BOSTON -- The Yankees believe they are a better team than they were two weeks ago, having reconstructed their roster on the fly, and continue to express confidence that the results on the field will soon reflect that.
They were unable to produce immediate results to those claims, however. Showcasing a few new faces as they renewed acquaintances with the Red Sox, a team that has already raised the white flag with eyes toward next season, the Yankees instead were dealt a 4-3 loss on Friday at Fenway Park.
"I believe this offense is capable of doing it," manager Joe Girardi said. "It's just putting things together, putting hits together. We've struggled at times this year, but I just believe we're capable of doing more -- and hopefully it starts tomorrow."
Stephen Drew and Martin Prado, acquired in a pair of swaps in advance of Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, went a combined 0-for-6 in their Yankees debuts. Chris Capuano permitted four runs to his former team as New York lost for the fifth time in six games.
Dustin Pedroia drove in a pair of runs for the Red Sox, who hope they got a glimpse of the future as right-hander Anthony Ranaudo held the Yankees to two runs over six innings, notching a victory in his Major League debut.
The Yankees trimmed the deficit in a loud eighth as Derek Jeter connected for his third home run of the year, pouncing on a first-pitch fastball from Boston reliever Junichi Tazawa to send it over the Green Monster in left field.
Jacoby Ellsbury then blasted a deep drive into the center-field triangle, but Mookie Betts made a terrific lunging stab to take an extra-base hit away and likely save the lead.
Tazawa permitted two more baserunners, including a Mark Teixeira ground-rule double, but escaped. Koji Uehara pitched a perfect ninth inning with a strikeout for his 22nd save.
"I feel like we're swinging the bats better than what they're showing; some hard-hit balls that they made good plays on in a couple of big situations," Chase Headley said. "Yeah, we're capable of doing more. I think we will do more."
Carlos Beltran hit a fourth-inning homer and knocked home another run with a sixth-inning single off the 24-year-old Ranaudo, who is ranked as Boston's No. 6 prospect according to MLB.com and was 12-4 with a 2.41 ERA in 21 starts at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Born in Freehold, N.J. and raised in Ocean Township, N.J., Ranaudo said that he watched the Yankees growing up and that it was a thrill to catch Jeter looking in the third inning, his first career strikeout.
"Now I'm pitching against him, so he's no longer my favorite player, but it's awesome to compete against him and what he stands for and his career," Ranaudo said. "It was pretty cool to be part of that."
Capuano started the year with Boston, where he made 28 relief appearances before being released on July 1. Scooped up by the Yankees from the Rockies on July 24 for cash considerations, Capuano scattered eight hits in 6 1/3 innings, walking none and striking out five.
Boston scored a pair of runs on four hits in the third inning, but Capuano got some defensive help from Headley at third base and settled in after David Ross' fourth-inning RBI single, retiring nine straight until Betts' leadoff single in the seventh.
"After that, I felt like I found my release point and started to make better pitches," Capuano said. "I want to take what I did the last three innings and start out from the get-go next time."
Betts scored the fourth Boston run on Pedroia's RBI single off reliever Shawn Kelley, a run charged to Capuano.
Girardi said that the Yankees are "missing some pretty good opportunities," and in trying to explain their offensive outages, the Yanks have hung their hopes on track records, pointing to evidence that these players have done it before and should be able to again.
Yet the days are running short on the calendar for that to take hold. Beltran said that he believes the recent moves have been positive, but that instant results can't always be counted on.
"I've been there before; you come from one team to another team and it takes time," Beltran said. "It takes time for things to click. You would love to click right away from the get-go, but sometimes things take time."