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Bay blasts Red Sox past Yanks

JASON Bay belted a two-run homer off the foul pole in the seventh inning to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 6-4 win over New York on Monday in the first meeting between the bitter rivals at the new Yankee Stadium.

Bay's blast restored a comfortable cushion to Boston left-hander Jon Lester (2-2), who mowed down the Yankees for four innings before his 4-0 lead shrank to 4-3 on back-to-back home runs by Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira in the fifth.

Boston (16-10) beat young right-hander Phil Hughes, scoring single runs in each of the first four innings after the start was delayed by more than two hours due to rain.

The 22-year-old Hughes (1-1) lasted only four innings before giving way to Alfredo Aceves, who yielded the home run to Bay.

Teixeira slugged his second homer of the game leading off the eighth against reliever Ramon Ramirez but closer Jonathan Papelbon sealed the win, pitching out of a bases-loaded ninth-inning jam for his seventh save.

A crowd of 46,426 was announced for the game but a chilly rain cut into the usual packed audience for a Red Sox-Yankees tilt, even with the New York club discounting its best seats after finding the US$2,500 asking price too steep amid the downturn.

The Yankees dropped to 12-13 with the loss, their fourth in a row to the Red Sox, who swept three games from them last week in Boston.

Yankee manager Joe Girardi was ejected after he came out to argue with home plate umpire Jerry Meals following a called third strike against captain Derek Jeter in the fifth inning. "It was just the calls for the whole night," Girardi told reporters.

Girardi said Hughes and Aceves both threw the ball well. "(Aceves) made one mistake tonight. Jason Bay has been a thorn in our side and he hurt us again tonight."

Girardi's argument with Meals seemed to provide a jolt of energy for the Yankees. Damon hit the next pitch for a two-run homer to right, and Teixeira hit the very next pitch on a line over the left-center field wall to make it 4-3.

Aside from his fifth-inning hiccup, Lester was outstanding. The left-hander tied a career high with 10 strikeouts and gave up just six hits in seven innings.

Elsewhere in the American League, it was: Royals 3, White Sox 0; Orioles 8, Rays 4; Twins 7, Tigers 2; Indians 9, Blue Jays 7; Angels 5, Athletics 2; and Rangers 6, Mariners 5.

In the National League, it was: Mets 6, Braves 4; Brewers 7, Pirates 4; Nationals 9, Astros 4; Phillies 6, Cardinals 1; Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 2; Cubs 4, Giants 2; Marlins 3, Reds 2 (in 14 innings); and Rockies 9, Padres 6.


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