By HOWARD ULMAN
AP Sports Writer
BOSTON (AP) _ Ivan Nova struck out 10, Andruw Jones hit his
fourth homer in three games and the surging New York Yankees went
into the All-Star break with a 7-3 win over the Boston Red Sox on
The Yankees took three of four at Fenway Park and boosted their
record to a major league-best 52-33. They hold the biggest division
lead in baseball at seven games over Baltimore.
Boston (43-43) dropped its sixth game in the last seven and fell
into a last-place tie in the division with the Toronto Blue Jays, 9
1-2 games off the pace. Only three AL teams _ Minnesota, Kansas
City and Seattle _ are below .500 at the break.
Nova (10-3) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings. Jones
provided a cushion with a two-run homer in the seventh that gave
New York a 7-2 lead.
Jon Lester (5-6), who won at least 15 games in each of the last
four seasons, left with one out in the fifth after giving up five
runs and nine hits. Until Sunday, the lefty had rebounded from
early-season troubles and posted a 3.86 ERA in 13 starts.
The Yankees scored in the first inning in all four games in the
series, taking a 2-0 lead in the finale. The first three batters
all hit safely _ singles by Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson and
an RBI double by Mark Teixeira. Granderson scored when Nick Swisher
grounded into a forceout.
The Red Sox got an unearned run in the bottom of the inning when
Jeter dropped a routine popup by Cody Ross with two outs. The
shortstop’s misplay scored Pedro Ciriaco, who had singled and
New York made it 3-1 in the second on a double by Jayson Nix, a
passed ball by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and a sacrifice fly by Chris
Stewart. Boston came back again with a run in the third on
Ciriaco’s single and David Ortiz’s double.
The Yankees drove Lester from the game in the fifth, scoring
twice for a 5-2 lead. Teixeira started the rally with a single and
scored on a triple by Alex Rodriguez. Jones then singled in
Nova won five consecutive starts before going 0-1 in his next
three. He would have gotten out of a first-inning jam had Jeter
held on to the soft popup near second base. The righty even pumped
his fist and started walking off the mound but stopped as the ball
bounced out of Jeter’s glove.
Then Nova struck out the side in the second before escaping
trouble in the third when the Red Sox scored a run and loaded the
bases with one out. But Saltalamacchia struck out for the fifth
time in seven at-bats and Ryan Sweeney grounded out.
Nova fanned three of his last four batters and at least one in
each of his six innings.
Jones’ homer was his 11th of the season and the Yankees’ 134th,
most in the majors. They’re on a pace for a club-record 255. The
1997 Seattle Mariners hold the major league record with 264.
NOTES: Robinson Cano extended his hitting streak to 15 games
with a double in the ninth, tying Jeter for the longest on the
Yankees this year. … Ortiz’s double was his 373rd with the Red
Sox, tying Jim Rice for sixth in club history. … Nova had lost
his last road start, ending a streak of 16 starts without a loss
away from home. … Jeter scored his 1,816th run in the first,
tying Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski for 16th on the all-time list. …
Red Sox 1B Adrian Gonzalez left the game in the third because of
illness. He struck out in his only at-bat, ending his career-best
hitting streak at 18 games. … The Red Sox will honor Jason
Varitek before their night game July 21 against the Toronto Blue
Jays. The catcher retired in February after 15 seasons with the
team. … Ceremonial first pitches were thrown by Ted Williams’
daughter Claudia (to Rice) and Babe Ruth’s granddaughter Linda Ruth
Tosetti (to Ortiz).
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)