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Late Rally Falls Short As Yankees Lose To Red Sox

Youkilis' Blast In 7th Leads Boston To Eventual 5-4 Victory
Kevin Youkilis

Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox watches his seventh-inning two-run home run off Joba Chamberlain sail into the Bronx night on May 13, 2011. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Whether New York and Boston are fighting for first place or scuffling, as they are this year, Clay Buchholz knows he’s in for a battle at Yankee Stadium.

“It’s the toughest place mentally to pitch,” he said. “They all hate us.”

In the first game between the rivals in New York this season, Buchholz won his third straight start and Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis homered to lead the Red Sox to a 5-4 victory Friday night.

Just 1-3 with a 6.25 ERA in six starts against the Yankees coming in, Buchholz (4-3) allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings, struck out seven and walked one.

“He threw hard and down with movement, and then he started using his changeup and breaking ball,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “His fastball had so much depth to it.”

Boston (18-20) stopped a two-game skid and remained five games behind AL East-leading Tampa Bay. The Yankees, who dropped to 1-3 against the Red Sox on Friday the 13th, lost their third straight home game for the first time since Sept. 22-25 and dropped two games behind the Rays.

“They always seem to come out of their struggles whenever we come here or they come to Fenway,” Buchholz said.

A crowd of 48,254 filled the ballpark for the first sellout since opening day. It was the first Friday the 13th game between the rivals in a decade — and the first between them in New York in 20 years.

Gonzalez homered into the right-field second deck leading off a two-run fourth against Bartolo Colon (2-2), his fourth homer in three games, and he put the Red Sox ahead 3-2 with a seventh-inning sacrifice fly off Chamberlain. Youkilis reached out for a 98 mph fastball and powered it over the right-field scoreboard for a two-run homer.

“I was very fortunate we’re not playing at Fenway Park and are in Yankee Stadium,” Youkilis said. “That’s the good thing being here. The ball goes out to right field where it’s an out probably at Fenway Park, how deep it is.”

Chamberlain had not allowed a run in his previous six appearances.

“I knew it wasn’t a good pitch as soon as I let it go,” he said.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia had singled leading off the seventh, chasing Colon after 103 pitches. Speedy Jacoby Ellsbury bounced to shortstop against Chamberlain, but the Yankees could only get the force at second. Dustin Pedroia then executed a perfect hit-and-run single past the space Cano vacated to cover the second-base bag, putting runners at the corners for Gonzalez, who hit a sacrifice fly to the left-field warning track.

In Colon’s first start since an orthopedic surgeon said he injected stem cells into the pitcher’s right shoulder and elbow last year, he gave up three runs — two earned — five hits and three walks in six-plus innings.

Youkilis also scored in the fourth on Carl Crawford’s groundout after reaching when Russell Martin allowed a third strike to get by him for a passed ball.

Martin tied the score with a two-run homer in the fifth. Martin and Youkilis and Martin each ended 45 at-bat homerless streaks.

Daniel Bard allowed Curtis Granderson’s leadoff triple to the base of the left-field wall in the eighth, then threw a run-scoring wild pitch that made it 5-3. Alex Rodriguez walked, Bard hit Robinson Cano on the left foot with a pitch, and the runners advanced on a double steal. In the key sequence of the night, Bard struck out Nick Swisher with a 99 mph fastball and induced an inning-ending grounder to second by Jorge Posada on a 101 mph pitch.

Jonathan Papelbon finished for his sixth save in seven chances, ending career-high stretches of six games and 20 days without one. He allowed Granderson’s two-out RBI single before getting Mark Teixeira to pop out with the tying run on base.

“We had our shot,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We didn’t get it done.”

NOTES: Buchholz made a diving stab on Brett Gardner’s one-hopper between the mound and first in the third inning, then had a nifty backhand toss to first to beat the batter. … A disputed call by Mike Everitt allowed Gardner to advance to second in the fifth — the second-base ump ruled Pedroia’s foot came off the bag as he stretched to reach Derek Jeter’s hit-and-run grounder to the shortstop side of the bag. But Buchholz retired Granderson and Teixeira.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)