BOSTON -- The sage words Don Zimmer used to whisper to Joe Torre when he was his bench coach still echo: No lead is safe here.
The five-run lead Hiroki Kuroda was handed before he even took the mound Friday night at Fenway Park certainly wasn't.
Kuroda coughed all of it up in a bizarre 43-minute first inning in which he and Red Sox starter Josh Beckett totaled 68 pitches -- and 10 runs and nine hits allowed.
The Yankees blew 5-0 and 6-5 leads in the first two innings, and the Red Sox were unable to hold on to a 7-6 lead after six innings as the Yankees scored four in the seventh en route to a 10-8 victory. Each team wound up with 14 hits.
"It seems like the same old story every time we come here,'' Derek Jeter said. "No lead ever seems like it's safe. Anything can happen.''
Mark Teixeira, who had singled home two runs in the first, had a two-run triple into the triangle in right-center off Vicente Padilla -- the one player he quite publicly admits to disliking in the game -- in the seventh.
"Game-winning hits always feel good, but this one feels really good,'' Teixeira said.
Raul Ibañez added a two-out RBI double and scored on Eric Chavez's single in the seventh.
The Yankees' bullpen came through, allowing one run in 31/3 innings, with Rafael Soriano retiring all four batters he faced for his 20th save in 21 opportunities. The Yankees (50-32) increased their lead over Boston (42-41), tied for last with the Blue Jays in the AL East, to 81/2 games.
David Robertson replaced Cody Eppley with runners on first and second and two outs in the seventh and struck out Nick Punto. Soriano replaced Robertson with runners on first and second and two outs in the eighth and retired Adrian Gonzalez (three hits) on a grounder.
Kuroda -- 5-1 with a 1.65 ERA in his previous seven starts -- retreated to the bad old days of the early season, allowing seven runs (six earned) and 10 hits in 52/3 innings. "Not just in the first inning but the whole game, I didn't have most of my pitches,'' he said through his interpreter. "I just didn't do my job today.''
Mauro Gomez's RBI single gave Boston a 7-6 lead in the fifth. But that lead didn't stand a chance, either. The Yankees roared back with a four-run seventh -- and naturally, the Red Sox quickly cut into that, as Cody Ross hit Boone Logan's third pitch of the bottom of the seventh over the Green Monster seats and into Lansdowne Street to make it 10-8.
Jeter made a critical play later in the inning just before Robertson came on, fielding Mike Aviles' grounder in the hole with runners at first and second and cutting down the lead runner at third for the second out.
"Changed the complexion of the game,'' Girardi said. "The bases could have been loaded.''
Said Jeter: "I always tell the third baseman with runners on, I might be coming to you.''
That the teams had totaled 18 runs through seven wasn't at all surprising, given how the night began for Beckett and Kuroda.
Seven pitches in, the Yankees had the bases loaded. Twelve pitches in, it was 1-0 after a walk to Robinson Cano forced home a run. Two pitches after that, the Yankees led 3-0 on Teixeira's two-run single, and after 17 pitches and six batters, the lead was 4-0 and Bobby Valentine had his bullpen hot. It grew to 5-0, but Girardi had only one thought.
"You know in this ballpark a lot of crazy things happen,'' he said. "My thought is, just keep building on the lead, keep building on the lead. But I looked up in the top of the second and there was no lead.''
Daniel Nava started Boston's five-run first with a double off the Monster, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Ryan Kalish's sacrifice fly. David Ortiz (three hits) singled and Ross reached on an error. Gonzalez's RBI single made it 5-2 and Jarrod Saltalamacchia's three-run homer to right tied it.
With one out in the second, Curtis Granderson tripled to the wall in right-center and scored on Alex Rodriguez's grounder to short, making it 6-5.