By RONALD BLUM AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) _ Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin
and Mark Teixeira homered in a nine-run second inning, and the New
York Yankees routed the Boston Red Sox 10-2 Monday night to open a
one-game lead over Baltimore in the AL East with two games to play.

Baltimore lost 5-3 at Tampa Bay and dropped into second place,
prompting cheers from the crowd when the final score was posted
before the ninth inning. The Yankees, who clinched their 17th
playoff berth in 18 years on Sunday, would ensure their 13th
division title in 17 years by sweeping the three-game series
against the Red Sox.

New York tied its record for home runs in an inning, achieving
the feat for the third time. The offense backed CC Sabathia (15-6),
who allowed two runs and four hits in eight innings with seven
strikeouts and a walk.

Making his third straight strong start, Sabathia stayed in for
103 pitches rather than come out with New York ahead in a laugher.
Manager Joe Girardi wouldn’t say before the game whether he’d
consider starting his ace on short rest Friday if New York fails to
win the division and winds up in the new one-game, wild-card

Cano homered leading off the second against Clay Buchholz, a
drive off the blue facing below the glass-enclosed bar behind
Monument Park in center, and hit a two-run double later in the
inning. He added another double in the fourth.

Granderson hit a two-run, second-deck homer to right and Martin
followed with a solo shot off the top of the wall above the
scoreboard in right-center, a drive upheld after a video review.

Teixeira, back in the lineup for the first time since Sept. 8
following his recovery from a strained left calf, greeted Alfredo
Aceves with a two-run drive into the second deck in right. Nick
Swisher nearly followed with another homer, hitting a foul drive
deep down the right-field line before doubling.

Even slumping Alex Rodriguez got in on the offense, hitting a
sacrifice fly to end a streak of 11 games without an RBI. He tied
Stan Musial for fifth place on the career list at 1,950.

Boston, starting what may be its final series under first-year
manager Bobby Valentine, has lost six in a row and 10 of 11,
reaching 91 defeats for the first time since dropping 100 games in
1965. In what resembled a spring training lineup, the Red Sox
started just two regular position players, Cody Ross and Jarrod
Saltalamacchia. Six of the starters had uniform Nos. 50 or higher.

Dustin Pedroia was out of the starting lineup because of an
injured finger, and Jacoby Ellsbury sat against the left-hander
after returning from an injury last weekend.

Buchholz (11-8) was roughed up for eight runs and six hits _
three of them homers _ in 1 2-3 innings. The eight earned runs were
a career high.

Daniel Nava homered for the Red Sox leading off the fourth.

NOTES: Girardi scratched Ivan Nova from his scheduled start
Tuesday following a pair of poor outings and replaced him with
rookie David Phelps. Hiroki Kuroda starts Wednesday and Andy
Pettitte is lined up to start Thursday if a tiebreaker game is
needed to decide the AL East. Phil Hughes would pitch on normal
rest if there is a game Friday and the Yankees decide not to bring
back Sabathia then. … New York has outhomered Boston 38-14 in
matchups this season. … The Yankees also homered four times in an
inning on June 30, 1977, at Toronto (Cliff Johnson twice, Thurman
Munson and Lou Piniella), and on June 21, 2005, against Tampa Bay
(Gary Sheffield, Rodriguez, Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada). …
The inning was the highest-scoring one for the Yankees since they
got 12 runs against Baltimore on July 30 last year in the opening
inning of the second game of a doubleheader. … Yankees LF Ichiro
Suzuki made a leaping catch on Danny Valencia’s drive in front of
the wall in the corner to end the seventh. … New York’s Melky
Mesa had an RBI single in the eighth in his first big league
at-bat. … Freddy Garcia pitched a perfect ninth. … Former
Yankees manager Joe Torre and former New York City Mayor Rudy
Giuliani were at the game.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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