By SCOTT ORGERA Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) _ Doug Fister dominated for seven innings and the Boston Red Sox backed him with three home runs to beat the New York Yankees 4-1 Friday night and extend their AL East lead.
Eduardo Nunez, Andrew Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez each homered as the Red Sox opened a 5 1/2-game edge over the Yankees.
Fister (4-7) gave up doubles by Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge to begin the first inning, and little else. He allowed four hits, struck out five and walked one.
On Aug. 22, facing AL Central-leading Cleveland, Fister gave up a leadoff home run to Francisco Lindor and then finished with a complete-game one-hitter.
Fister mixed speeds well all night, getting ahead in the count often and keeping the Yankees off balance. In his last three starts, he has a 1.57 ERA.
Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth to notch his 32nd save in 36 chances.
Nunez hit a two-run drive off Sonny Gray (8-9) for a 2-1 lead in the third. A day earlier, Nunez dropped down a bunt that Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia threw away, prompting the burly left-hander to call the Boston strategy “weak.”
Brock Holt walked on a full-count pitch in the third that appeared to be outside of the strike zone, one of many close calls that caused Gray to become visibly frustrated. Nunez followed by lining a fastball over the wall in left for his combined 12th homer of the season with San Francisco and Boston.
With two outs in the fifth, Benintendi hit Gray’s first offering into the right field seats for his 19th home run. Benintendi’s 14 RBIs this season are the most against the Yankees by any rookie since Jose Canseco also drove in 14 in 1986.
Ramirez connected in the seventh for his 22nd homer and third in four games.
Gray had not allowed multiple homers in a game since his first start of the year. He struck out nine over seven innings.
Judge’s RBI was his first since Aug. 23.
Both teams made a flurry of moves as roster limits expanded. Boston recalled catcher Blake Swihart, first baseman Sam Travis, right-hander Austin Maddox and left-hander Roenis Elias from Triple-A Pawtucket.
The Yankees added right-handers Ben Heller and Bryan Mitchell from Triple-A. Lefty Jordan Montgomery, who started on Wednesday against Cleveland, returned as well.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee inflammation) was activated from the 10-day disabled list prior to the game. He singled in four at-bats and made a nifty diving stop to rob Jacoby Ellsbury of a hit. The former AL MVP played just one game in August. … RHP Matt Barnes (low back strain) also came off the DL. … CF Jackie Bradley Jr. (sprained left thumb) is expected back on Saturday. . LHP David Price (left elbow inflammation) worked a 29-pitch bullpen on Friday, throwing fastballs and changeups in a session that manager John Farrell called impressive and powerful. Price may throw another bullpen session on Sunday or Monday which could include breaking balls.
Yankees: DH Matt Holliday (back) was reinstated from the 10-day disabled but did not play. … RHP Luis Cessa (ribcage injury) was transferred to the 60-day DL.
Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (14-4, 3.23 ERA) has won a career-high eight consecutive decisions. He is 2-0 with a 3.43 ERA in four starts against New York this season.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (10-10, 4.69 ERA) has won both starts since returning from the DL, including a 10-strikeout performance against Seattle his last time out.
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