BOSTON – Alfonso Soriano drove in four more runs and Andy Pettitte avoided his first-inning troubles to lead New York to a 10-3 victory over the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
The Yankees won for the fifth time in six games and sent the Red Sox to their third consecutive loss. With Tampa Bay’s victory over Toronto, Boston’s lead in the division was trimmed to one game.
Soriano was 3 for 4 with a hit-by-pitch and a three-run homer in the third that made it 6-0. He has 13 hits and 18 RBI in his last four games.
Alex Rodriguez had a pair of singles while getting booed loudly in his first appearance in Boston since he was suspended 211 games in baseball’s latest steroid scandal. Rodriguez, who is allowed to play pending his appeal, was also mocked by fans with chants of “You do steroids” and signs that said, “A-Roid” and “AFraud.”
Pettitte (8-9) had allowed a run in the first inning in a franchise-record eight consecutive starts. But this time he retired the first eight Red Sox batters before Will Middlebrooks singled in the third. In all, Pettitte allowed three runs — none earned — on six hits and a walk, striking out five in 62/3 innings to win for the first time in six starts.
Mark Reynolds, who was released by Cleveland last week and signed Thursday by the Yankees, hit a two-run homer over the Green Monster in the second to give New York a 3-0 lead. He’s the 14th player to homer in his first Yankees at-bat.
Felix Doubront (8-6) allowed seven runs — six earned — on eight hits and two walks, striking out four in four innings. It was the first time in 17 starts that he allowed more than three earned runs and just the second time all season.
The Red Sox trailed 7-1 when they finally got to Pettitte in the seventh.
Dustin Pedroia reached and went to second on an error, then scored when David Ortiz lined a ball off the left-field wall. But Soriano threw Ortiz out trying to stretch it into a double. One out later, Stephen Drew doubled, Mike Napoli walked and Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled home a run to make it 7-3.
Pinch-hitter Mike Carp tried to take first base, claiming he was hit on the foot by a pitch in the dirt, but was called back by home plate umpire Bill Welke. Carp was called out on strikes two pitches later, slammed his helmet to the ground and was quickly ejected.
Boston also threatened in the eighth, getting runners on first and second with one out. But Ortiz lined to Rodriguez, who was shifted into the shortstop’s position, and he threw to second to double off Shane Victorino.
Ichiro Suzuki had one hit, a run-scoring Baltimore chop in the three-run ninth, giving him 3,995 hit combined in the major leagues and Japan.
NOTES: Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (strained right calf) shifted his rehab program to the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa, Fla., where he took 34 swings over five rounds of batting practice. … The Red Sox had three errors — Pedroia, Drew and pitcher Rubby De la Rosa — and the Yankees two, both by shortstop Eduardo Nunez.