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August 8, 2009

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Yanks earn first win over Bosox

THE New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox for the first time this season, slamming four home runs to crush their arch rivals 13-6 on Thursday.

Johnny Damon, Jorge Posada, Mark Teixeira and Melky Cabrera all homered for the Yankees, who have won four successive games but had lost their eight previous games against the Red Sox.

Cabrera and Posada's homers highlighted an eight-run fourth inning for the Yankees, while Damon's homer in the third inning was his third in three days.

"That team (Boston) is in second place, and we've got to beat that team," Teixeira told reporters. "For us to get that big inning and get a little bit of a cushion, it made everybody -- and probably the fans, too -- heave a sigh of relief."

With Muhammad Ali among the sellout crowd, the Yankees ended a nine-game skid against Boston dating to last season, New York's longest drought in the rivalry since 1912, when they lost 17 straight.

The Red Sox, who have now lost their last three games, are 3-1/2 games behind the American League East-leading Yankees.

"That's an unforgiving lineup in an unforgiving ballpark," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of the Yankee batters.

Elsewhere in the AL, it was: Indians 2, Twins 1; Tigers 7, Orioles 3; Angels 9, White Sox 5; Rangers 6, Athletics 4; and Royals 8, Mariners 2.

In the National League, it was: Nationals 12, Marlins 8; Phillies 3, Rockies 1; Diamondbacks 11, Pirates 6 (in 12 innings); Padres 8, Mets 3; and Dodgers 5, Braves 4.

In New York, Joba Chamberlain (8-2) had control issues in walking seven, but still picked up his fourth successive win. He went five innings and allowed four runs on six hits, striking out five.

"You've got to give credit to the offense for picking us all up and doing the things that they've done great since the second half," Chamberlain said.

"A pitcher gets a lot of help with a lineup like this."

John Smoltz gave a performance that put his future with Boston in question.

Smoltz (2-5) was tagged for eight runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 innings, sending his ERA to 8.33 for his eight starts this season. It was his most runs allowed since he gave up eight in a no-decision with Atlanta on May 28, 2006, at Wrigley Field.

"I'm not doing it right now," he said. "I'm a big enough man to stand up here and say I'm not doing it. Time may not be on my side if this continues. I've been here before, but not like this."

Francona said it was too early to come to any conclusions on Smoltz.

"I thought that he threw the ball well over the first couple of innings, but then they started taking some pretty healthy swings on him," the Red Sox manager said.

Casey Kotchman hit a two-run homer in his first start for Boston and Dustin Pedroia also went deep. David Ortiz went 0 for 5 and was booed in his first game at Yankee Stadium since he said the players union confirmed his name was on the list of 104 major leaguers who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003.


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