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Rapid Reaction: Yankees 7, Red Sox 4


NEW YORK -- The Bronx Bombers lived up to their nickname Saturday, and now have a chance to take three of four from their archrivals.

After hitting just seven home runs in the first 11 games of the season, the New York Yankees went deep four times against John Lackey and five times overall en route to a 7-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

The Yankees improve to 6-6 on the season, a game behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays (7-5). The Red Sox drop to 5-7.

Power report: The Yankees got on the board quickly against Lackey, thanks to Carlos Beltran's two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning. Beltran connected with a 92 mph fastball and sent it into the right-field seats, his second long ball of the season, making the score 2-0.

Boston's A.J. Pierzynski tied the game in the very next frame with a two-run blast of his own off New York starter Hiroki Kuroda. But the Yankees regained the lead in the fourth, on consecutive solo shots to right by Brian McCann and Alfonso Soriano, making it 4-2.

McCann's landed in the second deck, and was his first home run as a Yankee. For Soriano, it was No. 4 on the season, and his second in two games.

McCann hit his second homer as a Yankee in his very next at-bat, depositing an 83 mph cutter in the New York bullpen with a runner aboard in the sixth, making it 6-2.

Kelly Johnson capped off the scoring with a solo homer to center in the bottom of the eighth off Burke Badenhop, his third of the year.

Front and center: Jacoby Ellsbury continued his hot start in his first season in New York, going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and a walk. He also stole a base, his sixth swipe of the season. Ellsbury is now batting .372 on the year.

McCann, Beltran, Soriano, Johnson and Yangervis Solarte all had two hits apiece.

On the mound: After a rocky start, Kuroda settled down nicely. He gave up a pair of singles in the first inning, needing 21 pitches to wiggle out of trouble. And Pierzynski took him deep in the second. But after that, Kuroda posted four scoreless frames.

Things got a little hairy in the seventh. After issuing a pair of walks, Kuroda gave way to lefty Matt Thornton, who was brought on to face David Ortiz. Thornton struck out Ortiz, but then hit Mike Napoli with a pitch to load the bases, and Mike Carp drove home two runs with a single to left field.

With runners on the corners and two outs, Dellin Betances came on to face Xander Bogaerts. But with a 1-2 count, Carp attempted to steal second base and was thrown out by McCann, ending the threat.

Adam Warren hurled a 1-2-3 eighth with two strikeouts. Shawn Kelley retired the side in order in the ninth, earning his second save.

Kuroda went 6 1/3 innings, charged with four runs on six hits, with five strikeouts and three walks. He improved to 2-1 on the season, but his ERA rose to 3.86.

Out of action: Derek Jeter was given the day off, with it being a day game after a night game. Dean Anna played shortstop, batted ninth and went 1-for-4 with a double. The only Yankees starter who did not get a hit in the game was Brian Roberts (0-for-4, sacrifice).

What's next: The series finale, pitting Ivan Nova (1-1, 8.68) against lefty Felix Doubront (1-1, 9.00), first pitch shortly after 8 p.m.