Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Russell Martin's two-run double in the seventh inning propelled the New York Yankees to a 4-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox in the rubber match of a three-game series at Fenway Park.
Eric Chavez added an RBI single in the deciding frame for the Yankees, who took two of three from their perennial rivals and crept within a half-game of first-place Boston in the AL East after the four-hour, 21-minute marathon was complete.
"We're playing better against them," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "We didn't play very well the first nine games against them (this season), we just didn't. We won one game early here in April, but they've beat us up pretty good."
Cory Wade (3-0) picked up the win after recording the final out of the sixth inning, while Mariano Rivera made things interesting in the ninth but held on to post his 36th save.
A.J. Burnett's winless streak against the BoSox was extended to 10 starts, as he yielded two runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings but did not register a decision. After posting an 11.91 ERA in five August starts, Burnett's performance had to be encouraging for the Yankees.
Dustin Pedroia's two-run homer was the lone offense for the Red Sox, who had won three of four coming in. Alfredo Aceves (9-2) suffered the loss, charged with two runs in 1 1/3 relief innings.
Martin put the Yanks on top for good in the seventh. Andruw Jones drew a one- out walk against Aceves, and Miguel Montero was hit on his jersey near the belt, then Daniel Bard came in only to serve up a two-run hit to the gap in right-center which provided New York a 3-2 edge. Chavez then struck a pinch- hit RBI single to extend the margin to two.
The Red Sox stranded a runner in both the seventh and eighth innings, but loaded the bases against Rivera in the ninth with two outs on two walks and a single.
Adrian Gonzalez had a chance to keep the game going, but Rivera caught him looking at a called third strike that appeared to be low and outside.
Boston starter Jon Lester allowed seven hits and one run over five innings. Lester labored through a 44-pitch first inning, which concluded with the Yankees leading 1-0 thanks to an RBI double from Cano. The lefty eventually ended the frame by fanning Montero swinging with the bases loaded.
"They worked Lester ... almost to the point where we had to get someone up, not because of ineffectiveness but you start getting to the point where it's a lot of pitches," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "But he only gave up the one (run)."
An infield single from Derek Jeter and base hit by Curtis Granderson put runners on the corners with two down in the second, but Mark Teixeira fouled out to end the threat.
The Red Sox finally dented Burnett in the fourth, as Gonzalez reached with a leadoff ground-rule double to right and Pedroia followed by launching a ball into the stands in dead center for a 2-1 lead.
"He's one of the few guys that you can't fall behind. You can't fall behind a lot of big league hitters, but especially the way he swings. He got a pitch," Burnett said of the Pedroia at-bat. "I just [put] it behind me and wasn't going to let it get out of hand. It basically was a playoff game to me."
Aceves took the mound for Lester in the sixth, but after inducing a double- play grounder from Eduardo Nunez, loaded the bases on a single, walk and hit batsman. He worked out of trouble after Cano grounded to third.
Boston chased Burnett with two on and one out in the home half thanks to a Pedroia single and walk to David Ortiz, but Boone Logan struck out Carl Crawford and Wade needed a diving grab from Granderson to retire Jed Lowrie.
|Final - 9.1.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|New York Yankees||1||0||0||0||0||0||3||0||0||4||11||0|
|Boston Red Sox||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||6||0|
|WP: Cory Wade (3 - 0)
SV: Mariano Rivera (36)
LP: Alfredo Aceves (9 - 2)
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