The Yankees outfielder had three hits and drove in four more runs — giving him 18 RBIs in his last four games — and Pettitte avoided his recent first-inning troubles to lead New York to a 10-3 victory over the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
Soriano, who was traded to New York from the Chicago Cubs last month, was 3 for 4 with a hit-by-pitch and a three-run homer in the third that made it 6-0.
"Here we go again," Soriano said as he approached reporters after the game. "I think the motivation (is) going back to the Yankees, trying to help the team win."
The Yankees won for the fifth time in six games and sent the Red Sox to their third consecutive loss. With Tampa Bay’s victory over Toronto, Boston’s lead in the division was trimmed to one game; the Yankees are 7 games back in the division and 5 back in the AL wild-card race.
"You’re looking at a powerful right-handed hitter in the middle of the lineup who caught fire since he came over," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "It’s had an enormous (impact) on their offense."
Alex Rodriguez had a pair of singles while getting booed loudly in his first appearance in Boston since he was suspended 211 games in baseball’s latest steroid scandal. Rodriguez, who is allowed to play pending his appeal, was also mocked by fans with chants of "You do steroids" and signs that said, "A-Roid" and "AFraud."
"That reaction was pretty close to usual," he said. "We’re in playoff baseball. Every game means the world to us. We’re trying to stay very focused in here."
Pettitte (8-9) had allowed a run in the first inning in a franchise-record eight consecutive starts. But this time he retired the first eight Red Sox batters before Will Middlebrooks singled in the third. In all, Pettitte allowed three runs — none earned — on six hits and a walk, striking out five in 6 2-3 innings to win for the first time in six starts.
"It was one of those nights were I felt like everything was working," Pettitte said. "It was a big win for us. We’ve got to win this series. We’ve got to win a lot of series."
Mark Reynolds, who was released by the Cleveland Indians last week, hit a two-run homer over the Green Monster in the second to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead. He is the 14th player in franchise history to homer in his first Yankees at-bat.
Felix Doubront (8-6) allowed seven runs — six earned — on eight hits and two walks, striking out four in four innings. It was the first time in 17 starts that he allowed more than three earned runs and just the second time all season.
"Two swings cost us five runs," said Farrell, whose team also committed three errors for the second time in three games. "This wasn’t one of our more sharp efforts."
The Red Sox trailed 7-1 when they finally got to Pettitte in the seventh.
Dustin Pedroia reached and went to second on an error, then scored when David Ortiz line a ball off the left field Wall. But Soriano threw Ortiz out trying to stretch it into a double. One out later, Stephen Drew doubled and Mike Napoli walked and Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled in a run to make it 7-3.
Pinch-hitter Mike Carp tried to take first base, claiming he was hit in the foot by a pitch in the dirt, but was called back by home plate umpire Bill Welke. Carp was called out on strikes two pitches later and he slammed his helmet to the ground and was quickly ejected.
Boston also threatened in the eighth, getting runners on first and second with one out. But Ortiz lined it to Rodriguez, who was shifted into the shortstop’s position, and he threw to second to double off Shane Victorino.
Ichiro Suzuki had one hit, a run-scoring Baltimore chop in the three-run ninth, giving him 3,995 combined in the major leagues and Japan.
NOTES:Yankees SS Derek Jeter (strained right calf) shifted his rehab program to the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa, Fla., where he took 34 swings over five rounds of batting practice. He also fielded 43 grounders and made throws to first base. … Robinson Cano singled in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. … The attendance of 38,143 was a season-high at Fenway Park. … The Red Sox committed three errors — Pedroia, Drew and pitcher Rubby De la Rosa — and the Yankees had two, both by shortstop Eduardo Nunez.