The Yankees are starting to look like Secretariat in the Belmont Stakes.
Even on a night when Nestor Cortes came up with his roughest start of the season, the Yankees used their offense and bullpen to further cement their place as the best team in the division — as well as in the majors — in a 12-5 win over the Red Sox.
In front of a raucous sellout crowd of 36,841 at Fenway Park, the Yankees got a three-run homer from Josh Donaldson — who has gone deep in three straight games — and more solid work out of their bullpen to send Boston to its fourth consecutive loss.
The Yankees have built a season-high 15 ½-game lead in the AL East with their 61-23 start, thanks in part to a 28-12 record in the division.
“We’ve got a long way to go, but I love that we built up this lead,” manager Aaron Boone said. “We’ve made a lot of deposits. Inevitably, we’ve got to make some withdrawals along the way.”
Cortes lasted a season-low 3 innings, while allowing four runs on eight hits to bring his ERA up to 2.74.
But the Yankees hardly felt it, as they got to Boston right-hander Connor Seabold quickly.