NEW YORK -- Dustin Pedroia rounded first, then stopped, hopping up and down in frustration, as he suddenly had no chance to keep moving forward.
Neither did the struggling Boston Red Sox for another night as New York Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson caught Pedroia's eighth-inning bid for a game-tying, second home run at the warning track.
Instead, Nick Swisher's two home runs, a blast from Russell Martin, and Derek Jeter's 250th career homer helped the Yankees to a 6-4 win at Yankee Stadium on Friday night.
The Red Sox fell 13 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the AL East and remained 6 1/2 games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the last wild card spot. The Yankees moved seven games up on the Orioles and 6 1/2 up on the Tampa Bay Rays, pending their late game against the Los Angeles Angels.
"Yeah, they hit five home runs. All solo shots. It was too much for Dustin to combat," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "He almost did. He hit a three-runner and almost hit a two-runner to tie it up."
Phil Hughes (12-10) emulated the odd weather, which threatened to delay the game early, before suddenly settling down. So did Hughes, who gave up four runs to the Sox in the fourth inning -- with three coming on Pedroia's homer -- but nothing else. He exited having given up four hits in seven innings and only allowed the four runs, which were unearned due to his own error.
Rafael Soriano pitched a perfect ninth for his 30th save of the season.
Franklin Morales (3-4) allowed five runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings.
The postgame clubhouses provided a peek into the divergent paths of the bitter rivals. The Yankees celebrated several milestones, with the red-hot hitter Swisher providing his usual exuberance.
"Getting hits," Swisher said with a big grin, when asked what he's been doing lately at the plate, after hitting his fourth homer in five games. "You're looking for a specific answer? I ain't got one."
Asked what the hot streak felt like, Swisher's grin widened.
"Awesome," he said.
In Boston's quiet clubhouse, Pedroia was dressed and at his locker by the time reporters arrived from Valentine's postgame press conference, but had nothing to say. With reporters approaching, the second baseman quickly walked by. Since a Yahoo Sports report earlier in the week that several Red Sox players had gone to ownership to get Valentine fired, Pedroia has not spoken to reporters other than to dispute the report and say he only had told ownership everyone had to improve, including the manager and players.
Pedroia made his bid for such improvement in the third, drilling a 1-0 pitch out to left field for a two-out, three-run homer that gave the Sox a 4-3 lead.
But Jeter's milestone homer in the fifth, a two-out solo shot to left, tied the game, 4-4. Jayson Nix put the Yankees ahead for good in the bottom of the sixth with a two-out RBI single, to give New York a 5-4 lead.
"I always hear all the time I don't hit home runs, but in my mind, it's a lot of them," Jeter said with a smile after becoming just the fourth player to have at least 3,000 hits, 250 homeruns and 300 stolen bases, according to STATS LLC. "So it's something I'm happy with."
Swisher added an insurance run in the seventh with his second homer, coming from the left side against righty reliever Clayton Mortensen. That gave Swisher his own impressive milestone as Swisher's first homer came from the right side against Morales. He's now homered from both sides of the plate 12 times in his career, one behind teammate Mark Teixeira's major-league record.
"I feel like I've been chasing Tex for a while," he said.
With a driving rain seemingly set to prompt a delay, Swisher's first homer in the first and back-to-back homers by Granderson and Martin in the second gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
But the embattled Red Sox struck back with four runs in the third against Hughes. Mike Aviles singled to lead off the inning and moved to third when Hughes threw the slippery baseball away at second on Scott Podsednik's grounder. The error proved costly as Aviles later scored on a fielder's choice and, more importantly, it extended the inning to eventually allow Pedroia to come up with two on and two out.
He smacked his 17th home run of the season, but Hughes only allowed two base runners after that, before giving way to David Robertson, who pitched a scoreless eighth.
"Let Hughes off the hook," Valentine said. "We had him on the ropes."
The storm, which featured thunder and lightning, challenged the grip for the pitchers and fielders, but surprisingly, all but stopped suddenly nearly midway through the game, allowing play to continue without a stoppage.
NOTES: Teixeira was out of the lineup due to inflammation in his left wrist, the same injury that forced him to miss two games late last month and early in this one. Teixeira said he might need occasional days off and that the Yankees' large cushion in the AL East helped him take a day off. ... Left-hander CC Sabathia (left elbow soreness) was scheduled to throw a bullpen session soon, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. The manager said Sabathia was on track to return from the DL late next week against the Indians. ... Robinson Cano returned to the lineup after missing the past two games with a stiff neck. ... Jeter became the 10th Yankee this season to have at least 10 home runs, matching the franchise mark set in 1998. ... Red Sox DH David Ortiz (strained right Achilles) took batting practice, but Valentine said he wasn't expected to return from the disabled list for the weekend series against the Yankees. ... Lefty Felix Doubront might continue resting a fatigued left arm and "knee situation" until the end of next week, Valentine said, though he added Doubront would throw three simulated innings before Friday's game to keep busy.
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