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It took 40 games, but FINALLY the Red Sox reached .500 by completing the three game sweep of the Yankees with a 7-5 win Sunday night. A near cycle by David Ortiz and a strong recovery by Jon Lester delivered the Sox their fifth win this year over the Yankees in six tries.
Lester struggled in the first two innings giving up four runs and two homeruns, but then he settled down and allowed only one hit after that point. Lester left the game after throwing six innings. He gave up 4 runs on 5 hits while walking 4 and striking out 7.
The Yankees got off to an early start and tagged Lester for a run early when Derek Jeter scored on a Mark Teixeira single to center field.
The Red Sox didn’t waste any time and responded in the Top half of the second inning. Kevin Youkilis scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of shortstop Jed Lowrie.
In the bottom half of the inning both Andruw Jones and Curtis Granderson took Lester deep. Jones’ was a solo shot and Granderson’s was a two run jack. The Granderson homer would mark the end of the Yankees’ scoring and offensive success against Lester for the rest of the night.
Kevin Youkilis homered to tie the game in the top of the third. Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Gonzalez both scored.
The Sox would finally get themselves a lead in the fifth. David Ortiz took a Freddy Garcia offering and sent it to the right field seats. Ortiz finished the game a triple away from the cycle.
In the seventh Alex Rodriguez helped out Boston’s cause when he misplayed a ground ball and it slipped past his glove and through his legs. The error allowed Dustin Pedroia to score to give the Red Sox a 6-4 lead.
Carl Crawford would give the run back with an error of his own in left field on an A-Rod double. His bobble in outfield was just enough to allow Granderson to score.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia added a late insurance run to regain a two run advantage for the Sox with homerun. The solo shot was his first homerun of the season.
Closer Jonathan Papelbon came on in the ninth to slam the door shut and break out the brooms for Boston.
The Red Sox now head home for a seven game homestand starting with two against the Orioles. The homestand will also bring the Detroit Tigers and old friend Victor Martinez to town. The Cubs will also make a trip to Fenway for a three game set over the weekend.
Follow Brian Moller on Twitter: @Brian_Moller