BOSTON - The dead wood the Yankees were swinging when they started this trip seems to have been closeted.
They put an emphatic end to a successful six-game trip Wednesday by hammering the Red Sox, 13-8, in front of 34,416 at Fenway Park.
The Yankees went 5-1, outscoring the Braves, whom they swept over the weekend, and Red Sox by a combined 57-24 margin.
"It was kind of like pass the torch," said rookie first baseman Greg Bird, who went 2-for-4, including a two-run homer that jump-started an eight-run second that put the Yankees ahead 8-1. "All of the guys swung the bat well."
The victory put the Yankees a season-best 16 games over .500 at 74-58. However they gained no ground on the Blue Jays, who beat the Indians, 5-1, Wednesday night.
Masahiro Tanaka, who allowed four runs and six hits in 61/3 decent innings, was twice the beneficiary of the offensive eruptions, the first Friday in a 15-4 victory over the Braves.
"Given that many runs in that inning, I was thinking if I did my job well then I would have a good chance of winning this game," Tanaka (11-6, 3.73) said through his translator.
Every starter had at least one hit as the Yankees compiled 15, including five home runs.
The bottom of the order carried the day, the case several times this trip, with Didi Gregorius and Stephen Drew staying hot -- Gregorius went 2-for-4 with a homer and Drew went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, finishing a triple short of the cycle.
"It's great because you can't expect the same guys to do it every night," Joe Girardi said. "When you get guys down there producing the way they are, a lot of times you can have big numbers and we did on this road trip."
Bird's homer started the second-inning onslaught against rookie lefthander Henry Owens (2-2, 5.87), with John Ryan Murphy and Carlos Beltran also homering in the inning.
"It was a good day for everybody," said Drew, who went 9-for-20 with nine RBIs on the trip. "It's huge. We know we're in a race here. Coming out the way we did today early on and getting early runs was a big benefit."
Drew's three-run blast in the third made it 11-1. The lead grew to 12-1 in the fifth, at which point the game should have been on cruise control.
But because Tanaka was hardly dominant and the bullpen was subpar, Girardi felt the need to use his top two relievers. He went to Dellin Betances with one out and the bases loaded, the Yankees ahead 13-7, in the eighth. Betances got a strikeout and groundout. After Caleb Cotham gave up back-to-back doubles that made it 13-8 in the ninth, Andrew Miller came on to finish things off. He took a comebacker off his lower right leg but said afterward he was fine.
"We're hoping not to use them [Betances and Miller] but we felt we had to stop each inning, we didn't want it to get out of hand," Girardi said. "It didn't work that way, but a win's a win and we have an off day tomorrow and they can rest tomorrow . . . When you're up 12-1, you can't let this game get away from you, and we made sure we didn't."