BOSTON – Jacoby Ellsbury singled in the winning run with his fourth hit of the game in the ninth inning and the Boston Red Sox beat New York, 4-3, on Tuesday night, dropping the Yankees into a tie for first place in the AL East with the Baltimore Orioles.
Pedro Ciriaco, who started the rally with a single, slid in to beat the throw from right fielder Ichiro Suzuki to give Boston its second win in 13 games.
After Baltimore defeated Tampa Bay earlier in the evening, the loss left the Yankees and Orioles tied with 79-62 records.
Andrew Bailey (1-0) got the win after allowing one hit in one inning.
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David Robertson (1-7) retired his first four batters before giving up Ciriaco’s single to left field with one out in the ninth. Mike Aviles then singled into the shortstop hole where Derek Jeter fielded the ball but couldn’t make the throw.
Then Ellsbury capped an outstanding performance on his 29th birthday with a sharp single to right.
The Red Sox wasted a chance in the seventh when they loaded the bases with one out and couldn’t score. But they got outstanding work from their bullpen, which allowed just a hit and a walk with four strikeouts in 32/3 innings.
Dustin Pedroia tied the game for Boston in the sixth with a solo shot, his 15th of the year and third hit of the game.
The Yankees took a 3-2 lead in the top half on a two-run, ground-rule double by Jeter after a walk to Curtis Granderson, a single by Andruw Jones and a sacrifice by Jayson Nix.
Bellarmine Prep graduate Jon Lester had control trouble from the start, walking three in the first when the Yankees took a 1-0 lead. Jeter led off with a walk, took third on a double by Nick Swisher and scored on a groundout by Robinson Cano.
Lester walked the first two batters in the third and the leadoff hitter in the fourth but retired the next three batters in each inning. Then he struck out the side in the fifth, giving him 1,045 career strikeouts, the most by a Red Sox lefty.