The Yankees' Bartolo Colon delivers against the Red Sox during...

The Yankees' Bartolo Colon delivers against the Red Sox during the fifth inning. (Apr. 8, 2011) Credit: AP

BOSTON -- The Yankees had a chance to win Friday's game here for two reasons:

They had little difficulty hitting Boston starter John Lackey, and 37-year-old Bartolo Colon pitched close to the way he did in his prime.

"I feel really good," Colon said through bench coach Tony Peña, who served as his translator. "Every day that goes by, I feel even better."

With the Red Sox leading 6-3, Colon relieved an ineffective Phil Hughes to start the third and pitched well in the next 41/3 innings, although he wound up taking the loss. He was charged with two runs (one earned), allowed two hits and a walk, and struck out five.

The unearned run off him, the result of Mark Teixeira's error on a potential inning-ending double-play ball, gave the Red Sox a 7-6 lead in the fifth. He was charged with the earned run after allowing a bunt single by Adrian Gonzalez to open the seventh. One out later, he was replaced by lefthander Boone Logan, who allowed David Ortiz's double and J.D. Drew's two-run single.

Colon, who allowed four runs in four innings against the Tigers in his first relief appearance this season, said he is getting more comfortable in his new role.

"I felt a lot better," he said. "I felt like I warmed up a lot quicker today."

Colon, who threw 44 of his 62 pitches for strikes and displayed excellent late movement on his fastball, said working his way into the rotation isn't on his mind. "I'm going to work according to where they're going to use me," he said. "It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter at all."

Logan saw his ERA climb to 13.50 in three appearances. With Pedro Feliciano out indefinitely, he plays a critical role; he's Joe Girardi's lone lefthanded bullpen option.

"My slider, that's the pitch I need," Logan said. "Everything else comes off it and I'm not throwing it for strikes."

Extra bases

The Red Sox finally notched their first win. "I've never seen a team so happy to be 1-6," manager Terry Francona said. "But that was the best we could do today. So that's good. Got to start somewhere." . . . Alex Rodriguez's 616th homer gave him 1,836 career RBIs, pushing him past Rafael Palmeiro and tying him with Ken Griffey Jr. for 13th on the all-time list . . . Alfredo Aceves, non-tendered by the Yankees during the offseason, signed by the Red Sox and called up Friday morning, pitched a scoreless sixth.

With Anthony Rieber

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