That John Lackey was sharp against Hiroki Kuroda set a tone the rest of the Red Sox picked up on in Saturday's 6-1 victory.
The righthander allowed one run on six hits over 6 2/3 innings and walked off the field with a four-run lead. He struck out only one but got the Yankees to ground into 14 outs. Lackey handled five of the groundouts himself.
“We needed a win today especially as a team after the last few games,” he said.
Lackey didn’t allow a run until the fifth inning. By then the Sox already had a 3-0 lead.
Lackey got three ground outs in the sixth inning, the second when Dustin Pedroia robbed Alex Rodriguez of a hit with a diving stop. The crowd broke into cheers then booed loudly as Rodriguez returned to the dugout.
Rodriguez was 0 for 3 with a walk and heard jeers throughout the game.
Lackey told the Globe last week last week he didn’t think it was fair for Rodriguez to be playing in the pennant race despite his right to appeal a 211-game suspension from Major League Baseball for using performance-enhancing drugs.
If shutting down the game’s most unpopular player gave him any satisfaction, Lackey didn’t express it.
“We’re just trying to win a game he was just as important as any other guy,” he said.
With two outs in the seventh inning, Lackey hit Chris Stewart with a pitch. Craig Breslow replaced him and Lackey walked off knowing his first win since July 12 was secure.
• The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry does not cross the lines of friendship, it seems. David Ortiz and Rodriguez met in the player’s parking lot after the game and drove away in Ortiz’s SUV.
• Will Middlebrooks, 2 for 3 with a walk, has hit safely in all seven games he has played since returning from Pawtucket. He is 10 for 23 with three RBIs and three walks over the span.
• In a non-save situation, Koji Uehara extended his scoreless streak to 18 1/3 innings.
• David Ross was 0 for 4 and caught nine innings for Pawtucket and will be activated off the disabled list Monday barring any recurrence of concussion symptoms. That Ross was 1 for 16 in his five rehab games was not a concern, Farrell said.
• Marc Kudisch and Kerry O’Malley presented a robust rendition of the national anthem before the game. They will be in the free concert production of “Kiss Me, Kate” on Aug. 21 at the Hatch Shell.
• The two finalists in the US Amateur -- England’s Matt Fitzpatrick and Australia’s Oliver Goss -- threw out first pitches after coming over from The County Club.