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August 17. 2013 8:16PM

Lackey solid as Red Sox top Yankees

Boston Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster (46) welcomes pitcher John Lackey (41) to the dugout after lackey was taken out of Saturday's game against the New York Yankees during the seventh inning. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

BOSTON -- Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs to back a strong start from John Lackey as Boston evened the series with visiting New York with a 6-1 win on Saturday.

Lackey (8-10) allowed a run on six hits in 6-2/3 innings as the Red Sox snapped a three-game slide and moved 1-1/2 games in front of the Tampa Bay Rays, who played the Toronto Blue on Saturday night, for first place in the American League East. David Ortiz added a solo homer and Will Middlebrooks drove in a run among two hits for Boston.

Hiroki Kuroda (11-8) was knocked around for five runs (three earned) and 11 hits in 5-2/3 innings to break up a string of seven consecutive quality starts. Alfonso Soriano had two hits and a stolen base for the Yankees, who fell 6-1/2 games behind the Oakland Athletics for the second wild-card spot in the AL.

The Red Sox had runners on first and third with one out in the fourth when Stephen Drew grounded sharply to first. Lyle Overbay went for the double play instead of the out at home and threw wide of second, failing to record an out as Ortiz scored to begin a three-run rally.

New York got a run back on Ichiro Suzuki's groundout in the fifth, but Daniel Nava doubled and scored on Jarrod Saltalamacchia's single in the sixth before Ellsbury's RBI double to deep right made it 5-1 and ended Kuroda's day. Ortiz slammed his 24th blast to center in the sixth to put it away.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Red Sox 1B Mike Napoli (left foot) was scratched from the starting lineup and is day-to-day. ... Soriano, who tied a major-league record with 18 RBIs over the previous four games, made all four of his plate appearances with the bases empty, including three times leading off an inning. He is 15-for-22 over the last five games. ... Boston RHP Clay Buchholz (shoulder/neck) threw an intense bullpen session with hitters standing in the batter's box prior to the contest. He will pitch a simulated game next week.

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