NEW YORK — Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira hit back-to-back homers in the eighth inning Sunday night, and the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 5-2 to finish their first four-game home sweep of their bitter rival in 24 years.
Victor Martinez hit a two-run homer off Phil Coke (4-3) in the top of the eighth, snapping Boston's 31-inning scoreless streak and making it 2-1.
Daniel Bard (0-1) retired the first two hitters in the bottom half before Damon drove a 98-mph fastball over the right-field fence, bringing the fourth consecutive sellout crowd at Yankee Stadium to its feet.
The fans didn't have a chance to sit down, either, before Teixeira went deep to right two pitches later and untied it. It was the sixth time Damon and Teixeira have hit consecutive homers, the most ever for a pair of Yankees in one season.
The crowd began chanting "Sweep! Sweep!" after Nick Swisher added a two-run single off Hideki Okajima later in the inning, which made it an easy night for Mariano Rivera. The All-Star closer worked around a leadoff single for his major league-leading 32nd save.
The Yankees (69-42) have won seven straight overall to move a season-high 27 games over .500, and built a 6 1/2-game lead over the Red Sox (62-48) in the AL East. New York, which entered the series 0-8 against Boston this season, has never failed to win the division when leading by more than six games.
The Red Sox finished the disastrous series 3 for 38 with runners in scoring position, scoring two runs total in the final three games.
A pitching duel between Andy Pettitte and Boston counterpart Jon Lester began dissolving when Alex Rodriguez belted a solo shot leading off the seventh inning, giving him 574 home runs and breaking a tie with Harmon Killebrew for ninth on the all-time list.
It was the first home run allowed by Lester since June 18 against Florida.
The soaring shot didn't have quite the drama of the two-run homer Rodriguez hit Friday night, in the 15th inning of a scoreless game. But the mercurial slugger seemed to enjoy it every bit as much, smiling broadly as he rounded the bases and greeting his cheering teammates when he reached the dugout. A-Rod even hopped up the steps for a curtain call.
Martinez answered the next inning, moments after Dustin Pedroia hit a one-out single, and snapped the longest scoreless innings streak for Boston since September 1974. It was also the first extra-base hit for the Red Sox since Casey Kotchman's two-run homer in the fourth inning of a 13-6 loss Thursday night.
New York's shutout streak against Boston was its longest since a 33-inning stretch from Sept. 1-24, 1952, according to STATS LLC. The Yankees shut out the Red Sox in consecutive home games in one season for the first time since 1963.
Pettitte gritted through seven innings, allowing five hits and two walks, though it never seemed like he had his best stuff.
It hardly mattered the way the Red Sox hit this series.
NOTES: Lester allowed five hits over seven innings for Boston, striking out seven. ... Red Sox DH David Ortiz was given the night off from the starting lineup. He walked as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. ... The Yankees activated RHP Chad Gaudin and designated Josh Towers for assignment. ... Boston purchased the contract of RHP Fernando Cabrera from Triple-A Pawtucket and designated RHP Enrique Gonzalez for assignment.