Teixeira's three blasts lead Yankees
BOSTON — Those three long balls Mark Teixeira sent over the Fenway Park fences delivered an emphatic message: His early-season struggles are over.
Teixeira joined Lou Gehrig as the only Yankees to hit three home runs against the Boston Red Sox, and he and Francisco Cervelli drove in five runs each as New York clinched another series with a 14-3 win yesterday.
"It felt great," Teixeira said. "This game will humble you and I was humbled the first few weeks of the season."
Now he's humbling pitchers — even Red Sox outfielder Jonathan Van Every, who served up Teixeira's third homer of the game and fifth of the season.
"You play the percentages," said Van Every, who last pitched on April 30, 2009, for Boston against Tampa Bay. "In baseball, you're a great hitter if you get a hit 30 percent of the time, and I was playing the 70 percent scenario and, unfortunately, he got a pitch up in the zone and took advantage of it."
Teixeira is batting .393 in his last seven games (11 for 28) to raise his batting average to .207 (23 for 111).
Through May 8 last year, his first with the Yankees, he was hitting just .192 with five homers. He finished the year at .292, led the American League with 122 RBIs and tied Carlos Pena of Tampa Bay for the league lead with 39 homers.
"I don't know why I have slow starts," Teixeira said, "but I end up having good seasons."
The Yankees have won nine of their first 10 series this season, a mark surpassed only twice in team history. They won 14 of their first 15 in 1928 and 11 of their first 12 in 1939.
The three-game set began with a 10-3 win Friday night and ends tonight when unbeaten A.J. Burnett faces Boston's Jon Lester. New York has won its last six games.
Teixeira hit solo homers in the fifth and seventh, then added a two-run shot far over the left-field wall in the ninth off Van Every for the third three-homer game of his career.
Gehrig hit three homers for New York on June 23, 1927, according to STATS LLC.
Boston dropped below .500 at 15-16 and is 1-8 at home against Tampa Bay and New York, who lead the Red Sox in the AL East.
"It doesn't matter who you play," catcher Victor Martinez said. "You always want to go out there and get the best out of it."
TIGERS 6, INDIANS 4
Justin Verlander (3-2) gave up three runs on four hits over six innings, Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run single with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning off reliever Kerry Wood (0-1) to break a 3-3 tie, and Detroit went on to win its 10th consecutive game against Cleveland.
ATHLETICS 4, RAYS 2
Ben Sheets (2-3) gave up two runs and four hits over 6 1/3 innings and Daric Barton drove in a pair of runs as Oakland handed Tampa Bay only its second road loss of the season after opening with 13 consecutive victories.
WHITE SOX 7, BLUE JAYS 3
Jake Peavy (2-2) allowed two runs and three hits over eight innings, Paul Konerko hit his major league-leading 13th homer and host Chicago drew three bases-loaded walks — two in a four-run seventh — to snap Toronto's six-game win streak.
Scott Baker (4-2) scattered three hits over eight innings and reigning AL MVP Joe Mauer struck out in his first action after missing eight games with a bruised heel as host Minnesota beat Baltimore, 6-1, to split a doubleheader.
In the first game, Nick Markakis drove in three of the five two-out runs off Francisco Liriano (4-1), and Jeremy Guthrie (1-4) gave up five hits and three runs in 6 2/3 innings to lead the Orioles to a 7-3 victory.
RANGERS 3, ROYALS 2
Ian Kinsler hit a tiebreaking RBI single off Gil Meche (0-4) in the bottom of the eighth inning, and reliever Neftali Feliz gave up a leadoff single in the ninth, but got a double play and strikeout to help Texas hold off Kansas City.
ANGELS 4, MARINERS 3
Hideki Matsui became the ninth Japanese player to reach 1,500 career RBIs when he singled home Bobby Abreu in the top of the 10th inning, and Brian Fuentes got his first save in two weeks as Los Angeles beat Seattle.
METS 5, GIANTS 4
Henry Blanco drove a 1-0 pitch from reliever Guillermo Mota (0-1) just over the wall in left for his first homer of the season leading off the bottom of the 11th inning as New York won its second straight on a game-ending homer by a catcher.
BRAVES 4, PHILLIES 1
Eric Hinske ignited a three-run rally in the sixth inning with an RBI double, Melky Cabrera followed with an RBI single, Omar Infante's sacrifice fly made it 3-1 and visiting Atlanta used six relievers to hold off Philadelphia.
NATIONALS 5, MARLINS 4
Adam Dunn was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning, allowing the go-ahead run to score and giving Washington, which got homers from Josh Willingham and Willie Harris, the victory over Florida.
PIRATES 2, CARDINALS 0
Jeff Karstens (1-1) made a bid to keep his spot in the rotation with six innings of three-hit ball, four relievers finished up the four-hitter, and backup catcher Jason Jaramillo had three hits to lead host Pittsburgh over St. Louis.
PADRES 2, ASTROS 1
Jon Garland (4-2) gave up two hits over seven shutout innings to win his fourth straight start, and Yorvit Torrealba and Chase Headley drove in runs to lead visiting San Diego over Houston for its 16th victory in its last 21 games.
REDS 14, CUBS 2
Joey Votto hit a two-run homer in his first at-bat, Jonny Gomes triggered a five-run seventh with a bases-loaded, two-run single, and Ryan Hanigan hit his first career grand slam an inning later to power host Cincinnati over Chicago.
BREWERS 17, DIAMONDBACKS 3
Jody Gerut hit for the cycle and drove in four runs, and Ryan Braun also had four RBIs in support of Randy Wolf (3-2), who gave up three runs and three hits over six innings as visiting Milwaukee pounded Arizona.
ROCKIES 8, DODGERS 0
Jhoulys Chacin (2-0) scattered six hits over 7 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts and two walks, Ian Stewart hit a two-run homer and RBI single, and Carlos Gonzales had a three-run double to power visiting Colorado past Los Angeles.
Angels: Los Angeles placed infielder Maicer Izturis on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder and recalled infielder Kevin Frandsen from Triple-A Salt Lake. The move is retroactive to May 6.
Dodgers: Los Angeles activated Manny Ramirez from the 15-day disabled list after he missed 14 games because of a right calf strain. This was the fourth time the 19-year veteran has been on the disabled list and the first time since 2002 with the Boston Red Sox.
Royals: 'Iolani alum Kila Ka'aihue from Honolulu started at first base for Kansas City last night and went 0 for 3 in a 3-2 loss to the Texas Rangers. Ka'aihue was called up from Triple-A Omaha earlier in the week.