It was a pitcher’s duel between Phil Hughes and Josh Beckett through the first three innings. However, New York turned a close game into a blowout with a six-run sixth inning en route to a 10-3 triumph over Boston Friday night at Fenway Park.
Hughes became the third Yankee starter to improve to 4-0 this season. Beckett (1-1) allowed nine runs in 5.1 innings.
Leading 3-1, New York’s six-run sixth inning began with a leadoff double by Alex Rodriguez. Beckett then hit Robinson Cano on the left knee. Cano eventually left the game during the ensuing at bat. The Yankees loaded the bases with one out and Francisco Cervelli at the plate. Facing a 3-2 count, Beckett’s pitch was high and tight to force in a run.
Cervelli’s walk was the first of five straight Yankees to reach base. Randy Winn added an RBI single, and Derek Jeter was hit to force in another run. Marcus Thames and Mark Teixeira followed with RBI singles before Beckett left the mound. Rodriguez’s second at-bat in the inning produced a sacrifice fly to increase the Yankees lead to 9-1.
Both starting pitchers were nearly flawless over the first three innings. Beckett struck out the side in the first and totaled six over the first three innings. Meanwhile, Hughes did not allow a hit until the bottom of the fourth.
In winning his fourth game in five starts, Hughes lowed his ERA to 1.69. He limited Boston to two runs on seven hits over seven innings. He struck out seven and walked one. Hughes entered the game 0-2 with a 7.62 ERA in eight career appearances against Boston.
Beckett allowed nine runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings. He also struck out eight, walked three and two hit batters. It was the most runs Beckett allowed since he surrendered nine runs in a 13-5 loss to the Yankees on Aug. 19, 2006.
New York scored first in the top of the fourth inning. With runners at first and second and two outs, Nick Swisher blasted his sixth home run of the season over the center field wall for a 3-0 lead. Boston answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning on David Ortiz’s sacrifice fly RBI. Ortiz also added an RBI single in the sixth.
New York added their 10th run on Thames’s sacrifice fly RBI in the top of the eighth. Boston scored their final run on Adrian Beltre’s RBI single in the bottom half of the inning.
The Yankees scored at least 10 runs for the second time in less than a week. New York defeated Chicago, 12-3, on Sunday. The Yankees have won their last five games by a combined score of 37-12.
New York and Boston will resume their weekend series on Saturday. CC Sabathia (4-1, 2.74) will take the ball for New York against Boston’s Clay Buchholz (3-2, 2.97). First pitch is set for 3:10 p.m. ET.