Final Score: Boston 2, New York 1
Bronx, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Mike Napoli snuck a solo home run over the wall in right center in the ninth inning to lift the Boston Red Sox over the New York Yankees, 2-1, in the middle test of a three-game AL East series.
Jon Lester and Masahiro Tanaka were engaged in a classic pitchers' duel, and Tanaka was the last to blink.
After getting David Ortiz to bounce into a double play, Tanaka tried blowing a 96-m.p.h. fastball past Napoli, who was late on the swing but got just enough to poke it into the first row of seats and break a 1-1 tie.
Koji Uehara pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to finish off a gem from Lester (9-7), who allowed only five singles, two walks and an unearned run over eight terrific innings to give Boston just its third win in its last nine games.
"It's nice to get a guy a win who goes out and pitches as well as he did," Napoli said, referring to Lester.
Tanaka (11-3) recorded his third complete game but dropped consecutive starts for the first time. The only other run he allowed came on David Ross' homer in the third.
"He pitched as well as he could possibly pitch," Yankees catcher Brian McCann said of his battery mate.
The Yankees were held hitless over the first five innings, yet they still pulled even in the third. Brian Roberts reached on Stephen Drew's error, moved to second when Yangervis Solarte was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on Derek Jeter's groundout to short.
Tanaka wiggled out of a second-and-third, no-out jam in the third, then benefited from a replay reversal in the sixth when Jacoby Ellsbury threw out Dustin Pedroia trying to stretch a leadoff single into a double.
Brett Gardner recorded New York's first hit leading off the sixth but was promptly thrown out trying to steal second. The timing was unfortunate for the Yankees, as Jeter and Ellsbury followed with base hits and were stranded.
Despite the win, the Red Sox (37-44) are under .500 midway through the season for the first time since 1997 ... Tanaka, who struck out eight and allowed seven hits and a walk, has recorded a quality start in all 16 of his starts this season, tying the MLB record to start a career set by Montreal's Steve Rogers in 1973 ... Lester improved to 17-6 in his career against the Yankees ... Game time: 2:47.
06/29 00:00:31 ET
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