BOSTON -- It got a bit more interesting than it should have and Joe Girardi wound up using three relievers he didn't want to use, but the New York Yankees left Fenway Park with another road win on Wednesday.
"A win's a win," the Yankees manager said after his team built a 12-1 lead and then had to sweat just a bit before winning 13-8, giving Girardi his 800th victory as a big league manager.
With the Yankees ahead 12-1 through the first half of the game, it looked like relievers Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller would be able to rest. But all three had to work to put the game away, with Miller even surviving a wicked comebacker that smacked him on the leg.
"They can rest tomorrow," Girardi said, "but preferably you'd rather not use them."
The win, which moved the Yankees within a game of first-place Toronto in the American League East pending the Blue Jays' night game, was Girardi's 722nd as Yankees manager -- after posting 78 in one season with the then-Florida Marlins.
The Yankees hit five homers in the first five innings -- four of them by the Nos. 6-9 hitters in the lineup.
Rookie first baseman Greg Bird and backup catcher John Ryan Murphy hit back-to-back homers and right fielder Carlos Beltran connected in an eight-run second inning. Second baseman Stephen Drew and shortstop Didi Gregorius added homers for the Yankees.
"It's good any time we can do that," said Drew, the No. 9 hitter who has been hot and also had a double and single. "Didi's swinging the bat well, obviously, and myself, so it was a good day overall for everybody."
New York right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (11-6) defeated the Red Sox for the third time in as many starts this season -- by a combined count of 40-15.
Tanaka, allowing four runs in 6 1/3 innings, became the first Yankees pitcher to get 10-plus runs of support in three consecutive starts against the Red Sox, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
The series win was the sixth straight for the Yankees at Fenway Park, the first time since 1956-58 that happened. After losing the first two games of the season series, New York is 10-3 against its rivals and finished 7-2 at Fenway Park this season.
The Yankees went 5-1 on their six-game road trip, scoring 56 runs, and now have a 10-game homestand capped by four with the Blue Jays.
"We had a really good road trip," Girardi said. "We have a really important stretch here at home."
Boston rookie left-hander Henry Owens, who finished his day with a 5.87 ERA in six major league starts (two against the Yankees), retired the first four batters -- but the only other out he recorded came on a baserunning gaffe by the Yankees in their big inning.
After the homers, designated hitter Alex Rodriguez knocked out Owens (2-2) with a two-run single. Beltran's 13th homer of the season -- crushed to the opposite field -- came on the first pitch from reliever Ryan Cook.
"It wasn't his best day. We all know that," Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo said of Owens. "He started off really strong and it happened pretty quick when they jumped on him."
Cook walked two in the third before Drew, on a 6-for-8 mini-tear coming in, ripped his 17th homer of the season.
Right-hander Andrew Bailey, completing the two-year road back from shoulder surgery, made his Yankees debut in relief of Tanaka. The 2009 American League Rookie of the Year walked two and gave up a hit and a sacrifice fly before being lifted after one-third of an inning.
Bogaerts hit a solo homer for the Red Sox.
The last-place Red Sox had two runs in, cutting their deficit to 13-7, and the bases loaded with one out in the eighth when Girardi, who used Wilson the finish the seventh, was forced to go to Betances. Miller then had to come on with a run home in the ninth.
NOTES: Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who has said he would consider using DH Alex Rodriguez at first base against left-handed pitchers, said Wednesday, "I just don't think Alex is ready to do it." ... The Red Sox began the plan to rotate their three outfielders for the remainder of the season, switching RF Rusney Castillo to left (his debut there) and Jackie Bradley Jr. from right to left, with Mookie Betts staying in center. ... Yankee LHP CC Sabathia, out with a knee injury, threw a bullpen session Wednesday and could be close to facing hitters. ... Boston RHP Clay Buchholz, apparently out for the season with an elbow problem, made 25 throws at 75 feet. ... Rookie RHP Luis Severino opens the Yankees' three-game series when he faces the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night. ... Red Sox RHP Joe Kelly goes for his seventh straight win in Friday's opener of a three-game home set with the Philadelphia Phillies.