"It's kind of like, just pass the torch," Bird said. "When guys are getting on base, good things happen in general. A lot of guys swung the bat well. It's good for us and good for everyone in the lineup."
Tanaka permitted four runs and six hits over 6 1/3 innings, including Xander Bogaerts' sixth-inning homer, to log his 11th victory of the season. Down, 11-1, after three innings, the Red Sox rallied late against New York's bullpen, posting five runs in the final three frames as the Yanks eventually had to call upon closer Andrew Miller to wrap up their 5-1 trip.
"We fall down 10 runs and we didn't quit," said Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo. "We kept coming. Despite that moment where the game got away from us, everybody did their job to pick up Henry, and I was proud of that."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED A-Rod knocks out Owens: The Yanks were already on their way to a big inning in the second, thanks to Bird's two-run homer and Murphy's solo shot, and a fifth run came home on a Chris Young RBI single. Alex Rodriguez then lined a two-run single down the third-base line that dispatched Owens to the showers. Beltran followed by greeting Ryan Cook with a two-run blast over the Green Monster on the first pitch he threw.
"I think they jumped on [Owens] pretty quickly," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You got a lot of big hits. Stephen Drew had a huge day for us today. He's been really hot, swinging the bat extremely well. Didi gets on and they just kind of rolled. They put up a big number and we were able to make it stick."
Bogaerts stays hot: The one constant for the Red Sox this season has been Xander Bogaerts. The shortstop raked three more hits on Wednesday, including a home run into the Monster Seats. It was the fifth home run of the season for Bogaerts, who is hitting .319 for the season, and .370 since Aug. 15.
Tanaka clamps the damage: The lopsided score washed away any concern about Tanaka's shaky first inning, in which he surrendered doubles to Mookie Betts and David Ortiz that produced a run. Tanaka escaped that frame by getting Travis Shaw to ground out, and by the time he returned to the mound, eight runs were in his pocket. Tanaka became the first Yankee to receive 10 or more runs of support in three straight games against the Red Sox, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"Given that many runs in that inning, I was thinking if I do my job well, then we have a good chance of winning this game," Tanaka said through an interpreter.
Castillo debuts in left: In the first step toward a potential realignment in the outfield, the Red Sox had Rusney Castillo start in left field for the first time. Castillo wasn't tested much, but he made a nice play on a carom off the Green Monster to hold Young to a single in the top of the second. Castillo handled his the one flyball hit to him cleanly in the top of the ninth. The Red Sox will soon get Betts some work in the corner spots as well in an effort to gauge how their three highly-athletic outfielders (including Jackie Bradley Jr.) best fit together for the long haul.
"It was an overall positive experience, especially being able to play it for the first time, not just in the Major Leagues, but at Fenway Park," Castillo said through interpreter Adrian Lorenzo. "I felt pretty comfortable out there. I thought it went well." More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart has been a machine at the plate lately, reaching in 12 straight games with a .455 average, .547 on-base percentage and .636 slugging percentage during that span.
The victory was the 800th of Girardi's managerial career, making him the 79th big league manager to reach that plateau. Seven hundred twenty-two of Girardi's victories have come with the Yankees. He won 78 games as the manager of the 2006 Marlins.
WHAT'S NEXT Yankees: Following an off-day on Thursday, the Yankees will open a three-game series against the Rays on Friday at Yankee Stadium. Right-hander Luis Severino (2-2, 2.17 ERA) will make his sixth big league start, seeking his third consecutive victory. He blanked the Braves over six innings his last time out in a 3-1 win last Saturday in Atlanta.
Red Sox: Coming off a perfect August (6-0, 2.68 ERA), right-hander Joe Kelly will try to keep it going in September when he opens a three-game series against the Phillies on Friday night at Fenway Park. Kelly was strong last time out against the Mets, giving up one run over 7 1/3 innings.