BOSTON (AP) — Reliever Boone Logan struck out Adrian Gonzalez with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning, and the New York Yankees came back to beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 on Friday night to win their eighth straight game and take over the lead in the AL East.
Logan (3-2) was the first of five Yankees relievers who combined to throw 4 1-3 shutout innings after starter Bartolo Colon couldn’t make it out of the fifth. Mariano Rivera was the last, pitching the ninth for his 29th save.
The win gave New York the division lead for the first time since July 6. Boston had beaten the Yankees in eight of their previous nine meetings this year.
Nick Swisher had two hits, including an RBI double off Jon Lester (11-5) to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead.
Lester, who had won five consecutive starts against the Yankees, allowed three runs on five hits and four walks, striking out seven in six-plus innings. David Ortiz homered and Josh Reddick had a pair of hits for Boston, which had been a season-high three games in front of New York on July 24.
They still led by 2 1/2 on the morning of July 30 before the Yankees swept the Orioles in a doubleheader to start their winning streak. But the teams came into the three-game series at Fenway Park tied for the best record in the AL, both 68-42. The game brought out the stars, with Seinfeld co-creator Larry David and Spike Lee rooting for the Yankees and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and Peter Farrelly, of the filmmaking brothers, pulling for the home team. It was a pleasant 71 degrees for the first pitch, and the crowd of 38,006 was the 688th consecutive sellout at Fenway Park.
The fans saw Lester outlast Colon, but only long enough to run into trouble himself in the sixth.
The Red Sox lefthander walked No. 9 hitter Eduardo Nunez and gave up back-to-back singles to Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson to score one run before Mark Teixeira walked to load the bases.
The Yankees tied it on Robinson Cano’s 4-6-3 double-play, and then took a 3-2 lead on Swisher’s double down the third-base line. Colon was pulled after throwing 94 pitches in 4 2-3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk. He gave up Jacoby Ellsbury’s RBI double in the third and Ortiz’s solo homer in the fourth, then loaded the bases in the fifth before Boone Logan (3-2) struck out Adrian Gonzalez to end the threat.
Logan pitched one inning in all, giving up one hit while striking out one.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)