Week 16 NFL rewind:

Saltalamacchia's slam pushes Red Sox past Yanks

The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia's seventh-inning grand slam broke open a tie game and helped the Boston Red Sox to an 8-4 win over the New York Yankees Friday night at Fenway Park.

Saltalamacchia's slam off Yankee reliever Preston Claiborne was the third grand slam of his career and first since May 5, 2009.

"Just trying to get a good pitch in the air," said Saltalamacchia. "With Shane (Victorino) at third and with his speed, if I can get the ball up in the air, he's going to be able to score. I saw how (Claiborne) pitched (Daniel) Nava. I know he had good stuff. I think I only faced him once so I was just trying to get a pitch to do something with."

New York starter Hiroki Kuroda, who began the inning, took the loss. With the score tied 4-4 in the seventh, Kuroda gave up a lead-off single to Shane Victorino, ending the right-hander's outing. Left-hander Cesar Cabral entered the game and hit David Ortiz, the only batter he faced, with a pitch.

Claiborne walked pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes to load the bases before striking out Daniel Nava. But Saltalamacchia blasted his grand slam, his 13th home run of the season, giving Boston an 8-4 lead.

"It's unfortunate," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We gave them some free base runners and then you get the big hit by Saltalamacchia. But I love the way our guys battled back. Never thought Kuroda would be there in the seventh the way everything started for him."

Kuroda went six innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and two walks with two strikeouts. He falls to 11-11 with a 3.13 ERA.

"I was probably overcautious with my pitches early on," Kuroda said, through an interpreter. "My pitches were not particularly good, but I kept the timing of the hitters off later.

"As a starter, I think my responsibility is at least to go six or seven innings and that's what I'm telling myself to do."

The Red Sox sent eight batters to the plate in the first inning, scoring four runs off Kuroda. Dustin Pedroia led off with a single and took third on Ortiz's one-out double. Mike Carp's groundout scored Pedroia, and Nava's single scored Ortiz. After Saltalamacchia walked, Stephen Drew's two-out double scored two runs, giving Boston a 4-0 lead.

The Yankees got a run back on Brendan Ryan's lead-off home run in the third off Red Sox starter John Lackey. They added another in the sixth when Robinson Cano hit a one-out double, took third on Alfonso Soriano's single and scored on Lyle Overbay's sacrifice fly.

The Yankees tied the game in the top of the seventh. Ryan and Chris Stewart reached on consecutive one-out singles, ending Lackey's outing. Left-hander Craig Breslow entered and struck out Curtis Granderson before he walked Alex Rodriguez and gave up a two-run double to Cano to tie the game.

Rookie Brandon Workman replaced Breslow, getting the final out of the inning. That allowed Workman to earn the win, improving to 6-3.

"He's got some presence out there," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of the rookie Workman. "He doesn't get rattled. He made a key pitch to Soriano to get an out when they had runners on second and third."

NOTES: Yankees OF Brett Gardner had an MRI, which revealed a Grade 1 strain of his left oblique. Gardner could be out for the rest of the regular season. ...Yankees C Austin Romine, who is sidelined with a concussion, took some swings on Friday and said he continues to feel better. He may not be available to play in the weekend series against the Red Sox... Alex Rodriguez could be back at third base on Saturday. He has served as the designated hitter in three consecutive games after feeling his hamstring grab while running the bases on Tuesday... CF Jacoby Ellsbury, who fractured the navicular bone in his right foot on a foul ball on Aug. 28, began physical activity on Friday. ...RHP Jake Peavy felt no ill effects after being hit on the right wrist by a line drive in the sixth inning Thursday night at Tampa Bay.
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