WHAT IT MEANS: The Yankees hung on after scoring five runs in the top of the first and leading 10-7 after 6 1/2 innings, defeating the Red Sox 10-8 on Friday night. They now lead Boston by 8 1/2 games in the AL East.
TEX MESSAGE: In the seventh inning, against the player Mark Teixeira may hate more than anyone in baseball, Vicente Padilla, Teixeira nailed a two-run triple. After stepping out to call time on Padilla's first 3-2 delivery, Teixeira unloaded on Padilla, launching the triple into the right-center field nook. Raul Ibanez followed with an RBI double to put the Yankees up 10-7.
The reason for Teixeira's disdain? He feels as if Padilla has tried to hit him on purpose several times. In 18 plate appearances against Padilla, Teixeira has three hits (two homers and the triple) in 11 official at-bats. The other seven plate appearances resulted in four walks and three hit by pitches. The two were teammates in Texas.
SEVENTH HEAVEN: In the bottom of the seventh, with a run already in, Derek Jeter ranged into the hole to get a force-out at third for the second out, and then David Robertson struck out Nick Punto to leave the tying run at first.
EIGHTH WONDER: Joe Girardi brought in Rafael Soriano with a two-run lead, two men on, and two outs in the eighth. Soriano, in place of Robertson, forced Adrian Gonzalez to ground out to first. Gonzalez is 0-for-9 versus Soriano in his career. Soriano completed a four-out save. He is 20-for-21 in save opportunities this season.
FIVE ALIVE: In the first, Josh Beckett and Hiroki Kuroda both allowed five runs on the board. The Yankees and the Red Sox have been playing each other for more than a century -- do you know how many times that has happened? Never, according to Elias Sports Bureau. And that's not all. The Yankees haven't been in a game with both teams scoring five in the first since May 2005 against the Seattle Mariners. Carl Pavano started that one for the Yanks. The Red Sox haven't had a first inning like that since April 1984 against Sparky Anderson's red-hot Detroit Tigers.
For the Yankees in the first, Teixeira had a two-run single, while Robinson Cano drove in a run with a walk and Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez had sacrifice flies.
For the Sox, they were helped by an Eric Chavez throwing error, while their big shot was a Jarrod Saltalamacchia three-run homer.
BECKETT SETTLED DOWN: Beckett left the game with a chance to win it, after settling down and only allowing one run over his final four innings of work.
KURODA SETTLED DOWN, BUT ... Kuroda gave up two more runs over his final 4 2/3. Kuroda went a little deeper, which gave Girardi the chance to save the bullpen for Saturday's day-night doubleheader. Well, at least in theory.
SPEEDY A-ROD: Man in the news Alex Rodriguez stole two bases in the fifth, but was thrown out at the plate on a one-hop smash to second by Swisher. A-Rod is 9-for-9 on the season on stolen bases. A-Rod now has more stolen bases than the past two seasons combined.
ON DECK: I'm writing a column on Teixeira's revenge.
QUESTION OF THE NIGHT: Is Soriano the Yankees' MVP of the first half of the season?