Leon, Red Sox beat Yanks 5-2 for sixth straight win
NEW YORK >> Sandy Leon homered and drove in four runs, Eduardo Rodriguez again dominated the Yankees in his return from Triple-A and the Boston Red Sox beat New York 5-2 on Saturday to win their season-high sixth straight.
Leon hit his second homer this season and the third of his career in the sixth inning — a three-run shot off CC Sabathia for a 5-1 lead. The Venezuelan has 13 RBIs in 20 games this season after getting eight in 75 games for his career prior to that.
Leon also helped Rodriguez (2-3), his Venezuelan countryman, hold New York to a run on four hits over seven innings after the Red Sox recalled the left-hander Friday. Rodriguez improved to 4-1 with a 2.01 ERA career against Boston's archrival.
Sabathia (5-7) allowed five runs, four earned, in 5 1/3 innings, giving up five or more runs for the fifth straight start. Boston chipped away at the big lefty by reaching base mostly on soft, well-placed contact and a couple New York errors until Leon's homer.
Koji Uehara closed for his sixth save.
Leon added an RBI single in the fourth. His hot hitting has been timely for Boston, which has had catchers Blake Swihart, Christian Vazquez and Ryan Hanigan on the disabled list this season. The 27-year-old went into the All-Star break batting .455 (25 for 55), the highest first-half average ever in the majors, minimum 50 at-bats.
Rodriguez opened the season on the disabled list with a knee injury, then posted an 8.59 ERA in six starts before being demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket. Boston believed Rodriguez was tipping his pitches and had him adjust his delivery during two starts in the minors.
Rodriguez threw 97 pitches Saturday, working quickly against New York's veteran-heavy lineup. Rodriguez had previously struggled throwing to Leon, posting an 8.03 ERA in five starts, but the duo cruised early on a steady diet of fastballs and sliders.
Brett Gardner ended a stretch of 180 homerless at-bats when he lined a solo shot into the Yankees' bullpen in the third. It was his first homer since May 18 and his sixth of the season.
Chase Headley had a solo homer, his eighth, to lead off the eighth for the Yankees against Matt Barnes.
BUCHHOLZ TO THE BULLPEN
Clay Buchholz has been moved to the bullpen to clear space in the rotation for newly acquired All-Star Drew Pomeranz. The Red Sox hope to keep Buchholz stretched out with multiple-inning outings and possibly a simulated game next week. The 10-year Boston veteran is 3-9 with a 5.91 ERA in 18 appearances this season, including 13 starts.
The Red Sox also expect to activate Junichi Tazawa from the disabled list Tuesday and bring Joe Kelly up from Triple-A Pawtucket soon. Manager John Farrell said the team has not yet decided how to make room for those arms.
Red Sox: Boston will activate Pomeranz on Sunday after acquiring the left-hander from San Diego in a trade Thursday. Pomeranz was expected to meet the Red Sox in New York on Saturday night and is slated to make his first start on Wednesday against San Francisco at Fenway Park.
Price (9-6, 4.34) pitches for Boston in a night game at Yankee Stadium coming off three straight games with exactly 10 strikeouts and one walk. Price leads the AL with 140 strikeouts, the most by a Red Sox left-hander prior to the All-Star break. Masahiro Tanaka (6-2, 3.23) is coming off six days of rest after allowing a season-high seven runs (three earned) in an 11-7 win against Cleveland.
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