Kuroda threw 92 pitches in the first four innings and 117 in all. Lester yielded three runs and 10 hits in eight effective innings.
“I felt good. Little bit of a grinder for me,” Lester said. “But I was able to keep the team in reach.”
New York tied it in the fourth. Alex Rodriguez singled and scored from first base when Reynolds doubled to deep center.
Lester ran into some tough luck in the fifth. Chris Stewart blooped a one-out single to snap an 0-for-23 slump before Suzuki and Vernon Wells fisted soft singles that landed just out of the reach of shortstop Stephen Drew.
That loaded the bases for Alfonso Soriano, who struck out. Cano then lined a two-run double over Middlebrooks at third to put the Yankees ahead 3-1.
“Made one bad pitch in the inning and give up two runs. It’s frustrating, but you’ve just got to keep making pitches,” Lester said.
Ortiz hit a leadoff double in the sixth and scored on Saltalamacchia’s RBI groundout.
Stewart, hit by a pitch in the third, was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth with a bruised left foot. He was sent for precautionary X-rays.
NOTES: Boston’s last four-game sweep of the Yankees came at Fenway Park in June 1990. The only time the Red Sox have swept a series of at least four games in the Bronx was a five-game whitewash in July 1939. ... Saltalamacchia (back) was back behind the plate after sitting out five games. ... RHP Clay Buchholz is set to rejoin the Red Sox rotation tomorrow night at Tampa Bay after missing three months with a strained neck. LHP Felix Doubront will be skipped. ... Yankees LHP CC Sabathia (13-11, 4.86 ERA) starts the opener of a four-game series tonight in Baltimore against RHP Chris Tillman (15-5, 3.71). ... SS Derek Jeter sat out with soreness in his surgically repaired left ankle. Girardi said Jeter probably will be held out for a couple of days before further evaluation.