NEW YORK – Mike Napoli hit a tying grand slam in the seventh, Shane Victorino had a go-ahead homer one inning later Friday night, and the Boston Red Sox rallied past the New York Yankees 12-8 for their fourth straight victory.
Will Middlebrooks homered for the third straight day and Boston erased a five-run deficit in another wild game between these longtime rivals. One night earlier the Yankees took an 8-7 lead with a six-run seventh, only to lose 9-8 in 10 innings on Victorino’s tiebreaking single.
New York has lost consecutive games when scoring at least eight runs for the first time since September 1949. The last time it happened with both games at home was 1911 against Cleveland.
Napoli also doubled, singled and walked twice in a perfect night at the plate. He scored three times, one night after sparking Boston’s ninth-inning comeback with a two-out single off Mariano Rivera.
The Red Sox, who began the day with a 6½-game lead in the AL East over Tampa Bay, slowed New York’s wild-card charge by winning the first two games of a four-game set, improving to 9-5 against New York this year. They have scored 41 runs in their past three games and won 11 of 13 overall.
Alfonso Soriano homered and Brett Gardner hit a two-run triple for the Yankees, but Phil Hughes and Boone Logan failed to hold an 8-3 lead for Andy Pettitte. New York went hitless after the fifth inning.
Victorino connected for a two-run shot off Preston Claiborne (0-2) in the eighth. Joba Chamberlain walked in a run later in the inning and Stephen Drew made it 12-8 with an RBI single.
Brandon Workman (5-2) threw 11/3 hitless innings and Koji Uehara pitched a perfect ninth, running his scoreless streak to 27 innings over 24 games. He has retired 27 straight batters.
The game lasted exactly four hours, one night after the teams played 10 innings in 4:32.
The 41-year-old Pettitte was pulled after six innings and 100 pitches. He struck out eight but the bullpen betrayed him again.
In his previous outing, Pettitte was ahead 3-0 after 93 pitches when Baltimore chased him in a seven-run seventh inning. This time Boston scored five runs in the seventh off Hughes and Logan.
If the Yankees could have held those leads, Pettitte would have won five straight starts.
Short in the bullpen after using seven relievers Thursday night, New York Manager Joe Girardi called on Hughes to begin the seventh — his first relief appearance since 2011. After going 4-13 with a 4.86 ERA in 26 starts this season, Hughes was demoted to the bullpen this week.
He gave up two singles and a nine-pitch walk to pinch-hitter Mike Carp after getting ahead 0-2. Dustin Pedroia drove in a run with an infield single and Hughes walked off to boos from the crowd of 44,117.
Logan struck out David Ortiz before Napoli lofted a high fly toward the short porch in right. Ichiro Suzuki made a desperate leap, but the ball bounced off the ledge just behind the fence and caromed up into the crowd for Napoli’s sixth career slam and third this season. He hit one off Hughes at Yankee Stadium on June 1.