Mariano Rivera didn’t have a game to save but still had a moment to savor. Having announced his retirement at season’s end, his introduction was met by the sellout crowd with the loudest and longest cheer of opening day.

Boston players applauded along with the crowd. After acknowledging the crowd, baseball’s all-time saves leader turned toward the Red Sox and touched his cap in response.

Despite his ability at age 43 and the expressions from fans who want to see him continue pitching, "[I made] a decision on what I have left and what I need to get done," Rivera said.

Youk’s debut

Traded from Boston to the White Sox last summer, Kevin Youkilis had already played versus his old mates. Plus, "a lot of those guys there, I never played with," said Youkilis, downplaying any odd feelings.

But opening day was his first time against Boston as a Yankee. "It was cool. It was great," Youkilis said.

Jeter & Hughes

At Tampa, Fla., Derek Jeter played catch but did not hit or field grounders. Recovering from left ankle surgery, Jeter hasn’t participated in a game since March 23 and there’s no timetable for his return.

Phil Hughes, delayed by a back issue, pitched seven innings in a Class A exhibition and could slot into the rotation as early as Saturday in Detroit.