NEW YORK — Grady Sizemore hit a three-run homer in the sixth and the Red Sox finally gave Jon Lester enough run support for his first win of the year, 4-2 over the Yankees on Friday night.
Jonny Gomes led off the sixth with a homer off CC Sabathia, and the four-run inning was more runs than Boston had scored for Lester in his first two starts combined. Despite a 2.51 ERA coming in, Lester was at risk of falling to 0-3 for the first time.
He was lifted with two outs in the seventh after Kelly Johnson singled to pull the Yankees within two, his first hit in 15 career at-bats against Lester. Junichi Tazawa relieved with runners at the corner and got Derek Jeter on a flyout. Edward Mujica was perfect in the ninth.
Looking as if he was setting aside talk of being an ace on the decline, Sabathia was dominant for five innings. He allowed just David Ross' third-inning double until Gomes led off the sixth with his first homer of the year on an 89 mph four-seam fastball.
Four batters later, Sizemore crushed an 80 mph slider into rightfield for a 4-1 lead.
Sabathia's fastball velocity has declined from 94.1 mph in 2009 to 89.7 mph this year entering Friday. Last year, he gave up 45 of his majors-high 122 runs on a career-high 28 homers allowed. He has yielded five this season.