By HOWARD ULMAN AP Sports Writer
BOSTON (AP) _ Mariano Rivera struck out Adrian Gonzalez with the
bases loaded for the final out and Russell Martin hit a go-ahead
double in the seventh inning that sent the New York Yankees past
the Boston Red Sox 4-2 Thursday night despite stranding 12 runners
in the first six innings.
The lack of clutch hitting cost A.J. Burnett a potential victory
as he began September with a solid performance after a horrible
August in which he was 1-2 with an 11.91 ERA in five starts. In
this one, he gave up two runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings.
The Red Sox led 2-1 on Dustin Pedroia’s two-run homer after
Alfredo Aceves (9-2) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth. But
he allowed three runs in the seventh and took his first loss in
relief after winning 18 straight decisions out of the bullpen.
Rivera loaded the bases in the ninth but threw a called third
strike past Gonzalez to earn his 36th save in 41 opportunities.
The Yankees moved within a half-game of the first-place Red Sox
in the AL East by winning two of three in the series. New York is
4-11 against Boston this season, and the teams have one three-game
series remaining at Yankee Stadium from Sept. 23-25.
Nick Swisher started the seventh by striking out. Aceves then
walked Andruw Jones and hit Jesus Montero, a top prospect making
his major league debut, with a pitch.
Aceves was replaced by Daniel Bard, who gave up a double to
right-center by Martin, the first batter he faced. Two runners
scored and Martin went to third on the throw to the plate.
Pinch-hitter Eric Chavez followed with an RBI single.
Cory Wade (3-0) got the win after pitching to just one batter,
Jed Lowrie, who ended the sixth by flying out.
Boston starter Jon Lester struggled in each of his five innings,
throwing 114 pitches, but gave up only one run. That scored in the
first when he needed 43 pitches. Leadoff hitter Derek Jeter struck
out, but Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira singled and Robinson
Cano drove in the run with a double.
Teixeira left the game in the bottom of the seventh and is
day-to-day with a bruised right knee after he was hit by a pitch
from Aceves in the sixth.
Burnett allowed just one hit through three innings. Gonzalez led
off the fourth with a double and Pedroia homered into the
center-field bleachers, his career-high 18th of the year. He hit 17
in 2008, when he was the AL MVP.
NOTES: Aceves is 23-3 in his career. He entered the game as the
only pitcher in baseball history to win 23 of his first 25
decisions. … The Red Sox added first baseman-outfielder Conor
Jackson, obtained Wednesday night from the Oakland Athletics, and
recalled left-hander Felix Doubront from Triple-A Pawtucket. …
Montero, a top prospect for the Yankees, stranded six runners as
the designated hitter. … Bard’s streak of eight scoreless outings
ended. … David Ortiz extended his hitting streak to 15 games with
a single in the second. … Phil Mickelson, playing in the Deutsche
Bank Championship starting Friday in Norton, threw out the
ceremonial first pitch. … The Yankees return home for the opener
Friday night of a three-game series against the Blue Jays. Ivan
Nova (14-4) pitches for New York against Brandon Morrow (9-9). …
The Red Sox send Andrew Miller (6-1) to the mound against Derek
Holland (12-5) in the opener Friday night of a three-game series
with the Texas Rangers.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)