Ben Rice homers 3 times in Yankees’ win as Bombers, Sox get salty over longball trots

NEW YORK — With Ben Rice leading the way in a 14-4 win over the Red Sox, the Yankees snapped their four-game losing streak in dramatic fashion on Saturday afternoon.

The first baseman gave his team an elusive early edge, hitting the second home run of his career to Yankee Stadium’s second deck in the opening inning. The leadoff shot against Josh Winckowski traveled 390 feet, but Rice unleashed a bigger blast in the fifth.

With Chase Anderson on the mound, Rice capped a seven-run inning with a 406-foot, three-run homer.

A third missile awaited in the seventh inning, when Rice launched another three-run homer of equal distance. Once again, Anderson was the victim as Rice became the first rookie in Yankees history to hit three home runs in a game.

With seven RBI on the day, the 25-year-old received his first curtain call after his last homer. Teammates had to encourage Rice to tip his cap to an appreciative crowd.

Rice took a moment to admire his second dinger, as the Yankees and Red Sox seemed salty over some home run celebrations earlier in the game.

That began with Alex Verdugo’s two-run bomb to Monument Park in the third inning. It was the outfielder’s first home run since June 14, when he went deep against his former employer in Boston. Verdugo more than enjoyed that homer at Fenway Park.

He did the same on Saturday, chucking his bat into the air before taking a 32-second jog around the bases.

The Red Sox weren’t fans of that, as made clear by Rafael Devers after he hit a solo homer off Gerrit Cole in the fifth. With the ball clearly gone, Devers held the finish on his swing before throwing his bat and screaming toward the Boston dugout.

As Devers took his time getting out of the box, Cole stared the slugger down with the Yankees losing 4-3. Cole’s day ended after that; he totaled 4.1 innings, seven hits, four earned runs, two walks, eight strikeouts and 90 pitches in his fourth start of the season.

Devers has been a thorn in Cole’s side, as the third baseman now has eight career homers off the reigning Cy Young winner. No other player has hit more than four.

Earlier, in the third, Devers picked up an RBI single off Cole for the 1,000th hit of his career. That tied the game at one before RBI singles from Masataka Yoshida and Reese McGuire gave the Red Sox a 3-1 lead prior to Verdugo’s jack.

Before Rice’s homer in the fifth, an Anthony Volpe ground-rule double tied the game at 4-4. Austin Wells, pinch-hitting for Jose Trevino, then worked a walk with the bases loaded before an Oswaldo Cabrera lineout brought another run in. DJ LeMahieu then knocked an RBI single.

The struggling veteran repeated the feat in the seventh.

After an explosive afternoon, the Yankees will try to win a series for the first time in weeks on Sunday. Luis Gil is scheduled to start on “Sunday Night Baseball,” while Kutter Crawford will take the mound for Boston.