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Jon Lester dazzled for seven innings, and the Red Sox held a lead in the eighth. Then everything unraveled, much as it did all series, and Boston was left wondering what else it can do to win a game.
Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira hit back-to-back homers Sunday night, and the New York Yankees scored four times in the eighth inning for a 5-2 victory that wrapped up their first four-game home sweep of their bitter rival in 24 years.
"I wish I could say we were playing bad baseball or, you know, giving them the game. And we're not doing that," Lester said. "We're playing hard. We're playing the game the right way and we're fighting to the last out."
It just didn't come soon enough this time.
Victor Martinez hit a two-run homer off Phil Coke (4-3) in the top of the eighth, snapping Boston's 31-inning scoreless streak and making it 2-1.
Daniel Bard (0-1) retired the first two hitters in the bottom half before Damon homered to right, bringing the fourth consecutive sellout crowd at Yankee Stadium to its feet.
The fans didn't have a chance to sit down, either, before Teixeira went deep to right two pitches later. It was the sixth time Damon and Teixeira have hit consecutive homers, the most ever for a pair of Yankees in one season.
"With one swing of the bat, you know, Victor, I think kind of really lifted everybody," said Boston's Jason Bay. "All of a sudden it was like, man, that's the shift, that's the swing that we've kind of been waiting for to right the ship."
Nick Swisher added a two-run single in the eighth to make it an easy night for Mariano Rivera. The All-Star closer worked around a leadoff single for his major league-leading 32nd save.
Alex Rodriguez homered leading off the seventh for his 574th career home run, breaking a tie with Harmon Killebrew for ninth on the all-time list.
The Yankees (69-42) have won seven straight and own a 61/2-game lead over the Red Sox (62-48) in the AL East. New York, which entered the series 0-8 against Boston this season, has never failed to win the division when leading by more than six games.
"It's great for us, but we can't stop, we can't think we've won anything," Rivera said.
This program aired on August 10, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.
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