NEW YORK — Hiroki Kuroda pitched seven solid innings and Brian McCann tied a career high with four hits, leading the New York Yankees to a 5-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Kuroda (10-8) won his third straight decision by allowing a run and four hits. He worked quickly and efficiently, never throwing more than 18 pitches in any inning while lowering his ERA to 3.78.
Kuroda struck out seven and did not issue a walk for the eighth time while throwing 73 of 95 pitches for strikes. He also improved to 6-1 against AL East opponents and is 4-2 since the All-Star break.
McCann helped the Yankees reach five runs for the 49th time by hitting a two-run home run and an RBI single. He also singled in the fifth and sixth for his 11th career four-hit game — his last came on July 6, 2013, at Philadelphia.
Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury lifted a sacrifice fly and left fielder Brett Gardner had an RBI single for the Yankees (71-66), who won for the third time in their last eight games and moved back to four games behind the Detroit Tigers for the American League’s second wild card spot.
Rookie right-hander Anthony Ranaudo (3-1), a New Jersey native, allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings and was handed his first loss at any level since June 1. He won his last nine decisions for Triple-A Pawtucket and won his first three starts for the Red Sox.
Third baseman Brock Holt had an RBI double for the Red Sox (61-78), who lost for the 12th time in 18 games.
For the second straight night, bad baserunning cost the Yankees. They tried to pull off a double steal in the first inning, but Jeter and Gardner wound up getting thrown out on a 2-6-3-4-5-3 play to end the inning.
New York took a 2-0 lead with one out in the second. After first baseman Mark Teixeira singled, McCann hit his 17th home run of the season, into the second deck in right field.
Kuroda struck out seven through five innings and allowed a one-out infield single to catcher Christian Vazquez in the third and a leadoff single to right fielder Daniel Nava, who was picked off first for the first out of the fifth inning.
The Yankees loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fifth on a single by right fielder Ichiro Suzuki and took a 3-0 lead on Ellsbury’s sacrifice fly.
Boston’s biggest threat against Kuroda came in the seventh when right fielder Daniel Nava singled with one out. Kuroda finished his outing by striking out first baseman Allan Craig and retiring shortstop Xander Bogaerts on a groundout.
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Notes: Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia missed his fourth straight game because of concussion-like symptoms, but manager John Farrell believes he could return Friday when the team is back home. Farrell said Pedroia passed the impact test and took early batting practice. ... RHP Brandon Workman was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket and will start today for the Red Sox. ... New York RHP Ivan Nova started a throwing program last week as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.