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NYY@BOS: Martin's three-run blast extends lead to 5-1

BOSTON -- Russell Martin slugged two of his team's four homers and Robinson Cano continued to savor the friendly hitting backdrop of Fenway Park as the Yankees defeated the Red Sox, 9-4, on Saturday.

Cano and Curtis Granderson also launched homers as the Yankees outslugged their division rivals, bouncing back a day after seeing the Red Sox post their first victory of 2011 in their home opener.

"You want to feel you're going to have enough firepower," said manager Joe Girardi, whose club pounded out a season-high 13 hits. "It's not what you want to do on a daily basis, but I feel with our lineup we can put up big numbers some days. Today we needed them."

Covering for the shortest start of Ivan Nova's brief career, the bottom of the lineup paced the way. Martin slugged a three-run homer in the fourth off Clay Buchholz and added a solo shot in the seventh off Alfredo Aceves, marking his second career multihomer game.

Martin signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Yankees after dabbling with the idea of catching for the Red Sox, but concerns about durability hovered over Boston's offer. New York needed Martin to take over for 39-year-old Jorge Posada, and the gamble has paid off so far.

"They were interested, but at the same time, they were worried about the injuries that I had," Martin said of the Red Sox. "It really just came down to that the Yankees were much more aggressive."

After admittedly losing some of his focus during those injury-plagued seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Martin said that putting pinstripes on has all the makings of a perfect fit.

"I love the intensity. It's really what I'm all about," Martin said. "It's going to be a fun year from that standpoint."

Granderson hooked a fifth-inning homer around Pesky's Pole off left-hander Felix Doubront, his second blast off a southpaw this year, and Cano went 3-for-5 with a double, homer, RBI and two runs scored, raising his career average to .367 (84-for-229) at Fenway Park.

Cano continues to own Buchholz, improving to 9-for-17 lifetime against him, and currently owns the highest average on Yawkey Way of any player to wear a Yankees uniform with a minimum of 200 at-bats, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"I don't know. I think it's luck," Cano said. "It's a favorite [park]. Whenever you can hit in a ballpark, it's where you always want to play. But it's nothing special that I do. I do the same things."

Cano has hit safely in his last seven games at Fenway Park, going 15-for-30 with five doubles, two homers and seven RBIs in those contests.

"He's one of the best in the league," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "They have a lot of dangerous hitters. You make a mistake, he hurts you. You don't make a mistake, he's still dangerous."

Eric Chavez also had a strong performance, notching his first hit as a Yankee - a second-inning RBI double off the Green Monster - among three hits, as he filled in for Posada as the designated hitter for the day.

The Yankees needed the offensive cushion behind Nova, who was knocked out after 4 1/3 innings, allowing a career-high seven hits. In a trend that the Yankees would like to see him shake, Nova started strong before having trouble the second time through the order.

"I couldn't command my fastball, and if I can't command my fastball, it's not going to be a good day," Nova said. "That's my first pitch and the one I trust a lot. You're going to be in trouble."

Boston got a run in the third inning as Dustin Pedroia doubled and scored on a Kevin Youkilis groundout, and a missed opportunity at a double-play ball in the fourth inning opened the door for three more Red Sox runs.

With two aboard and one out, Cano juggled the feed on a Jacoby Ellsbury grounder and did not throw, not wanting to fire the ball awkwardly into the field-level seats.

J.D. Drew scored, and after a hit, Pedroia bombed a two-run double to deep center, driving in the third and fourth Boston runs. Nova left a two-on, one-out jam in the fifth, but Dave Robertson hurled 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory on his 26th birthday.

"The quicker you can get three outs and get back in the dugout, the better chance you've got to turn around and change the momentum of the game," Robertson said. "I was trying to go in there and get them as quickly as possible and not get into long counts."

Joba Chamberlain pitched well in the seventh inning, and with a five-run lead on the scoreboard, Luis Ayala recorded the final six outs to polish off the win against the struggling Sox.

"It's really good. That's how you're going to win games," Cano said. "You're not going to win games with three guys. You're going to win games with the whole team, with pitching, with defense and with offense. It's good to see everybody contribute." Comments