The New York Yankees solidified their lead at the top of the American League East with a 10-8 victory over division rivals the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Friday.
Both sides started with in-form pitchers in the first of a four game series but neither Josh Beckett or Hiroki Kuroda could halt an explosive opening where both sides scored five runs in the first inning.
The Yankees took control in the seventh, turning a 7-6 deficit into a 10-7 lead with a four run charge.
The victory was New York's 50th win of the season (50-32), holding onto the best record in the majors after Texas (50-34) fell to Minnesota and kept them out in front in the division.
Red Sox (42-41) stayed mired in fourth, eight-and-a-half games back.
Derek Jeter punched the opening pitch of the night to center field for a single, perhaps signaling the offensive fireworks of the slugfest to come.
The Yankees then went through the entire line up at the plate.
Curtis Granderson singled, Alex Rodriguez was hit by a pitch, while Robinson Cano was walked for a 1-0 lead.
Mark Teixeira drove in two with a single to center, Nick Swisher belted a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in another, Raul Ibanez advanced the runner with a base hit before Eric Chavez completed the scoring with a sacrifice fly allowing Teixeira to make it 5-0.
But rather then shirk away from the tough task at hand the Red Sox came out swinging against their bitter rivals and tied things up quickly.
?"You know in this ballpark a lot of crazy things happen," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
"?My thought is, just keep building on the lead, keep building on the lead. But I looked up in the top of the second and there was no lead."
Daniel Nava got things rolling with a double off the green monster, Ryan Kalish drove in a run on a sacrifice fly while David Ortiz singled.
Cody Ross got aboard on a Chavez error, Adrian Gonzalez drove in another run with a double off the wall and then Jarrod Saltalamacchia smashed his 17th home run of the year over right field to tie things up at 5-5.
A run each in the second left the scores at 6-6 before Mauro Gomez gave Boston their first lead of the night in the bottom of the fifth by driving in Gonzalez.
They kept the advantage until the seventh when the Yankees once again exploded.
Teixeira pummeled a massive shot to center, big enough to clear most ball parks, but it landed just inside Fenway resulting in a triple and two runs scored. Ibanez and Chavez added further doubles and RBI's to push the score to 10-7.
Ross countered with a solo home run in the bottom of the inning but Boston couldn't reduce the deficit any further.
"It seems like the same story every time we come here," Jeter said. " No lead ever seems like it's safe."
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