BOSTON - When a young pitcher blows a three-run lead -- as Allen Webster did on Saturday -- it's tough to watch, but somewhat easy to understand.
When a veteran starter like Clay Buchholz does it, it's far worse. And when he does it twice in the same game, as Buchholz did Sunday night, it's inexcusable.
Buchholz fumbled away leads of 3-0 and 7-4 as the New York Yankees overtook the Sox, 8-7 for their second straight victory and a win of the three-game series.
The loss was the 10th in 12 games for the Red Sox.
The winning run came off reliever Craig Breslow, who, for the second straight day, yielded a homer to the first batter he faced. This time, it was Brett Gardner, who rocketed a ball over the bullpen in right, snapping a 7-7 tie.
But if the loss went to Breslow, the blame belonged with Buchholz.
A sacrifice fly by David Ortiz and a two-run single from Daniel Nava had staked Buchholz to a 3-0 lead in the first. But Buchholz issued three walks in the second and handed the lead right back.
A two-run homer by Dustin Pedroia -- his first in six weeks -- and a two-run from Ortiz in the fourth helped re-establish another three-run lead for the Sox at 7-4.
But in a seemingly endless fifth inning during which Buchholz threw 35 pitches, the Yankees tied the game again, with two runs coming on a single to right by Stephen Drew.
Coupled with a run-scoring double Drew in the fourth and Saturday's RBI-double, Drew had four RBI in the last two games against his former teammates.
The Red Sox scored seven runs in the first four innings, then didn't have a hit over the final five innings.
STAR OF THE GAME: Brett Gardner
Gardner reached base four times with a single, double, walk and home run. The homer, in the sixth, providing the Yankees with the margin of victory. He knocked in three of the Yankees' eight runs.
HONORABLE MENTION: Stephen Drew
The former Sox infielder, shipped to the Yankees in a deadline deal Thursday, continued to haunt his former team. After reaching base three times Saturday and knocking in a run, he had two more hits and knocked in three in Sunday's win.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Clay Buchholz
Buchholz didn't get tagged with the loss, but don't let that fool you. He allowed seven runs over just five innings -- during which he threw a staggering 114 pitches -- and issued five walks while twice blowing three-run leads.
TURNING POINT: After the Red Sox had, for the second time, staked Buchholz to a three-run lead, the Red Sox' starter had a brutal fifth inning in which he needed 35 pitches and allowed three runs.
BY THE NUMBERS: David Ortiz has 82 RBI; no other Red Sox player has more than 42 (Dustin Pedroia).
QUOTE OF NOTE: "I didn't have a feel for much of anything.'' - Clay Buchholz.