Yanks edge BoSox, move into first placeAug 6, 2011 - 4:10 AM
All three of New York's runs came in the sixth against Lester (11-5), who had been 8-1 in his career against Boston's bitter rival.
New York finally solved the left-hander and got 4 1/3 scoreless innings from its bullpen to hold on for an eighth straight win -- a season high.
The clubs entered with identical 68-42 records, though Boston had dominated the series this year, taking eight of the first nine meetings.
But for the first time since July 7, the Red Sox are not atop the division standings, even though they spotted Lester an early 2-0 cushion and loaded the bases for the league's leading hitter in the fifth.
Recognizing the moment, Yankees manager Joe Girardi pulled starter Bartolo Colon and summoned Boone Logan for an inning-ending strikeout of Adrian Gonzalez.
New York responded in the bottom half with all three of their runs. Curtis Granderson slapped a run-scoring single to halve the deficit, a double-play ball with the bases loaded off the bat of Robinson Cano tied it, and Swisher hit a sharp ground ball past a diving Kevin Youkilis along the third-base line to plate the go-ahead tally.
"They did a good job being patient that inning." Lester said. "I threw some pretty good pitches they laid off, whether it was a ball or strike."
The Yankees' relievers maintained the slim margin from there. Logan (3-2) and Cory Wade combined for a scoreless sixth, Rafael Soriano hurled a 1-2-3 seventh and David Robertson used 11 pitches to retire Dustin Pedroia, Gonzalez and Youkilis in succession.
Mariano Rivera worked around a one-out single in the ninth to lock down his 29th save of the season.
"We like the position we're in right now. We've got the opportunity to extend [Saturday] but also be realistic and know that they're not just going to lay down and die over there," cautioned Granderson.
Jacoby Ellsbury, who had two game-winning hits in both victories of a series split with the Indians this week, hit a liner off the Green Monster to knock in Marco Scutaro in the third inning.
David Ortiz, an .098 hitter in his career against Colon coming into the game, doubled the margin in the fourth when he fouled off three straight pitches before connecting on a moonshot that landed in the right-field seats.
Lester's line read: six innings, three runs, five hits, four walks and seven strikeouts. He had not lost to the Yankees since September 25, 2009, a span of six starts...Colon was charged with two runs on six hits in his outing...Gonzalez went 0-for-4 to snap a 14-game hitting streak...Boston out- hit the Yankees, 8-5...Colon walked one batter. Yankees pitchers had gone four games against the White Sox without issuing a free pass...Game time: 3:26..The middle contest of this three-game series will pit Yankees ace CC Sabathia against John Lackey.
- NEW YORK: 3
Aug 5 10:38 PM
- Andruw Jones grounded out short to first to end the inning.
Yankees 3, Red Sox 2 Mid 6Aug 5 9:23 PM
- Robinson Cano double-play groundout scored Derek Jeter. Mark Teixeira out at second. Curtis Granderson advances to third. Runner on third with two outs and Nick Swisher due up.
Yankees 2, Red Sox 2 Top 6, 2 OutsAug 5 9:19 PM
- Mark Teixeira walked. Bases loaded with none out and Robinson Cano due up.
Yankees 1, Red Sox 2 Top 6, 0 OutsAug 5 9:12 PM
- David Ortiz two-out, solo Home Run (21) to right. Carl Crawford due up.
Yankees 0, Red Sox 2 Bot 4, 2 OutsAug 5 8:26 PM
- Jacoby Ellsbury doubled to center scoring Marco Scutaro with two out. Runner on second and Dustin Pedroia due up.
Yankees 0, Red Sox 1 Bot 3, 2 OutsAug 5 8:09 PM
- NEW YORK: 0
Top 1, 2 Outs
Aug 5 7:14 PM
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