BOSTON -- The Yankees came into their weekend series with the knowledge that they probably need a sweep of the Red Sox to remain in contention in the American League East.
In the first game of the series, they got off on the right foot, with some help from Felix Doubront.
The Yankees scored runs in each of the first four innings to race to a seven-run lead before the Red Sox could get on the scoreboard and cruised to an eventual 10-3 victory.
Doubront, who had not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his previous 16 consecutive starts, had allowed more than that by the fourth inning Friday night. Doubront's streak had been the longest in Red Sox history since Tim Wakefield stitched together 17 such starts in 1995.
In his career, Doubront had registered quality starts in all six of his starts against the Yankees. But a two-run homer by newly-signed Mark Reynolds in the second and a three-run shot by Alfonso Soriano in the third quickly put the game out of reach for the Red Sox, who lost their third straight and the sixth time in their last eight games.
Andy Pettitte, 8-9, pitched into the seventh and allowed three runs though none was earned.
Jonny Gomes singled home Dustin Pedroia in the fourth and run-scoring singles by David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the seventh accounted for the Red Sox runs.
The Yankees tacked on three runs in the ninth off rookie reliever Drake Britton.
AT A GLANCE
STAR OF THE GAME: Alfonso Soriano
Participating in his first Red Sox-Yankee game since Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, Soriano got back into the flow quickly, driving in the game's first run with an infield single in the first before cranking a three-run
homer in the third to effectively salt the game away. He finished with three hits, four RBI and two runs scored.
HONORABLE MENTION: Mark Reynolds
Playing his first game with the Yankees after signing with them Thursday, Reynolds made his presence felt quickly, hitting a two-run homer in first at-bat in a Yankee uniform in the second. He later added run-scoring single in the ninth.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Felix Doubront
Doubront's string of 16 straight starts without allowing more than three earned runs came to a grinding halt with this one -- he trailed 7-0 after the first three innings, thanks to some poor location in big spots.
TURNING POINT: The Sox seemed to be hinting at signs of life in the seventh with two runs in and two runners on when home plate umpire Bill Welke rang up pinch-hitter Mike Carp for the third out, taking away any momentum the Sox were building.
BY THE NUMBERS: For the third time in the last week, the Red Sox committed three errors in a game.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "We're not going to make wholesale changes. We have to continue to go about our approach and that's been proven to be successful over the course of the long run.'' John Farrell on the slumping Sox.