By HOWARD ULMAN AP Sports Writer
BOSTON (AP) _ Jacoby Ellsbury hit a tie-breaking two-run homer
in the sixth inning, Josh Beckett improved to 4-0 against the New
York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox came from behind for a 9-5 win
on Wednesday night.
The Red Sox, who lost the series opener 5-2 on Tuesday night,
extended their AL East lead over the Yankees to 11/2 games and
improved their record to 11-3 this season against their division
David Ortiz and Jason Varitek also hit two-run homers for
The Yankees scored four runs in the sixth off Beckett (12-5) _
the same amount they managed in his other 32 innings against them
this season _ and went ahead 5-4.
In the bottom of the inning, Phil Hughes (4-5) retired the first
batter. Then he went ahead of Josh Reddick 0-2 before walking him,
and Reddick scored the tying run on Varitek’s double. After Marco
Scutaro flied out, left-hander Boone Logan came in to face lefty
Ellsbury. On a 3-and-1 count, Ellsbury hit his 24th homer into the
left-field seats above the Green Monster.
Beckett allowed four earned runs and six hits through seven
innings. He struck out eight and walked three.
Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon each pitched a scoreless
inning and the Red Sox improved to 62-3 this season when leading
The Yankees had taken a 1-0 lead in the third on Derek Jeter’s
RBI single. The Red Sox went ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the inning,
scoring on Dustin Pedroia’s groundout with runners at second and
third and on Jed Lowrie’s RBI single.
Jeter got his second single in the top of the fifth, moving into
20th place all-time, ahead of Craig Biggio, with 3,061 career hits.
He was left stranded.
Boston made it 4-1 in the fifth on Ortiz’s homer deep into the
center field bleachers after Adrian Gonzalez singled. It was
Ortiz’s 28th homer of the year and extended his hitting streak to
The Yankees regained the lead in the sixth, helped by an error
by right fielder Reddick.
Mark Teixeira was hit by a pitch leading off the inning, took
second on a wild pitch by Beckett and scored on a double by
Robinson Cano. Nick Swisher then walked and Eric Chavez followed
with a liner down the right field line. It got by Reddick and
Chavez was credited with a double. The error allowed him to take
third and Swisher to score. Eduardo Nunez’s sacrifice fly put the
Yankees on top 5-4.
Varitek gave the Red Sox a four-run cushion in the eighth with
his 10th homer.
Notes: Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez missed his fourth straight game
with a sprained left thumb. … Red Sox 3B Kevin Youkilis, on the
DL since Aug. 18 with a low back strain, played his second straight
rehab game for Triple-A Pawtucket and can be activated on Friday.
… Boston RF J.D. Drew missed the second game of his scheduled
two-day rehab assignment at Pawtucket on Wednesday night with a
sprained middle finger. He was hurt Tuesday night when he went 3
for 3. Plans for the Red Sox to activate him on Thursday may
change. He went on the disabled list on July 26, retroactive to
July 20, with a shoulder injury. … Yankees C Russell Martin, with
a sore left thumb, missed the game. Manager Joe Girardi said he
planned to use him Thursday night in the finale of the three-game
series. … Struggling RHP A.J. Burnett (9-11) faces LHP Jon Lester
(14-6) on Thursday night.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)