BOSTON -- Before Saturday, two of Hiroki Kuroda's six losses this season had come at the hands of the Red Sox.
But Kuroda mastered the Sox in his third start against them in 2013, going seven innings while allowing two runs in a 5-2 victory for the New York Yankees.
John Lackey, who began the day with the fourth-best ERA in the American League, limited the Yankees to a single run over the first six innings.
But in the seventh, Lackey allowed hits to the first four hitters he faced and when lefty reliever Matt Thornton took over and allowed run-scoring hits to Robinson Cano and Lyle Overbay, the Yankees had themselves three runs -- all of them charged to Lackey.
The four runs allowed by Lackey since June 10, when he allowed four to the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Red Sox finally broke through against Kuroda in the seventh on a single by David Ortiz, a double by Mike Carp, a sacrifice fly from Jonny Gomes and a wild pitch.
Boston ran into three big outs on the bases. Nava was gunned down at the plate trying to score from second on a first-inning single by Ortiz.
In the fifth, Carp tried to score from third on a pitch that Kuroda skipped past catcher Chris Stewart. Finally, in the eighth, Dustin Pedroia fouled out to Stewart who went into the stands behind the plate to snare
the foul popup, then gunned out Nava attempting to advance to second for an inning-ending double play.
Mariano Rivera, who entered to a standing ovation from the sellout crowd at Fenway, notched his 31st save.
AT A GLANCE
STAR OF THE GAME: Hiroki Kuroda
Kuroda went seven innings and allowed two runs -- none through the first six innings. Through the first four innings, Kuroda, who was 0-2 against the Sox before Saturday, allowed just one hit. At one point, Kuroda retired 13 of 16 Red Sox hitters and never let them get anything started.
HONORABLE MENTION: Lyle Overbay
Cast off by the Red Sox in the final week of spring training, Overbay enjoyed a big day at the plate against them, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, a single and an RBI.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Matt Thornton
Thornton was obtained with the idea that he would serve as the team's lefty specialist, but he failed in that role Saturday. Inherited a first-and-second jam from starter John Lackey, Thornton got an out on a fielder's choice, but then surrendered two straight run-scoring singles to lefties: Robinson Cano and Overbay.
TURNING POINT: The Red Sox had Daniel Nava at first and David Ortiz, representing the tying run in the on-deck cirlce, but Nava tried to advance to second on a foul popup behind home plate and ended up running into an inning-ending double play when catcher Chris Stewart threw him out.
BY THE NUMBERS: Drake Britton became the sixth Red Sox pitcher to make his majort league debut this season.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "Unfortunately, today was a rough on the bases for me. But I'll learn from it.'' Daniel Nava, who was twice gunned down on the bases.