Bronx, NY – Ichiro Suzuki hit a pair of solo homers, Hiroki Kuroda tossed eight strong innings and the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox, 4-1, in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Kuroda (12-8) gave up just one run on four hits while striking out four for the Yankees, who went 5-2 on a seven-game homestand. The Japanese right-hander was coming off a two-hit shutout in Tuesday's 3-0 win over Texas.
With Kuroda picking up the victory, the Yankees have three pitchers with at least 12 wins (also Phil Hughes and CC Sabathia) prior to Sept. 1 for the first time since 2006 when Chien-Ming Wang, Randy Johnson and Mike Mussna accomplished the feat.
Curtis Granderson knocked in a run and walked twice for the American League East-leading Yankees, who improved to 8-4 against Boston this year.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who went 4-6 on a 10-game road trip.
Josh Beckett (5-11) allowed four runs on seven hits over six innings to fall to 1-7 over his last 12 starts. The right-hander is now 14-8 in 29 career starts against the Yankees.
The Yankees gave Kuroda some early support by scoring a run in the first inning. Derek Jeter led off with a double to center field, moved to third on Nick Swisher's groundout and scored on Granderson's double down the right- field line.
Jeter scored again in the third to make it a 2-0 game. Jeter hit a ground-rule double to left-center field, stole third and raced home on a wild pitch.
Suzuki's homer to right field in the fourth gave New York a three-run margin.
"I thought Josh had some of the best stuff that he's had in a while," Boston manager Bobby Valentine said. "He just had trouble with two hitters, Jeter and Ichiro. They kind of did him in."
Meanwhile, Kuroda was shutting down Boston's offense. The Red Sox finally got a man past first base in the fifth after Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled and moved to second on Scott Podsednik's groundout. But Pedro Ciriaco grounded out to end the inning.
Suzuki cleared the wall in right field again in the sixth to make it a 4-0 contest.
"You watch his BP and you can see it," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Suzuki's power. "Our ballpark is a little bit different, and you might see more power."
Gonzalez responded with a homer to right in the seventh to cut the gap to three.
Rafael Soriano tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up his 31st save of the season.
Suzuki recorded his seventh career multi-homer game ... New York first baseman Mark Teixeira missed his third straight game because of a sore left wrist ... The Yankees hung a loss on Beckett for the first time since Aug. 8, 2010 at Yankee Stadium ... He was undefeated in his previous seven starts against the Yankees, going 5-0 in that span ... Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia saw his 13-game hitting streak come to an end ... The Red Sox will decide Monday whether outfielder Carl Crawford will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow.