Yankees pound Red Sox again
Those three long balls Mark Teixeira sent over the Fenway Park fences delivered an emphatic message: His early season struggles are over.
Teixeira joined Lou Gehrig as the only Yankees to hit three home runs against the Boston Red Sox, and he and Francisco Cervelli drove in five runs each as New York clinched another series with a 14-3 win Saturday.
``It felt great,'' Teixeira said. ``This game will humble you and I was humbled the first few weeks of the season.''
Now he's humbling pitchers - even Red Sox outfielder Jonathan Van Every, who served up his third homer of the game and fifth of the season.
``You play the percentages,'' said Van Every, who last pitched on April 30, 2009, for Boston against Tampa Bay. ``In baseball, you're a great hitter if you get a hit 30 percent of the time, and I was playing the 70 percent scenario and, unfortunately, he got a pitch up in the zone and took advantage of it.''
Teixeira is batting .393 in his last seven games (11 for 28) to raise his batting average to .207 (23 for 111).
Through May 8 last year, his first with the Yankees, he was hitting just .192 with five homers. He finished the year at .292, led the American League with 122 RBIs and tied Carlos Pena of Tampa Bay for the league lead with 39 homers.
``I don't know why I have slow starts,'' Teixeira said, ``but I end up having good seasons.''
The Yankees have won nine of their first 10 series this season, a mark surpassed only twice in team history. They won 14 of their first 15 in 1928 and 11 of their first 12 in 1939.
The three-game set began with a 10-3 win Friday night and ends Sunday night when unbeaten A.J. Burnett faces Boston's Jon Lester. New York has won its last six games.
Teixeira hit solo homers in the fifth and seventh, then added a two-run shot far over the left field wall in the ninth off Van Every for the third three-homer game of his career.
Gehrig hit three homers for New York on June 23, 1927, according to STATS LLC.
Boston dropped below .500 at 15-16 and is 1-8 at home against Tampa Bay and New York, who lead the Red Sox in the AL East.
``It doesn't matter who you play,'' catcher Victor Martinez said. ``You always want to go out there and get the best out of it.''
Cervelli made his fourth straight start in place of catcher Jorge Posada, who said before the game his strained right calf muscle feels much better but manager Joe Girardi resisted his pleas to play.
Cervelli singled in a run that tied the score 3-all in the third, hit a two-run single in the fourth that put the Yankees ahead 6-3 then capped a four-run eighth that made it 12-3.
``I do my best. That's all I can do,'' he said. ``I play every game like it's my last.''
Alfredo Aceves (3-0) relieved CC Sabathia with two outs in the bottom of the fifth after a rain delay of 1 hour, 14 minutes. Clay Buchholz (3-3) allowed six runs in five innings for Boston.
``I figured when they put the tarp on I was done,'' said Sabathia, who was one strike away from completing the fifth.
The Yankees took a 2-0 lead in the second. Ramiro Pena led off with a double, Derek Jeter walked and both advanced on Brett Gardner's sacrifice. Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez followed with RBI singles.
The Red Sox went ahead with three runs in the bottom of the inning on a solo homer by Darnell McDonald and a two-run shot by Martinez. They were the third homers of the season for each.
With the score 3-all in the fifth, Teixeira homered. Then the Yankees loaded the bases on a walk to Rodriguez, a single by Robinson Cano and a walk to Randy Winn before Cervelli singled home two runs.
Aceves left the game in the sixth with a stiff lower back after throwing a strike on the first pitch to Jeremy Hermida. Boone Logan came in and struck him out. Boston reliever Ramon Ramirez also left early with tightness in his right triceps. He threw just two pitches, both to Teixeira - a ball and his second homer.
NOTES: Cano was a late addition to the lineup as designated hitter. He left the Yankees' 10-3 win Friday night after being hit on the left knee by a pitch from Josh Beckett. ... The Yankees placed DH Nick Johnson on the 15-day disabled list with a sore right wrist and called up infielder Kevin Russo from Triple-A Wilkes Barre-Scranton. ... Terry Francona managed his 1,003rd game for Boston, tying Bill Carrigan for third place. Joe Cronin is first with 2,007. ... Aceves has won 10 consecutive regular-season decisions, the longest streak in the majors.