BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox erupted for 19 hits, including seven doubles and three Steve Pearce home runs, to cruise past the New York Yankees 15-7 Thursday night at Fenway Park.

Pearce, the veteran right-handed slugger obtained from the Blue Jays five weeks ago, enjoyed his first career three-home run game.

Pearce’s second homer, with two runners on, began an eight-run fourth inning that gave Boston a 10-4 lead.

Yankees starter CC Sabathia left after three innings and 77 pitches – with New York leading 4-2. Reliever Jonathan Holder (1-2) did not retire any of the seven batters he faced. Pearce finished with six RBI.

Boston (76-34) moved 6½ games ahead of New York (68-39) in the American League East.

Brian Johnson (2-3) got the start for the sore-shouldered Chris Sale, and it did not go well early.

Aaron Hicks led off with a grounder that shortstop Brock Holt could not come up with. Hicks reached on the error. Giancarlo Stanton lined a single to center. The left-handed hitting Didi Gregorius stepped in and hit the first of his two homers. He crushed an inside fastball to the bullpens in right and New York led 3-0.

Johnson struck out the first two batters in the second inning, but Hicks got an elevated fastball and launched it over the Red Sox bullpen – 4-0.

Johnson finished five innings, allowing five runs (four earned), striking out 11. It was his first win since his first start on April 2.

The top five batters in the Red Sox lineup had at least three hits apiece – Mookie Betts (4), Andrew Benintendi, Pearce, J.D. Martinez and Ian Kinsler.

Stanton hit his 25th home run in the seventh inning off Brandon Workman.

NOTES: Catcher Blake Swihart left the game after the sixth inning with right hamstring tightness. He is considered day-to-day … Shortstop Xander Bogaerts was out of the lineup after being hit in the hand by a fastball on Tuesday. Red Sox Manager Alex Cora said Bogaerts was available to play and is hoping Bogaerts will play Friday … Cora said Sale is scheduled to start next week in Toronto … Left-handed starter Eduardo Rodriguez, out since July 14 with an ankle injury, is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Sunday … Third baseman Rafael Devers (hamstring) took ground balls and batting practice. He should come off the disabled list when he’s eligible next week … Christin Vazquez (broken finger) is not expected back until September … Stephen Wright (knee) has yet to throw off the mound … The Yankees have moved starter Sonny Gray (6.75 ERA his last nine starts) to the bullpen, moving newly-acquired Lance Lynn into his place … Another recently added Yankees starter, J.P. Happ, was officially placed on the disabled list with hand, foot and mouth disease.

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