Kuroda, Yankees turn back Red Sox
BOSTON - Hiroki Kuroda pitched seven strong innings and the injury-riddled New York Yankees broke through with a three-run seventh during their 5-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on a steamy Saturday at Fenway Park.
Eduardo Nunez, Lyle Overbay and Brett Gardner each had three hits for the Yankees, who snapped a three-game losing streak and moved to within six games of AL-East leading Boston.
Mike Carp had three hits and David Ortiz added two for the Red Sox, who lost for the third time in their last eight games.
Kuroda (9-6) outdueled John Lackey, holding Boston to three singles through six innings. The right-hander allowed two runs on five hits, with four strikeouts and one walk in winning his second straight start.
His performance couldn't have come at a better time for New York, either.
In dire need of strong starting pitching because of a depleted lineup, these are far from the same Bronx Bombers that New Yorkers have grown accustomed to rooting for.
After missing the first 91 games of the season, shortstop Derek Jeter was placed on the disabled list Friday because of a right quad strain, joining an All-Star cast on the sidelines that includes third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who is slated to return to the team on Monday, first baseman Mark Teixeira (strained right wrist), outfielder Curtis Granderson (broken pinkie) and catcher Francisco Cervelli (broken right hand).
It didn't matter who took the field Saturday.
New York led, 1-0, after Gardner's RBI single in the fifth inning, and then got timely hits from more than half of its unheralded lineup in the seventh.
Nunez doubled and scored on Luis Cruz's single, Robinson Cano extended his season-high hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single off reliever Matt Thornton and Overbay made it 4-0 with an RBI single to left.
Boston broke through against Kuroda in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Jonny Gomes, and cut the lead to 4-2 when Carp scored on a wild pitch, but that was all the Red Sox could muster.
Following a scoreless eighth by David Robertson, Cano tacked on an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
All-Star closer Mariano Rivera shut the door with a scoreless ninth for his 31st save.
Lackey (7-7) allowed four runs on 10 hits, with no walks and seven strikeouts, snapping his streak of allowing two earned runs or fewer in six straight starts.
Kuroda was sharp from the outset, retiring nine straight between the second and fourth innings before Carp singled to lead off the fifth.
Carp later tried to score on a pitch that escaped Chris Stewart, but Stewart chased the ball down before firing to Kuroda, who laid is glove in front of the plate in time to catch Carp.NOTES: The start of the game was delayed 21 minutes because of the threat of thunderstorms. ... Boston SS Stephen Drew was activated from the disabled list before the game. Drew missed 16 games because of a right hamstring strain. Infielder Brock Holt was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. ... The Red Sox are the only AL team and one of two major league clubs (Atlanta is the other) whose record has been above .500 all season. ... New York recalled outfielders Melky Mesa and Thomas Neal from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before the game. It is Mesa's first stint with the Yankees this season, and Neal's second after joining the club from June 14-23. ... Boston manager John Farrell moved LHP Jon Lester's scheduled start back from Sunday to Tuesday in order to give one of his aces extra rest following the All-Star break.
RHP Ryan Dempster (5-8, 4.24 ERA) will pitch in the finale of the three-game series on Sunday night against New York LHP CC Sabathia (9-8, 4.07). ... Boston fans gave Mariano Rivera a standing ovation as he came out of the bullpen.