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Red Sox 12, Yankees 8

Red Sox rally to beat Yankees

Mike Napoli celebrated after hitting a grand slam against the Yankees in the seventh inning.

Reuters

Mike Napoli celebrated after hitting a grand slam against the Yankees in the seventh inning.

NEW YORK — If the Yankees watch the playoffs from home this season, it will be the Red Sox who put them on the couch.

The Sox antagonized their rivals again Friday night, rallying from a five-run deficit to beat the Yankees, 12-8, before a crowd of 44,117 that spent the final few innings booing a parade of ineffective relief pitchers.

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Shane Victorino’s two-run home run in the eighth inning was the winner for the Sox. They have won four straight, seven of eight, and 11 of their last 13 games.

Daniel Nava walked with the bases loaded later in the inning before Stephen Drew added an RBI single.

Victorino has 14 home runs, nine since Aug. 1. Of those nine home runs, five have come batting righthanded against a righthanded pitcher.

A switch-hitter, Victorino has been batting almost exclusively righthanded for the last five weeks to protect a sore left hamstring. Somehow that transformed him into a power hitter.

The Sox scored five runs in the seventh inning to tie the game, four on a grand slam by Mike Napoli. He was 3 for 3 with two walks. The Sox finished with 15 hits and drew seven walks.

The victory came a night after Mariano Rivera blew a save in the ninth inning and the Sox beat the Yankees in the 10th. The third-place Yankees are 10 games out of first and falling in the wild-card race.

The Red Sox have scored 41 runs on 50 hits, 13 of them home runs, in the last three games. At 86-57, they have 17 more victories than last season with 19 games left.

Rookie Brandon Workman (5-2) pitched 1 innings for the win. Koji Uehara got the final three outs. He has retired the last 27 batters to face him, a perfect game spread over nine outings.

Red Sox starter Felix Doubront lasted only 3 innings, giving up six runs on three hits and six walks. He has a 6.60 earned run average in his last six starts and could be pitching himself out of a potential postseason rotation.

Doubront was out of synch from the start.

He walked Derek Jeter with one out in the first inning before leaving a fastball over the plate that Alfonso Soriano launched into the seats in left field.

It was Soriano’s 30th home run of the season, his 13th in 39 games with the Yankees.

Doubront walked Vernon Wells, who has a .292 on-base percentage, to start the second inning. Eduardo Nunez followed with an RBI triple to the gap in left field.

Nunez scored on a sacrifice fly by Chris Stewart to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead.

Doubront retired six straight before he walked Mark Reynolds and Stewart with two outs in the fourth inning. Reynolds had a .313 on-base percentage and Stewart a .286 on-base percentage.

The lack of control was costly as Gardner followed with a line shot to center field. Victorino, playing center in place of an injured Jacoby Ellsbury, tried to make a diving catch and the ball got past him for a two-run triple.

That was the end of the night for Doubront, who threw only 46 of 88 pitches for strikes.

Rookie Rubby De La Rosa went 2 innings and allowed two runs on four hits.

As Doubront struggled, Yankees starter Andy Pettitte continued what has been an impressive run.

The 41-year-old lefthander held the Sox to three runs on five hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out eight. Pettitte has a 1.75 earned run average in his last six starts.

The Sox scored a run in the second inning when Napoli singled, Nava walked, and David Ross singled on an 0-and-2 pitch with two outs.

Napoli doubled to start the fourth inning, driving a fastball down the line in left. He advanced to third on a fly ball by Nava and scored when Drew grounded out.

Will Middlebrooks homered to left field in the fifth inning. It was his third home run in as many games and his fifth in 24 games since being recalled from Triple A Pawtucket.

Trailing, 8-3, the Red Sox made the game interesting against Phil Hughes in the seventh inning.

Hughes was replaced in the rotation by lefthander David Huff, who starts on Saturday. His first relief appearance of the season did not go well.

Ross led off with a single, the ball nearly wiping out Nunez at shortstop. Victorino then lashed a single to center with one out. Pinch hitter Mike Carp walked to load the bases before Dustin Pedroia’s infield single drove in a run.

Lefty Boone Logan came in to face David Ortiz and struck him out looking at a full-count slider. Yankees manager Joe Girardi left the lefthander in to face Napoli and that was a terrible mistake.

Napoli worked the count full, fouled off two pitches, then hit a fly ball to right field that just eluded the leap of Ichiro Suzuki.

It was the 19th home run of the season for Napoli, his fourth in 11 games and sixth career grand slam. Three of the slams have come this season.

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