Ichiro Suzuki enjoyed his first Yankee Stadium curtain call Sunday night, waving his helmet to a crowd of 48,620 after hitting his second solo home run off Boston Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett (L, 5-11) (6.0 IP, 7H, 4R).
The sixth-inning shot to right-center gave the New York Yankees (72-49) a 4-0 lead and marked Suzuki's seventh career multi-homer game (second in 2012).
After the Yankees' 4-1 win over Boston (59-63), the veteran described his special moment with the fans to Yahoo! Contributor Network.
"It just felt so good," Suzuki said through his interpreter. "Sometimes you just don't know how to react when I'm on the field, the timing of when to acknowledge it, but it definitely felt good."
With two outs in the fourth, Suzuki belted Beckett's 1-2, 91 mph four-seamer a few rows into the right field second deck, increasing New York's lead at the time to 3-0.
"Obviously you always have a game plan against a certain pitcher, but I think everybody was just focused on this game," Suzuki told YCN. "It's a very important game, obviously, the rivalry... So you could just say that everybody was just focused."
Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez hit a solo homer to right off Hiroki Kuroda (W, 12-8) (8.0 IP, 4H, 1R) in the seventh, snapping the first-year Yankee's scoreless innings streak at 16 1/3. Kuroda, the third Yankee to record 12 victories this year, retired 19 of the first 21 batters he faced in Sunday's rubber match.
"He's been so consistent and just so good lately," Suzuki said. "Being behind him, he's got such good rhythm and such good tempo, that you want to get some runs for him. It just feels good to play in the outfield while he's pitching."
The Yankees are now 8-4 vs. Boston this season and 11-5 in the rivals' last 16 games.