<
>

Rapid Reaction: Yankees 3, Red Sox 2

NEW YORK -- The Boston Red Sox owned the New York Yankees last season.

So far this year, it's the other way around.

The Yanks, just 6-13 against the Sox in 2013, are 3-1 against them in 2014 after winning the finale of this four-game series 3-2.

New York is now 7-6 overall, tied for first place in the American League East with both Tampa Bay and Toronto. Boston fell to 5-8.

Power up: A day after smacking a season-high five home runs, the Yankees got on the board early via another long ball.

With a runner on first base in the bottom of the third inning, Carlos Beltran sent an 84 mph changeup from Boston starter Felix Doubront into the left-field stands, putting New York in front 2-1. For Beltran, it was his third home run of the season, and second in two days.

Beltran finished 3-for-4, also including a single in the first inning and a double in the seventh.

Men down: Yankees manager Joe Girardi held out shortstop Derek Jeter for a second straight day with a sore quad. Second baseman Brian Roberts did not play due to a bad back. And then Francisco Cervelli, starting at first base, had to leave the game in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Cervelli appeared to hurt his right leg running to first base, trying to beat out a double play. He was called out, but that was overturned via instant replay, allowing the Yankees' third run to score. Cervelli had to leave the game though, and was replaced by pinch runner Ichiro Suzuki.

Suzuki remained in the game, playing right field (and made a great leaping catch at the wall in the eighth inning, taking a hit away from David Ortiz).

Beltran shifted from right field to first base. In his 17th year in the big leagues, it was Beltran's first-ever action at first base.

Ivan the Pretty Good: Yankees starter Ivan Nova went 7 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits, to earn his second win of the season.

Nova showed significant improvement from his previous start, in which he lasted just 3 2/3 innings against the Baltimore Orioles, allowing seven runs on 10 hits.

He had both his fastball and curveball working, and very good command, striking out four and not walking a batter. Nova is now 2-1 on the season, and his ERA dropped from 8.68 to 5.94.

Matt Thornton retired Ortiz for the second out in the eighth, then gave way to David Phelps, who loaded the bases via a double, walk and hit-by-pitch. But then Phelps struck out pinch hitter Mike Carp to put out the fire, keeping the Yankees' 3-2 lead intact.

Shawn Kelley pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts, earning the save for the second day in a row.

What's next: After playing 13 days in a row to start the season, the Yankees have their first day off on Monday.

Next up is a two-game series with the Chicago Cubs, back here in the Bronx. It'll be Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 3.21) versus fellow righty Jason Hammel (2-0, 2.63) on Tuesday, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.