NEW YORK — At this rate, the Boston Red Sox will blow the New York Yankees out of the AL East race before summer.
Daisuke Matsuzaka overcame control problems to defeat the Yankees for the second time in six days, and Kevin Youkilis and Julio Lugo homered. With a come-from-behind 11-4 victory over Andy Pettitte on Friday night, Boston improved to 4-0 over its rival this season.
New York (8-13), whose April began to unravel with three consecutive losses at Fenway Park last weekend, has lost seven consecutive games for the first time since the last week of the 2000 season. The Yankees are a $195-million last-place team, 6 1/2 games back of the division-leading Red Sox.
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner hasn't commented on the slide. "He won't say anything tonight. We'll see if he has anything to say tomorrow," spokesman Howard Rubenstein said.
It has come to this for New York: Mariano Rivera, who doesn't have a save this season, was sent in to get some work in the ninth and allowed four of five batters to reach.
"I'm missing up. I'm missing down. I'm missing everywhere," he said.
Pettitte (1-1) gave up five runs, six hits and five walks in 4 2/3 innings, making it 11 times in 21 games that New York's starters failed to pitch five innings.
"It's as frustrating as you can get. It's embarrassing is what it is," Pettitte said.
Matsuzaka (3-2) needed 42 pitches to get through the first three innings, then took 41 pitches in the fourth alone.
"If I got into all the things that happened in the fourth inning, it would be a very long story," Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. "So to keep a long story short, I think there are technically a few things I need to work on."