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Fill-in catcher Francisco Cervelli had three hits and two RBIs for the Yankees.
New York tried to rally in the sixth, scoring once and sending up Jeter with the bases loaded. But with sweat dripping from the bill of his cap, Aceves got Jeter to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Just before that, speedy Brett Gardner failed to break from third on a pitch that went to the backstop. He said he thought the ball hit Jeter.
"It's not a good read," Girardi said. "It changes the complexion of the game a lot. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but he didn't read it and it ended up hurting us."
Making his first start at the new Yankee Stadium on a 90-degree night, Wakefield was handed a 7-0 lead by the fourth. He floated 66 mph knuckleballs toward the plate and held New York in check long enough to earn his 196th career win.
The oldest active player in the majors, Wakefield even had enough in the tank to outrace Gardner to first base on a grounder in the fourth.
Wakefield tripped over the head of Gardner, who dived headfirst into the bag, and tumbled to the turf. But the paunchy right-hander caught his breath, got back up and lasted 5 1-3 innings. When he was lifted, Ortiz was waiting with a hug at the top of the dugout steps.
"I thought we were going to have to need a wheelbarrow to get him off the field," manager Terry Francona said. "But that just shows his professionalism. He's always been a guy that covers first. That's why he's still pitching."
Rodriguez's 624th homer cut it to 7-1 in the fourth and gave him 1,865 RBIs, passing Hall of Famer Mel Ott for ninth on the career list.
NOTES: Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia is headed back to Boston on Thursday to have his sore right knee checked out by the team doctor. ... Jeter whiffed in the third, snapping a career-long stretch of 58 plate appearances without a strikeout. ... Yankees C Russell Martin (back) sat out and reliever Joba Chamberlain (elbow) was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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