BOSTON - Brett Gardner homered and Stephen Drew hit a two-run double as the New York Yankees pieced together just enough offence to overcame Rick Porcello's career-high 13 strikeouts and beat the Boston Red Sox 3-1 on Tuesday night.
Porcello (6-12) scattered five hits over eight innings and the only earned run he allowed was Gardner's solo homer in the eighth. He topped his previous high for strikeouts by two, but the Red Sox gave him little support at the plate, stranding seven runners.
Michael Pineda (10-8) pitched six strong innings for the Yankees, scattering four hits and striking out seven and Andrew Miller picked up his 29th save as New York evened the series at one game apiece.
Boston had a promising rally going in the eighth that quickly fizzled on an attempted double steal.
Ortiz struck out in his first three at-bats and the Red Sox sent both runners. The gamble failed as Betts was called out when he slid into third and briefly lost contact with the base. Replays showed Betts telling third-base umpire Vic Carapazza that third baseman Chase Headley pushed him off the bag. The Red Sox challenged the call, which was confirmed after a video review.
Ortiz struck out for the fourth time just after the delay.
The Yankees picked up two unearned runs in the fifth after Didi Gregorius hit a grounder that got past Travis Shaw at first base. Alex Rodriguez, who led off with a single, trudged from first base to third as the ball slowly rolled down the right-field line and Gregorius reached second on Shaw's error.
Both scored easily when Drew followed with a double that rolled all the way to the wall in left-centre, giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead.
Yankees: RHP Andrew Bailey was among the additions the Yankees made to the expanded roster Tuesday. Bailey hasn't pitched in the majors since seriously injuring his shoulder while pitching for Boston in 2013.
Red Sox: LF Hanley Ramirez missed his fifth straight game with a sore right shoulder. Manager Torey Luvollo said he hopes Ramirez will return before the end of the season, but he won't be playing in the outfield again. Ramirez struggled defensively through much of the season during Boston's attempt to convert him to an outfielder.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (10-6) makes his 20th start of the season. Tanaka is 11-5 in 18 career starts on the road and 1-1 in Boston.
Red Sox: Rookie LHP Henry Owens (2-1) makes his first start at home since going eight innings in a win over Kansas City on Aug. 21, holding the Royals to two runs and four hits. Owens got a no-decision last week against the New York Mets.