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Yankees-Red Sox Score: Phil Hughes Falters In 9-5 Loss

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - With the Red Sox teetering on falling into second place in the AL East, Jacoby Ellsbury took matters into his own hands Wednesday night and helped keep Josh Beckett undefeated this season against the Yankees.

Ellsbury blasted the go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth inning, and the Red Sox also got long balls from Jason Varitek and David Ortiz in a 9-5 victory over New York to remain atop the division.

Beckett (12-5) gave up four runs in the top of the sixth, but managed to stay unbeaten this season against the Yankees. The right-hander, who had eight strikeouts over seven innings, is 4-0 this season against rival New York. He's the first Red Sox pitcher to win four games vs. the Yankees in a single season since Al Nipper in 1987.

"All spring, whether it's been a chip on his shoulder or something to prove, he's certainly done that, and then some," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of Beckett.

Varitek tied the game with an RBI double in the sixth inning, as Boston bounced back from a 5-2 loss Tuesday and moved 1 1/2 games ahead of New York. The Red Sox have won six of their last eight games overall and moved to 11-3 this season vs. the Yankees.

Ortiz expanded his season-high hitting streak to 14 games. He's batting .509 (27-for-53) during the stretch with seven homers and 16 RBI.

Phil Hughes (4-5) was charged with eight hits and six runs, as New York had its three-game winning streak snapped.

The Red Sox send 14-game winner Jon Lester to the mound for the finale of this three-game series Thursday night. The Yankees will go with A.J. Burnett, who is 1-5 over his last 10 appearances.

Josh Reddick walked with one out in the sixth. Varitek then reached for a low offering and cued a ball over third base and on the chalk, down the left field line. It nearly bounced into the stands, but caromed by left fielder Brett Gardner to the corner, allowing Reddick to come home.

Boone Logan relieved Hughes with two outs, but Ellsbury homered over the Green Monster to boost Boston to a 7-5 lead.

"He just got behind him and Ellsbury has been a dangerous hitter all year," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He got a 3-1 pitch he liked and hit it out of the ballpark. He's hit a lot of homer runs this year."

Reddick led off the eighth with a ground-rule double to left and Varitek then slammed a first offering into the bullpen in right-center.

New York's offense was nonexistent in the final three innings. In fact, the final 12 hitters were retired in order, with Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon each tossing a frame.

"I think when it comes down to making pitches I think that's what always what separates good seasons from mediocre seasons or mediocre seasons from bad seasons," Beckett said. "You're making pitches when you need to."

Ellsbury failed to make a sliding catch on Derek Jeter's sinking line drive single into center field in the third inning. The hit scored Eduardo Nunez.

Dustin Pedroia had an RBI groundout and Jed Lowrie a run-scoring single in the bottom half, and Ortiz homered to center in the fifth for a 4-1 margin.

Beckett had allowed four runs in his first 32 innings this year against the Yankees before giving up four in the sixth. Robinson Cano's double plated Mark Teixeira, who was hit by a pitch to lead off. After Nick Swisher walked, Eric Chavez doubled to right field with the ball taking an odd carom by Reddick, allowing both runners to score. A sacrifice fly by Nunez to center gave the Yankees the 5-4 edge.

Game Notes

Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew, who is on the disabled list with a left shoulder impingement, suffered a mild setback in his rehab Tuesday night by spraining his right, middle finger while playing for Triple-A Pawtucket...Boston has gone deep in each of its last eight games...Hughes is 2-5 lifetime vs. Boston, while Beckett is 14-7 vs. the Yankees...New York third baseman Alex Rodriguez sat out again with a thumb injury...After the game, the Red Sox acquired first baseman/outfielder Conor Jackson and cash from Oakland in exchange for pitcher Jason Rice.

Final - 8.31.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York Yankees 0 0 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 5 6 0
Boston Red Sox 0 0 2 0 2 3 0 2 X 9 12 1
WP: Josh Beckett (12 - 5)
LP: Phil Hughes (4 - 5)

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