BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox don’t understand why they’ve been able to dominate CC Sabathia.
They just want it to continue.
Jacoby Ellsbury had a three-run homer with a career-high six RBIs, and Carl Crawford had four hits to lead Boston to a 10-4 victory over the Yankees ace on Saturday, snapping New York’s eight-game winning streak and leaving the teams tied for first — again — in the AL East.
“To get wins against guys like that, you try not to think about it too much,” said Crawford, who has hit safely in six consecutive plate appearances. “You try to just take it.”
One day after losing the series opener to fall into second place for the first time in almost a month, the Red Sox improved to 69-43 — the same as the Yankees. Boston is 9-2 against New York this season, clinching at least a tie for the season series, and nowhere has the dominance been more complete than when Sabathia (16-6) pitches.
The big left-hander, who leads the majors in wins, fell to 0-4 with a 7.20 ERA against Boston this year. He is 16-2 with a 2.11 ERA against everyone else.
“Believe me, it’s not like we go, `We’re going to lunch up on him,”‘ Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “He’s really good. He’s had his way with a lot of teams, and we give him a good battle. I’m sure we’ll see him a bunch more times.”
Sabathia allowed seven runs in six innings Saturday, giving up nine hits and a walk and striking out six. It’s the first time in 11 starts that he didn’t last at least seven innings.
“It’s a good ballclub. They have a good lineup. Like today, they wear on you,” Sabathia said. “I’ve faced all of those guys a lot. When I’m right, I can beat anybody.”
John Lackey (10-8) scattered six hits over six innings for the Red Sox, allowing three runs — he also walked two and hit two batters — while striking out five to win his fifth consecutive decision.
It was 2-2 when Kevin Youkilis doubled to lead off the fourth and, after David Ortiz struck out, Mike Aviles singled home one run. Crawford singled and, one out later, Marco Scutaro singled in another run before Ellsbury hit a high fly that landed in the first row of the right-field seats next to the 380-foot marker.
The Yankees cut it to 7-4 on Mark Teixeira’s solo homer off Daniel Bard in the eighth.
But Boston loaded the bases against Hector Noesi in the bottom half before Ellsbury hit a two-run single and Dustin Pedroia added a sacrifice fly to make it 10-4. Noesi finally got out of the inning when he took Adrian Gonzalez’s line drive off his right shoulder; the ball ricocheted toward first base, and Teixeira picked it up and tagged the base for the out.
Francisco Cervelli had three hits for the Yankees, including a leadoff double against Dan Wheeler in the ninth. With two on, Teixeira lined the ball down the right-field line, just foul of the Pesky Pole.
He flied out to center to end the game.
Play was delayed briefly when a beer vendor’s tray fell over the wall near the Yankees dugout, scattering cans on the dirt. The spill was featured on the national television broadcast, and a FOX TV producer told Red Sox officials the network would pay for the load so the vendor wouldn’t be out the money; Red Sox spokeswoman Pam Ganley said the vendor would not have to pay for the spilled beer.
Francona got a chuckle out of it.
“I’m just glad Bogie (third base coach Tim Bogar) didn’t grab one and start drinking it,” he said.
Notes: Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez took batting practice in Florida, continuing his recovery from right knee surgery. The Yankees expect him to rejoin the team in mid-August. … Aviles, who came to the Red Sox from Kansas City at the trade deadline, made his first pro appearance in the outfield. … Curtis Granderson scored his major league-leading 100th run in the fourth. … For the series finale on Sunday, Freddy Garcia will face Josh Beckett. Garcia has won three straight starts, but on the year he is 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA in two starts against Boston. “They’ve hit him pretty good,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Freddy’s been pretty consistent. Those are his starts that weren’t.” Beckett is 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA against the Yankees this year.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)