BOSTON (AP)—The New York Yankees broke out of their slump—for one inning, at least.
Raul Mondesi hit a bases-loaded triple as New York scored five times in the first to beat the Boston Red Sox 7-3 Monday night and snap a three-game losing streak. The win put the Yankees back in sole possession of first place in the AL East, where they had been all season before losing six of seven to let Boston climb into a tie.
“We got the lead from the very beginning, and it held up with pitching,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “Kind of like the Yankee clubs we’re used to seeing.”
A day before his 40th birthday, David Wells (6-1) scattered nine hits and a walk over 6 2-3 innings, allowing one run and striking out four. Seven of the hits against him came with two outs, but each time Wells got in trouble he pitched out of it.
“That’s David Wells right there. He’s tough,” Red Sox manager Grady Little said. “He’s got the ability to stop anything before it gets started.”
Jorge Posada reached base five times—two hits, two walks and an error— for the Yankees, who followed an 18-3 start by going 9-13. The early outburst quieted the sellout crowd of 35,099—the biggest at Fenway since 1990—before it began the traditional derogatory chants about the Yankees.
“It’s kind of special coming in here, and we’re tied for the lead,” Wells said. “We want to get ahead of them. We don’t want to lose ground.”
Casey Fossum (4-2) gave up five runs on six hits and two walks, striking out four in six innings. All the damage came in the first before he settled down and retired 16 of the next 18 batters.
“It was a heck of a way to get started, but he rebounded,” said Little, who was one batter from pulling Fossum from the game. “He was just a little snake bit there in the first inning.”
And after that it was too late.
Alfonso Soriano singled on the first pitch of the game, Derek Jeter doubled on the second and, after fouling one off, Jason Giambi singled to make it 2-0. Bernie Williams flied out to center before Hideki Matsui singled and Posada walked to load the bases.
Mondesi lined a ball off the Green Monster and it got away from center fielder Johnny Damon, clearing the bases and making it 5-0. Mondesi’s hit was the first hard-hit ball of the game.
“It’s not like we killed the ball,” Jeter said. “But it felt good.”
Posada reached on a single in the third and again in the sixth on third baseman Bill Mueller’s fielding error—the only other baserunners allowed by Fossum before he was replaced to start the seventh.
The Yankees added two more runs when Posada walked to lead off the eighth. Mondesi singled, pinch-hitter Robin Ventura was intentionally walked and Soriano walked before Jeter lined a single to right off Jason Shiell to make it 7-1.
Garciaparra singled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 20 games, tying Tim Salmon for the longest in the majors this season. It’s hisfourth career streak of at least 20 games, tying Tris Speaker’s club record.
It was the first of 19 meetings between the Yankees and Red Sox this season. … Cashman was cryptic about pitcher Jose Contreras, who was sent to the minors in April after struggling with control problems. “At some point, we’ll recall Jose Contreras and we’ll announce it at some time,” he said. Contreras pitched at Double-A Trenton as a precaution after feeling pain in his shoulder during a strong stint with Triple-A Columbus. … Jason and Jeremy Giambi became the third set of brothers to play against each other in the history of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry. Joe and Dom DiMaggio and George and Bill Dickey are the others. … The last time the Red Sox had been in first place was June 27, 2002. … Boston OF Trot Nixon, who left Sunday’s game with tightness in both hamstrings, got the day off. … Wells saved an out and maybe his own nose when he grabbed Millar’s line drive in the fourth. … Jason Giambi was 2-for-21, Jeter 1-for-12 and Mondesi 6-for-21 before they keyed thefive-run rally in the first inning.