Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Hiroki Kuroda took a shutout into the seventh
inning and the New York Yankees scored three times in the top of the frame en
route to a 5-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Kuroda (9-6) was reached for a pair of runs before exiting upon finishing out
the seventh, and held the Red Sox to five hits to help the Yankees put an end
to three straight losses that included a 4-2 setback in Friday's opener of
this three-game set.
"He had everything today," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "His stuff was
really crisp. He kept his pitch count down in the early innings. His stuff was
Kuroda received plenty of help from a New York lineup that pounded out 12
hits, with Brett Gardner and Lyle Overbay collecting three each along with
an RBI apiece. Robinson Cano knocked in two runs, while Eduardo Nunez
finished 3-for-4 and scored once in the triumph.
Mike Carp went 3-for-4 with a run scored and David Ortiz had two hits for AL
East-leading Boston, which had a five-game home win streak halted.
John Lackey (7-7) took the loss after being charged with four runs allowed on
10 hits while lasting 6 1/3 innings.
A matchup between two of the AL's top four earned run average leaders lived up
to its billing early on, with both Kuroda and Lackey keeping the opposition
off the board over the game's initial four innings.
Boston did had a chance to score when Ortiz singled with two out and a man on
in the bottom of the first, but Daniel Nava was easily gunned down at the
plate on Vernon Wells' on-target throw from short left field.
The Yankees put forth their best threat to that point in the fifth, as Nunez
led off with a single and stole second before being pushed up a base on a
Chris Stewart bunt. Luis Cruz followed with a grounder to a drawn-in infield
in which Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew fired home to nab Nunez for the second
New York did break through later in the inning, though, with Cruz taking
second on Lackey's wild pitch in front of Gardner's liner up the middle that
ended the scoreless deadlock.
Kuroda set down nine straight after Ortiz's early hit, but surrendered back-
to-back singles to Carp and Jonny Gomes to begin Boston's half of the fifth.
He regrouped to get the next two hitters, then worked out of the jam when Carp
made an unsuccessful attempt to score from third on a pitch that momentarily
got away from Stewart behind the plate.
"[Poor baserunning] worked against us a couple times today," Red Sox manager
John Farrell remarked. "Down two with David [Ortiz] on deck,
overaggressiveness on [Carp's] part."
The Red Sox again came away empty in the sixth, an inning before New York
struck for three runs to give Kuroda some breathing room.
Nunez doubled off the Green Monster to start the seventh and came around on
Cruz's single to center for a 2-0 lead. After a Gardner base hit ended
Lackey's afternoon, Cano and Overbay each drove in runs with consecutive two-
out singles off Matt Thornton.
Kuroda's string of 18 consecutive scoreless innings was snapped in the bottom
of the seventh after Ortiz singled, moved to third on Carp's double to center
and was plated on a Gomes sacrifice fly. Carp later trotted home on a wild
pitch to pull Boston within 4-2.
The Red Sox failed to get any closer, however. Cruz was hit by a pitch to open
the ninth and eventually scored on a Cano sac fly, and Mariano Rivera yielded
just a Carp single while fanning the final two in Boston's final at-bat to
nail down save No. 31 on the season.
Cano's RBI single extended his season-best hitting streak to 11 games ... Drew
was activated from the disabled list prior to the game and went 0-for-2 with a
walk in his first action since June 28 ... The Yankees placed outfielder Zolio
Almonte, who sprained his left ankle in Friday's tilt, on the 15-day DL while
designating infielder Alberto Gonzalez for assignment ... Boston's Shane
Victorino sat out the contest after injuring his hamstring in the series
opener ... Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia ended 0-for-4 with three
strikeouts and has now fanned 100 times in 263 at-bats this season ... Boston
second baseman Dustin Pedroia committed just his second error in his last 124
games after booting Gardner's grounder in the ninth.