Yankees 4, Red Sox 3

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BOSTON (AP)—Enrique Wilson doesn’t play often, but he had a feeling that he would be in the lineup when the New York Yankees opened a three-game series against Pedro Martinez and the Boston Red Sox.

Wilson had two hits, stole two bases and scored the winning run in the ninth inning on Derek Jeter’s sacrifice fly that gave New York a 4-3 victory over Boston on Friday night and moved the Yankees 3 1/2 games ahead of the Red Sox in the AL East.

Wilson had two doubles against Martinez on July 7 and another hit off him on Friday.

“Something told me I might play against Pedro,” he said. “Tonight I had a very good game and helped the team. When this team needs me I’m ready for it.”

Wilson, who has started just 17 games this season, led off the ninth with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a groundout before Jeter looped a fly to center field off closer Byung-Hyun Kim (3-3).

“In a close game, it’s going to come down to who executed,” Jeter said. “Enrique did a nice job. He’s tough, just like (Luis) Sojo. I don’t know how he can do it—a week, two weeks without playing.”

Mariano Rivera (5-0) gave up a one-out double to Nomar Garciaparra in the bottom of the ninth and walked Manny Ramirez, but struck out Kevin Millar and got Jeremy Giambi to line out to second base to seal the win.

Rivera, in relief of Armando Benitez, allowed Jason Varitek’s bloop single that tied it at 3 in the eighth.

“I wanted the opportunity to come back and get that pitch back,” Rivera said.

The Yankees took a 3-2 lead on Bernie Williams’ RBI single in the seventh inning. Williams was 3-for-5 and probably had his best game since returning July 9 following knee surgery.

“I think I made good strides tonight, but it’s an ongoing process,” he said.

Williams’ hit, that also scored Wilson, came on Martinez’s 128th and last pitch—the most he has thrown this season. It was his most since May 1, 2001, when he threw 136 in eight innings against Seattle.

Martinez almost got out of the inning, striking out Alfonso Soriano and Jason Giambi around a walk to Jeter before Williams’ hit.

“Pedro was aggressive,” Varitek said. “He was doing everything he could to get out of that inning. He was real determined and then Bernie got that breaking ball.”

Martinez gave up seven hits and struck out 10 in 6 2-3 innings. Kim also lost on July 7 at Yankee Stadium, the last time Martinez faced New York. Martinez was not available for comment after the game.

In his last start against the Yankees, the Boston ace hit Soriano and Jeter on the hand with pitches, knocking them out of the game. Martinez did not hit any batters Friday night, although he threw one pitch behind Soriano.

Yankees starter David Wells was lifted in the sixth after walking three consecutive batters with two outs. Jesse Orosco, the 46-year-old left-hander acquired from San Diego earlier this week, ended the inning in his Yankees debut by striking out Johnny Damon.

Wells gave up two runs in 5 2-3 innings, struck out three and walked five. It was just the third time this season he has walked as many as four in a game.

The Red Sox led 2-1 until the sixth when Nick Johnson’s grounder drove in Williams, who had opened the inning with a single. Williams went 3-for-4.

The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first when Ramirez hit a two-out double off the center field wall that just eluded Williams’ outstretched glove, allowing Garciaparra to score from first.

Jorge Posada homered into the Red Sox bullpen to tie it at 1 on the first pitch of the second inning. The Yankees then loaded the bases on Johnson’s single, and walks to Wilson and Derek Jeter.

But Martinez struck out Jason Giambi to get out of the inning, starting a stretch during which he retired 10 in a row. Williams snapped that when he singled in the sixth. Martinez struck out Giambi three times.

The Red Sox made it 2-1 in the second when Damon’s single scored Bill Mueller.

“I think that anybody that watched that game tonight had to enjoy it,” Boston manager Grady Little said. “We would have enjoyed it much more had wewon.”

Notes

The Yankees Johnson from the disabled list. He had missed 61 games due to a stress fracture in his right hand. … Damon singled his first three times at-bat. … Wilson stole his first two bases of the season in the seventh and ninth innings. He scored both times. … Martinez’s career-high pitch count is 142 on Sept. 8, 1998, against the Yankees. … The top three hitters in theYankees lineup—Soriano, Jeter and Giambi—were a combined 0-for-10.

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