Pawtucket Red Sox

Holliday returns with 3-run HR, Yankees beat Red Sox 5-1

Matt Holliday once again became a bruising designated hitter against his former designated sitter.

Holliday made a smashing return to the Yankees' lineup after being sidelined a month, launching a three-run homer that led Masahiro Tanaka and New York over the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox 5-1 Saturday.

"We've missed that," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

The Yankees, already holding the top spot in the wild-card race, pulled within 4½ games of Boston. The rivals close their season series Sunday night.

Holliday has hit two big home runs against the Red Sox this season. His link to Boston manager John Farrell goes back a lot farther.