BOSTON - Credit the Red Sox, down eight runs with two outs and no one on in the bottom of the sixth inning, for making a game of it.
The Yankees were more than glad to do just that, secure in this bottom line:
They left Fenway Park as one of baseball's hottest teams, having completed a three-game sweep of the Red Sox with an 8-5 victory Sunday night in front of 33,198.
The AL East-leading Yankees (16-9), who received a two-run homer from Mark Teixeira and a three-run shot from Brett Gardner, have won 13 of their last 16 games, putting in the rearview mirror an unsightly 3-6 start.
They will begin a three-game series in Toronto Monday night.
The Yankees, who had 14 hits, including four by Jacoby Ellsbury, took an 8-0 lead into the sixth. Adam Warren, cruising along to that point, retired the first two batters, but by the time the inning was over, the Red Sox (12-13) had sent 10 to the plate, including the potential tying run.
Dustin Pedroia started the rally with a single and David Ortiz brought him in with a double off the Green Monster. Warren then hit Hanley Ramirez in the left hip, and Ramirez responded by gesturing and yelling at him.
Boston righthander Edward Mujica appeared to retaliate with one out in the eighth, hitting Ellsbury -- who is 19-for- his-last-40 at the plate -- in the right hip. That brought a warning to both teams by umpire Jeff Nelson and prompted CC Sabathia to leave the Yankees' dugout to shout and glare at Mujica.
After Ramirez was hit, Pablo Sandoval singled to make it 8-2. Joe Girardi had seen enough, calling on long man Esmil Rogers to face Mike Napoli. The first baseman, hitting .160 with one homer and four RBIs in a rough start to the year, skied a 0-and-1 pitch just over the Green Monster for a three-run homer to make it 8-5.
Daniel Nava walked and Xander Bogaerts reached on an infield single, bringing Blake Swihart to the plate as the tying run, but Rogers struck out the rookie catcher to end the inning.
Rogers retired the first two batters of the seventh before giving way to lefthander Justin Wilson, who retired Ortiz on a lineout to left. Gardner, whose three-run shot off lefty Craig Breslow in the sixth made it 8-0, charged in to make a diving catch.
With Dellin Betances unavailable after pitching the previous two games, Wilson started the eighth and allowed a leadoff single to Ramirez. In came righthander David Carpenter, who got Napoli to ground into a 6-4-3 double play on his first pitch to end the inning.
Andrew Miller allowed a pair of walks in the ninth, bringing Dustin Pedroia to the plate as the tying run with two outs. Chase Headley's error loaded the bases for Ortiz, who lined out to center just as the clock struck midnight.
The Yankees drove struggling Red Sox righthander Joe Kelly from the game after 52/3 innings, touching him up for five runs in the first three innings. Teixeira hit his team-best ninth homer in the first, an opposite-field two-run shot to left-center. With two outs in the third, Brian McCann doubled home two runs and scored on Carlos Beltran's double to make it 5-0.
Through five innings, the Yankees had 10 hits and the Red Sox had one. Warren, who brought a 4.35 ERA into the game, was perfect through three innings before Mookie Betts led off the fourth with a double.
Notes & quotes: Brendan Ryan, who started the season on the disabled list with a right calf strain, was scratched from a rehab start in Tampa on Saturday because of a hamstring injury that Girardi said will keep him out for at least a week . . . Tino Martinez, who worked with Yankees minor leaguers during the spring and was in discussions with the club for a full-time position, worked with players on Saturday at the club's minor-league complex in Tampa.
If there was one consensus surrounding the Yankees when they left spring training, it was that they would have one of the best bullpens in baseball. But one this dominant? That has caught even the most optimistic observers by surprise.
"Yeah, a little bit," Girardi said before Sunday night's game. "And it's been really spread throughout, too. A lot of times in a bullpen, you might have three or four guys going well, maybe five, and you might have one struggling or just doing OK. You look at all of our guys, they've all been doing extremely well."