NEW YORK — Rookie Xander Bogaerts made hard contact and winced, not because he did not think he hit a home run but because his left leg cramped up during the swing.
Lately that is about the only thing to go wrong whenever the Boston Red Sox make contact.
Bogaerts hit his first career home run and the Red Sox hit four more in a 13-9 victory over the New York Yankees on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
Mike Napoli continued his two-week surge and onslaught against New York pitching with a pair of home runs that began and ended the scoring for Boston, which has won five straight, eight of nine and 14 of 18.
Jonny Gomes highlighted his three-hit showing with a three-run home run and drove in four runs for Boston, which has scored at least nine runs in four straight games for the first time since Aug. 24-26, 2007. The Red Sox have scored 54 times while hitting 17 home runs over their last four games.
The Red Sox were already leading 10-3 when Bogaerts stepped in against reliever Jim Miller. On a 3-1 fastball, he drove it over the Red Sox bullpen beyond the left field wall, a shot that was estimated to be 450 feet. He felt the cramp as he executed the swing but it seemed to wear off as he rounded the bases and met his teammates in the dugout.
“I have to be honest, after I hit it, I kind of cramped up a little bit,” Bogaerts said. “I wasn’t even paying attention to where the ball was going. I felt it on the first pitch, I didn’t think about it, I was worried about my cramp.”
Gomes joked, “He might want to keep that cramp.”
The 20-year-old shortstop, who is considered one of Boston’s top prospects, became the youngest player to homer for the Red Sox since Dwight Evans at Baltimore on Sept. 30, 1972. Evans was 20 years, 322 days while Bogaerts is 20 years, 341 days.
“I wasn’t doing that at 20, that’s for sure,” Gomes said. “But that’s a big part of the ballpark, and you can’t forget that in between the lines and the behind the scenes stuff, that kid is 20. He’s a shortstop and there (are) not too many shortstops with that power.”
“It was pretty far,” Napoli added. “I remember my first home run and how I felt, so it’s a special moment in his career and we’re all excited for him.”
Bogaerts said he received the ball and would watch the highlight of the homer, especially since the cramp went away and he could laugh at actually cramping up on his memorable home run.
As for the Yankees, they wish their injuries were only cramps.
After losing relievers Boone Logan (left arm inflammation) and David Robertson (shoulder tendinitis), shortstop Derek Jeter was removed as a precaution due to a possibly re-injured left calf. After the game, they said preliminary results on a CT scan were negative and that the results were being sent to Dr. Robert Anderson, who performed Jeter’s surgery last October.
“I just didn’t like the way he was running, so I took him out,” New York manager Joe Girardi said. “There’s some concern on my part.”
After stunning the Yankees in the late innings Thursday and erupting for nine runs in the final three innings Friday, the Red Sox pounced early on New York starter David Huff (2-1). Huff struck out two on 12 pitches in the opening inning, but things changed drastically after that as he wound up allowing nine runs and eight hits over 3 1/3 innings.
“They definitely capitalized on mistakes,” Huff said. “It was terrible coming from what I had been doing and to have that happen, it’s embarrassing.”
Boston followed up Napoli’s and Gomes’ home runs with a five-run fourth, highlighted by RBI doubles from Ryan Lavarnway and Shane Victorino that chased Huff. They also scored on a run-scoring single by Gomes and a sacrifice fly by David Ortiz before Bogaerts wowed the Red Sox with his power.
“What we’re doing right now is pretty crazy,” Napoli said.
Brett Gardner and Mark Reynolds had two RBI apiece for New York, which has dropped three straight and seven of nine home games against the Red Sox this season. The Yankees entered Saturday 2 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay for the second wild card spot.
Jeter’s single cut the deficit to 12-6 and knocked out Boston starter John Lackey (9-12), who allowed a season-high seven runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. Matt Thornton gave up Alfonso Soriano’s single but retired Curtis Granderson with two men on to end the sixth.
Jeter was lifted for pinch runner Reynolds, who ripped a two-run double down the left-field line in the eighth against Drake Britton.
After Junichi Tazawa recorded the final two outs of the eighth and the first out of the ninth, Craig Breslow finished up in a non-save situation.
NOTES: The Red Sox said OF Jacoby Ellsbury’s foot did not respond to treatment Friday night and that he returned to Boston for further testing, including an MRI. The Red Sox did not want to place a timetable for his return until all tests have concluded. “I don’t think we’re looking at something that’s just day-to-day here,” manager John Farrell said. “But before we get into any kind of time frame I think what’s probably best for all involved here is to wait until we get more conclusive evidence and information.” … Jeter’s hit snapped a 0-for-13 skid. … Both teams made roster moves as the Red Sox added OF Jackie Bradley Jr. while the Yankees added Miller and moved LHP Vidal Nuno to the 60-day disabled list.