BOSTON (AP) — Russell Martin is healthy again and now he’s hurting the Boston Red Sox.
The Yankees’ new catcher hit two homers and drove in four runs from the ninth spot in a power-packed lineup as New York won 9-4 on Saturday.
Audio: Russell Martin after his 2 HR performance against the Red Sox
He chose New York over Boston and Toronto when he signed as a free agent in December after an injury-plagued season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In eight games, he’s hitting .321 with three homers and eight RBIs.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, have just one win in eight games.
“I’m healthy,” Martin said. “I’ve been healthy since the beginning of the season, so it definitely is a good feeling. I feel like it’s been a while.”
His 2010 season ended on Aug. 3 when he broke his right hip and tore a labrum against San Diego while tagging up from third. He hit just .248 with five homers and 26 RBIs in 97 games after being chosen as an NL All-Star in 2007 and 2008.
He saw nothing special about playing in Fenway Park, where he could have ended up as the starting catcher.
“I’ve got the Yankee uniform on and that’s really who I play for right now and that’s all I really care about,” he said. “The Red Sox, I think they were a little iffy with the injuries that I had and they weren’t too sure.”
Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano also went deep for the Yankees, who already have 18 homers through eight games. The Red Sox have allowed 19 in their eight games.
David Robertson (1-0) pitched 1 2-3 perfect innings after starter Ivan Nova was lifted with one out in the fifth with the Yankees leading 7-4. Clay Buchholz (0-2) allowed five runs on eight hits in 3 2-3 innings as Boston’s starters continued to struggle.
The Red Sox cut their deficit to 5-4 with three runs in the fourth before Granderson hit a two-run homer in the fifth. Cano and Martin added solo shots in the sixth and seventh.
Cano fell a triple short of hitting for the cycle when he grounded out in the eighth inning, but went 3 for 4 and raised his batting average at Fenway Park to .465 (20 for 43) since the start of the 2010 season.
“I know I do really good here,” he said, “but I think it’s luck.”
The Red Sox began a 10-game homestand Friday with a 9-6 win over the Yankees after going 0-6 on the road, their worst start to a season since 0-8 in 1945.
They reverted to form on Saturday.
The Yankees went ahead 2-0 in the second on an error by shortstop Jed Lowrie, a double by Cano, a run-scoring groundout by Nick Swisher and an RBI double by Eric Chavez, his first hit with New York.
Boston got within 2-1 in the third when Dustin Pedroia doubled, took third on a groundout and scored when Kevin Youkilis grounded to shortstop Derek Jeter. But New York increased that lead to 5-1 before Buchholz retired a batter in the third.
“They’re just a team that’s going to make you throw strikes and work the counts,” Buchholz said. “I got deep into a couple of counts with a couple of guys and I had to throw strikes. I didn’t want to walk everybody. They put the bat on the ball in a couple of situations.”
Granderson walked, Chavez doubled and Martin, who signed a $4 million, one-year contract in the offseason, hit a three-run homer.
“I saw him as a very productive player,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I wasn’t saying he was going to hit 30 homers and 120 RBIs, but I thought he’d be a productive player in our lineup, because he could do so many things.”
Buchholz left the game after Jeter and Alex Rodriguez singled later in the third.
In eight games, Boston’s starters are 1-5 with a 7.41 ERA while allowing 12 homers in 41 innings.
“We’re walking some people and there’s as lot of deep counts,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “We’re getting some early exits (from starters) and we’re asking a lot of our bullpen, especially early in the season.”
The Red Sox struck back with three runs in the fourth when Jacoby Ellsbury grounded into a run-scoring force play and Pedroia hit a two-run double, but they didn’t score again.
The Yankees, meanwhile added two in the fifth off reliever Felix Doubront when Granderson hit his second homer of the season after Swisher doubled. Cano added his second homer and Martin hit his third, both off former Yankee Alfredo Aceves.
NOTES: The Yankees have homered in seven of their eight games and have at least two homers in six of them. … Buchholz allowed four solo homers in his other appearance this year, a 5-1 loss at Texas in which he worked 6 1-3 innings. … Jim Calhoun, coach of the NCAA basketball champion Connecticut Huskies, threw out a ceremonial first pitch. … Pedroia had three doubles after getting three hits, including a homer on Friday.