Boston cruised to an 8-2 victory over New York in Monday's season opener. The Yankees finished with six hits as they used a makeshift lineup without injured stars Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson.
Cano had a single in four at-bats, striking out as the potential tying run in the seventh inning.
Plenty is expected from the superstar second baseman, who was the World Baseball Classic MVP in the spring for the Dominican Republic. Manager Joe Girardi is counting on newcomer and cleanup hitter Kevin Youkilis, the former Boston slugger, to protect Cano in the lineup.
"If they don't wanna pitch to Robby, he's gotta understand that they're not going to pitch to him and we'll let Youk beat 'em, that's the bottom line," Girardi said.
Cano, who can become a free agent at the end of 2013, made headlines Tuesday for dumping agent Scott Boras in favor of a new company formed by musician Jay-Z's Roc Nation and CAA Sports.
"At this point in my career, I am ready to take a more active role in my endeavors both on and off the field," Cano said in a statement.
Cano is 12 for 25 with four doubles and a homer against Buchholz (11-8, 4.64 ERA), who went 0-5 with a 5.62 ERA over his final eight 2012 starts.
The Red Sox right-hander went 0-2 with a 15.26 ERA in two starts against New York last year, surrendering eight homers over 7 2-3 innings. One of those home runs was by Cano.
Boston expects better results in 2013 from Buchholz, who went 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA in six spring starts.
"I thought he was better overall with particularly his fastball location, (using the) bottom of the strike zone, and if that holds true to form going forward, he should be a very good and certainly a very strong starting pitcher for us," manager John Farrell told the Red Sox's official website.
Buchholz's 7.19 ERA against New York is his second-worst against any club.
Farrell's Boston managerial debut Monday was a success as he replaces Bobby Valentine. Shane Victorino drove in three runs, Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits and Jackie Bradley Jr. walked three times and scored twice in his big-league debut for a Red Sox team playing without injured Yankees nemesis David Ortiz.
Ellsbury is 11 for 30 over his last six games against New York and Dustin Pedroia 10 for 20 in his last five.
Pedroia is 6 for 14 with a homer in his career against Hiroki Kuroda (16-11, 3.32), who begins his second season with New York after tying for the team lead in victories in 2012 and posting the eighth-lowest ERA in the AL.
Kuroda went 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA in five starts against the Red Sox last season, going 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA in three in the Bronx.
The 38-year-old right-hander also pitched well in the spring with a 1.53 ERA in six appearances.
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