Yankees 10, Red Sox 7
Pettitte outlasted the fatigued Red Sox ace Saturday and led the Yankees to a 10-7 victory over Boston, surviving early trouble to move into a tie for the league lead with his 17th win. New York extended its lead in the AL East to 4 1/2 games.
“This could be the biggest game of the year,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
Posada homered twice and Johnson had four hits and four RBIs. Pettitte (17-7) allowed three earned runs on seven hits in seven innings, striking out seven to win for the fourth consecutive start and the 12th time in 13 decisions.
“I really felt like I got into a good groove,” said Pettitte, who allowed three runs in the first before settling down. “I was a little winded early, throwing all those pitches. But then when the team scored those runs to get me back, I was able to get a second wind.”
Mariano Rivera earned his 30th save despite contributing to Boston’s three-run eighth inning that cut New York’s lead to one.
Coming on with one out, the bases loaded and an 8-4 lead, Rivera gave up a two-run double to pinch-hitter David McCarty and two walks to score another run before striking out Bill Mueller to end the threat.
“I know there’s going to be a lot of talk about Rivera and what he gave up,” Torre said. “But the fact that he struck out the last hitter in the eighth inning speaks volumes of him, more so than the other stuff.”
Martinez (10-4), who missed his Aug. 21 start because of a severe fever and sore throat, allowed five runs on nine hits and struck out three in four innings. He was not available for comment after the game.
“He wasn’t 100 percent out there today,” Boston manager Grady Little said. “He’s still a little bit affected by the sickness he had last week and it caught up with him pretty good there about the fourth inning. He’s had better days, and he’ll have better ones later.”
Nomar Garciaparra, who was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle Friday night, got his major league-leading 13th of the season—but his first in 65 games—in his first at-bat Saturday. He also had a single in the fifth and led off the eighth with a double high off the Green Monster as Boston loaded the bases.
Martinez was spotted a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but he gave up two runs in the second and three more in the third.
The Yankees added three more in the eighth on an RBI single by Wilson and Johnson’s two-run single, his fourth hit of the game.
David Ortiz homered for the sixth consecutive start. He also became the ninth Red Sox player with 100 hits, tying a major league record that has beenaccomplished 44 times.
Red Sox pitching coach Tony Cloninger, recovering from cancer treatments, was back with the team. Interim coach Dave Wallace will continue in the job with Cloninger as an adviser, so as not to disrupt things. … Manny Ramirez missed his second consecutive game with a high fever. … Filmmaker Spike Lee threw out a ceremonial first pitch wearing a Jeter jersey and a Yankees cap. Even though his introduction noted that he has a home in Massachusetts, he was loudly booed. … Yankees 2B Alfonso Soriano, 3-for-28 lifetime against Martinez, was replaced in the starting lineup by Wilson (6-for-16). Asked about it before the game, Torre deadpanned, “George (Steinbrenner) asked me last night and I decided to.” Wilson went 3-for-4. After the game, Torre said, “Boy, am I smart. Enrique Wilson, he was magic.” … Six of Ortiz’s 23 homers this season have come against the Yankees. … Dick Stockton called the game on Fox TV. It was his first Red Sox-Yankees game at Fenway since the Oct. 2, 1978, one-game playoff New York won with the help of Bucky Dent’s famous home run. Stockton also called Carlton Fisk’s epic homer in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series on the radio, saying, “There it goes … A long drive … If it stays fair … A home run!” … Saturday would have been Ted Williams’ 85th birthday. … Damon and LF Gabe Kapler collided on Bernie Williams’ fly ball toward the Green Monster. Kapler hit Damon in the face with his glove after making the catch, then Damon crashed into the Wall. But hestayed in the game.