Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/29/12

NEW YORK -- Raul Ibanez hit a two-run homer in the first inning to give the New York Yankees a lead they'd never relinquish and Phil Hughes allowed three solo homers but was otherwise effective over seven innings as the Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox, 10-3, Friday night in front of a sellout crowd of 49,571 at Yankee Stadium.

Russell Martin hit a two-run homer while Curtis Granderson's ninth-inning grand slam -- his third hit of the night -- iced the game for the Yankees, who improved their American League-best record to 60-39. Dustin Pedroia, Carl Crawford and Jarrod Saltalamacchia all hit solo homers for the last-place Red Sox, who fell to 49-51.

Hughes (10-8) allowed three hits in the first but stranded runners at second and third following Pedroia's homer. That turned out to be the Sox' best chance to chase Hughes, who allowed just the solo blasts by Crawford and Saltalamacchia the rest of the way (increasing the number of homers Hughes has allowed at home to 17, most in the majors) and got stronger as the night wore on.

Hughes retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced, during which he racked up four of his five strikeouts. Hughes walked one in producing his eighth quality start in his last 10 outings. He has a 2.88 ERA in that span.

David Robertson worked around a two-out single by Pedroia in the eighth and Cody Eppley allowed two hits and struck out two in the ninth.

The Yankees and Red Sox combined for 81 runs in their first six games this season and they wasted no time piling up the runs Friday as starters Hughes and Aaron Cook initially labored on a hot evening in the Bronx.

Martin's 11th home run in the fourth extended the Yankees' lead to 6-3. Cook (2-4) was chased after four innings -- his shortest start since he lasted just 2 2/3 innings in an injury-shortened season debut May 5 -- after allowing the six runs on seven hits.

Cook, renowned for an uncanny ability to put the ball in play, intentionally walked Ibanez before striking out Andruw Jones to end the third. Cook had issued just three walks and recorded just three strikeouts in his first 36 innings this season.

NOTES: Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher didn't start for a sixth straight game due to the left hip flexor strain he sustained against the Oakland Athletics July 20. Yankees manager Joe Girardi didn't rule out the possibility of using Swisher as a pinch-hitter Friday night but wasn't sure if Swisher could return to the lineup this weekend. ... Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain, recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow as well as a dislocated right ankle, threw a bullpen session Friday and will pitch for Class AA Trenton Sunday. Chamberlain has allowed just one run in eight innings over six rehab appearances with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Yankees and Class A Tampa. ... Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a right Achilles strain he sustained July 17, took batting practice Friday, one day after he shed his walking boot. Manager Bobby Valentine hopes Ortiz will return when eligible Aug. 1. The Red Sox have scored just 30 runs in the eight games Ortiz has missed, 17 of which they scored in two games against the White Sox and Blue Jays. "We've faced some pretty good pitching," Valentine said. "David was so on since day one of the season. It's hard to say you haven't missed him. He's pretty good." ... Valentine said struggling Sox left-hander Jon Lester, who is 5-8 with a 5.46 ERA and has allowed 22 runs (21 earned) over 12 1/3 innings in his last three starts, had a "really good bullpen session" Wednesday and that he hopes Lester will use all his pitches when he takes the mound Sunday. "That's probably the biggest thing we're talking about in between starts, not being narrowed down to a one- or two-pitch pitcher," Valentine said.

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