The Red Sox insist they were not trying to hit Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli with the first pitch of the seventh inning, a play that brought both teams out of their dugouts and bullpens. But after the way he celebrated his fifth-inning home run, they weren't all that disappointed it happened.

Cervelli took Boston starter John Lackey over the Green Monster in the fifth inning, and after stepping on home plate at the end of his trot, emphatically clapped his hands right in front of catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Lackey didn't like it, but with the score so close he wasn't trying to drill Cervelli in the back as retaliation with the next pitch he threw to him. It's believable because Lackey has on other occasions confessed that he'd hit players to send a message, been fined by MLB for it, "and I've paid them because they were right," he said.

"He was pumped for that ninth home run of his career (third actually), yeah," Lackey said. "I don't know. I thought it was a little excessive, honestly, but that's not a spot you handle something like that."

"I totally understand how it could look that way: the guy hit a home run and the next at-bat on the first pitch you hit him," Saltalamacchia said. "I can understand how it could look bad."