London Series' will be played on Saturday and Sunday
Image: picture-alliance/newscom/M. Thomas

Players were pleasantly surprised by the turnout and the atmosphere. Red Sox rookie Michael Chavis, who hit a pair of three-run homers, said it was "definitely the biggest crowd" he had ever played for.

"The loudest, as well," Chavis added.

"I think we're getting as good a reception as football has for the last couple years," Yankees first baseman Luke Voit said.

Royal first pitch

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, attended the game and met with both teams. They took part in the first pitch ceremony.

In the Red Sox clubhouse, the Duchess of Sussex exchanged hugs with outfielder Mookie Betts, who is her distant relative, newspaper The Boston Globe reported.

The Duke and Dutchess of Sussex received gifts for their newborn from both teams
Image: picture-alliance/newscom/M. Thomas

Both teams presented the couple with gifts for their baby Archie, who was born last month.

In a pregame interview, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said the royal visit was "a great moment for the team" and admitted he was a bit starstruck.

New York and Boston, who share a long-running and intense rivalry, will play one more game on Sunday at London Stadium.

"Hopefully tomorrow's game is more controlled in terms of runs and we give the people from London a closer game," Cora said.

"Those are cool too."

jcg/bw (AFP, Reuters AP)

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