Nelson 3 hitless innings wins debut, Yanks' win 5th in row

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New York Yankees relief pitcher Nick Nelson throws in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

NEW YORK – Nick Nelson was beaming.

He had pitched three hitless innings for his major league debut in the New York Yankees' 5-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night.

And after after reaching the postgame interview room, the 24-year-old right-hander learned he had been credited with the win.

“It definitely weird without the fans,” he said. “Honestly, I think it might have been good to ease in this way, although I would love to have the fans, especially with the rivalry with us and the Red Sox.”

Aaron Judge homered for a career-high fourth straight game, putting New York ahead in the first inning with a 455-foot drive to left- center off Zack Godley (0-1). Gio Urshela made it 5-0 in the second with his first career grand slam, a drive off a changeup.

On the night Masahiro Tanaka returned from a concussion, New York extended its winning streak to five and improved to 6-1 in their best start since 2003. That's the equivalent of 16-3 over a 162-game season.

“Guy making his big league debut on a Saturday night against the Red Sox, he came in and he wasn’t scared and he attacked the hitters with his fastball,” said Yankees outfielder Mike Tauchman, who had three hits. “That’s another weapon we have out of our bullpen now.”

Nelson's phone was filled with so many texts he said he might Facetime with his girlfriend, call his family and then shut the device for the night.