Masahiro Tanaka pitched seven strong innings of one-run ball while designated hitter Matt Holliday announced his return from the disabled list with a three-run homer to lift the New York Yankees to a 5-1 triumph over the Boston Red Sox Saturday in the penultimate game of a four-game series at Yankee Stadium. Tanaka (11-10) yielded five hits with two walks and five strikeouts en route to his third straight win. David Robertson gave up a hit in the eighth while Dellin Betances sealed the win with a perfect ninth, striking out all three Red Sox hitters as the Yankees (72-63) trimmed the Red Sox’s lead in the American League East to 4 ½ games. Chase Headley added a solo shot while Gary Sanchez drove in a run in support of Tanaka, who is 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his last six starts.

Girardi commented on Holliday’s return

After the game, manager Joe Girardi commented on Holliday’s return to the lineup after missing 25 games with a lower back strain.”We've missed that from him,” Girardi said, referring to Holliday’s output in the first half of the season. The Yankees dealt Drew Pomeranz his first loss in nearly three months. Pomeranz (14-5) gave up four runs on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts as the Red Sox slipped to 77-59. Since his last loss on June 11, Pomeranz went 8-0 with a 2.31 ERA in 14 starts. Former Yankee Eduardo Nunez put the Red Sox on the board when he scored on Tanaka’s wild pitch in the sixth. The Red Sox continued their poor play against the Yankees with runners in scoring position, hitting just 0-for-15 in this series.

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Red Sox skipper made wrong decision on Pomeranz

Pomeranz limited the Yankees to just a solo homer by Headley through five innings, convincing manager John Farrell to keep him in the game. It was the wrong move, as Pomeranz opened the sixth by giving up a leadoff walk to Didi Gregorius and a single to Headley. Then, Holliday crushed Pomeranz’s 101st pitch of the game into the left-field seats for a three-run shot and a 4-1 lead. “I talked with him after the fifth after he came out, and he still felt good," said Farrell, explaining his move to keep Pomeranz in the game.

In Sunday’s finale, the Red Sox will start ace Chris Sale (15-6), who is 0-2 in four starts against the Yankees this season. The Yankees, for their part, will put Luis Severino (11-6) on the hill as they try to finish off the Red Sox in the series. Severino is raring to recover from his bad outing against the Cleveland Indians in his last start. He fanned nine batters, but gave up a career-high three homers.