NEW YORK -- Think of this like going to the movies not to see the main feature, but the trailers.
It's all about the previews of coming attractions, and we know how that goes. Too many times, the trailers wind up being far better than the films they advertise.
But then there are nights like this one, Tuesday in the Bronx, when you decide to make a note to yourself to check back in a few months, that this is one show you don't want to miss.
• Yoenis Cespedes singled, doubled and tripled, the kind of night we've come to expect from him.
• Xander Bogaerts singled twice, doubled and homered, the first four-hit game of his career and the kind of night we've been waiting to see from him.
• Mookie Betts homered and hit two singles, the kind of night that no one thought we'd see this soon, this often, given his age (21) and inexperience. This was his third straight multihit game and fourth in five games.
• Daniel Nava homered, singled, walked and was hit by a pitch, the kind of night we'd almost forgotten he could have. Nava hadn't hit a home run since April 15, a span of 245 at-bats.
Boston has had just five games this season in which it has hit three or more home runs, and two of them have come in the past eight days. Last week in Toronto, Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia and Allen Craig all went deep. Tuesday night, an entirely different troika played long ball.
All those runs made a winner of Joe Kelly, a victor in his first-ever appearance against the Yankees, who were clearly unacquainted with his 97 mph fastballs. Kelly gave up five hits and three runs in 6 ⅔ innings and was the unexpected beneficiary of a misplay by Cespedes in left field, who clutched on a catchable line drive only to have the Yankees run into an out on the bases to sabotage a no-out rally in the fifth.
"We've never looked at the final stretch of games as playing out the string by any means," manager John Farrell said. "There's a number of key pieces of information we've got to have to get ready for the offseason. There's a number of players we've gotten in trades playing key roles, Joe being one of them, obviously Cespedes.
"And when you see the likes of what Mookie has done, what Bogie can do, it's not only exciting, we've got a lineup that is formidable, much deeper, and guys are looking forward to coming to the park every day."
Not everybody had a night to remember. Will Middlebrooks struck out four times and committed an error. Brock Holt went 0-for-6. Koji Uehara, pitching for the first time in eight days, gave up a home run to the first man he faced, Brian McCann.
Still, the positives far outweighed the negatives on a night the Yankees fans in a crowd of 40,334 reserved their biggest cheers for the umpires after they reversed an out call on Derek Jeter and awarded him an infield hit in the fifth.