Red Sox 10, Yankees 2
NEW YORK (AP)—Boston is halfway to a massacre of its own.
The Red Sox blew out the New York Yankees for the second straight day, hitting three more home runs and getting five shutout innings from Ramiro Mendoza in a 10-2 win Saturday that brought them within two games of the AL East leader.
“Everybody knows we swing the bat,” said David Ortiz, who homered twice for the second straight day. “We’re not afraid.”
Twenty-five years ago, the Yankees went to Fenway Park four games out in early September and swept four games by a combined score of 42-9, going on to win the division and the World Series.
Boston came to Yankee Stadium four games back on Friday and has outscored New York 20-5 in halving its deficit, hitting 10 homers off a staff that had allowed a league-low 70 in its first 83 games.
“They’re hot. They’ve been teeing off on a lot of people lately,” Derek Jeter said. “Usually with our pitching staff, you don’t see that.”
Clemens (8-6) became the second straight Yankees starter to give up eight runs against the major leagues’ leading offense, which has a .298 team average. Eight of the nine batters in Boston’s starting lineup, all but leadoff man Johnny Damon, came in with batting averages of .300 or higher.
“It’s scary. It’s like a snowball effect,” Kevin Millar said. “It just keeps going and going and going.”
Boston broke on top in the second when Clemens hit Millar on the left hand with a pitch and Trot Nixon homered on the very next delivery.
“That’s the best feeling there is,” Millar said.
Boston didn’t try to guess if Clemens was trying to back Millar off the plate.
“That’s something for him to answer himself,” Nixon said.
Clemens faulted Millar for getting hit.
“Guys don’t get out of the way of the ball anymore,” he said.
Ortiz had a solo shot in the fourth against Clemens and a two-run drive off Jason Anderson in the ninth. Before the series, Ortiz’s teammates were calling him “Juan Pierre,” a reference to the Florida outfielder who began Saturday with no homers in 363 at-bats.
In less than 24 hours, Ortiz raised his season home run total from five to nine and doubled his career multihomer games to four.
“Now they’re calling me `Furcal,’ “ he said, referring to Braves shortstop Rafael Furcal, who entered the day with 11 homers.
After the two early homers, the Red Sox broke open the game with a three-run fifth that included a two-run single by Damon, who had three RBIs.
Mendoza (2-3), who signed with the Red Sox in December after 11 seasons in the Yankees’ organization, had been on the disabled list since June 13 because of tendinitis in his right knee. He had made 131 relief appearances since his previous start, a 10-6 loss to Atlanta on June 9, 2001.
He allowed at least one runner in every inning, letting the leadoff batter reach in the second, third and fourth, but hung tough and gave up just six hits, all singles. Robin Ventura grounded into 4-6-3 double plays in the second and fourth innings, and Mendoza got Ruben Sierra to hit a weak comebacker with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth.
“My confidence is good now,” Mendoza said.
Sierra left six runners on in the first five innings, and New York stranded seven in that span and 11 in all. Only after New York fell behind 8-0 did Jorge Posada and Jason Giambi hit solo homers off reliever Brandon Lyon.
“We have to get off our heels and get a well-pitched ballgame,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “We’ve been putting a lot of runners on base, but we haven’t been able to produce.”
Clemens, who pitched for the Red Sox from 1984-96, dropped to 7-4 against Boston in the regular season, including 1-2 this year. He allowed eight runs against the Red Sox for the second straight time, and Boston fans among the sellout crowd of 54,948 taunted him with a sing-song chant of “Ro-ger, Ro-ger.”
He faulted the way he pitched to Ortiz.
“I’ve got to make some adjustments with him,” Clemens said. “He’s got toomuch plate coverage.”
New York RF Raul Mondesi, out of the starting lineup for the first time this season, probably will miss three or four days because of a strained hip flexor, according to Torre. … Nixon also hit a two-run homer off Clemens on May 28, 2000, a ninth-inning drive that gave Martinez a 2-0 win. … New York allowed double-digit runs in consecutive games for the first time since a 20-10win and 14-11 loss at Coors Field on June 19-20 last year.