Brett Gardner singled home one run in the fifth inning yesterday before Luis Cruz, Robinson Cano and Lyle Overbay drove in three more in the seventh. Cano added an insurance run in the ninth with a sacrifice fly that scored Cruz.
Kuroda (9-6) allowed two runs on five hits, striking out four in seven innings.
“It was a close game all along, so I had to be careful with my pitches,” Kuroda told reporters through a translator. “But when they gave me the run support, I think I was able to be more bold.”
Boston manager John Farrell said he was impressed by Kuroda’s speed in the last innings he pitched.
“I think what was most impressive was, in these conditions, to be able to touch 95 in the sixth, seventh innings against the meat of our order when he needed it,” Farrell told reporters. “He’s a very good pitcher and had a good day today.”
Mariano Rivera got his 31st save, giving up one hit and striking out one in the ninth.
“I always love to pitch here, always,” Rivera said. “Yankee Stadium’s home, but I love to come here. It’s a great atmosphere. We’ve played big games here. It’s always good.”
The Red Sox got their first run when David Ortiz scored on Jonny Gomes’s sacrifice fly in the seventh inning, followed by Mike Carp’s score on a wild pitch by Kuroda.
John Lackey (7-7) surrendered four runs on 10 hits while striking out seven in 6 1/3 innings.
The Red Sox (59-40) have split the first two games of the three-game Major League Baseball series to remain six games ahead of the fourth-place Yankees (52-45) in the AL East.
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