Yankees 5, Red Sox 2
Giambi shook off a steroid controversy and a slump with a two-run homer to break a sixth-inning tie, and Williams added another homer Wednesday night to chase Boston’s postseason hero and give New York a 5-2 victory over the Red Sox.
“I’ve been working hard. It’s starting to pay off,” said Giambi, who hit .208 last year and was batting .190 this season as he rebounds from an intestinal parasite and offseason reports that put him at the center of baseball’s steroid scandal.
“I’m happy with the way everything has been going so far. I think it definitely felt good making a difference in a game. That’s what I came here to do.”
Rivera came on to a standing ovation from the Fenway fans, who remember him blowing four straight saves against the Red Sox—two in the playoffs as Boston came back from an 0-3 deficit to reach the World Series. But this time Rivera completed the job.
“I don’t know if they’re happy to see me come in,” he said. “They’re just being sarcastic. I’ve been struggling against them.”
It was Schilling’s first appearance since blood seeped through his sock in Game 2 of the Series, when he had his right ankle stitched together and shut down the St. Louis Cardinals to set the stage for Boston’s first title since 1918.
The sock went to the Hall of Fame, but Wednesday’s outing won’t earn Schilling any honors. After limiting the Yankees to three hits in the first four innings, he left with two outs in the sixth having given up five runs on five hits and a walk; he struck out five.
“It’s a loss,” Schilling said, dismissing the suggestion that he would be happy to come out of the game healthy. “These count. I get paid to win, period. I don’t take positives out of these.”
Schilling led the majors with 21 wins in 2004 and did not lose at Fenway last year until Aug. 9; that was his last regular-season loss. Trot Nixon had two hits, including a homer.
Jaret Wright (1-1) allowed two runs, six hits and four walks, striking out two in five innings. Williams, dropped to ninth in the order for the first time since 1995, had three hits and his first two extra-base hits of the season.
Fenway has been bathed in good feelings since Monday’s home opener, when the Red Sox handed out their World Series rings and raised the championship banner. So Giambi has been spared much of the heckling that was expected to haunt him after reports that he admitted, during grand jury testimony in 2003, that he used steroids.
Instead, there were just a smattering of “Steroids!” chants before his at-bat and a hearty “Boo!” to greet his drive into the right-field seats to make it 4-2.
“They’re fine,” Giambi said. “They haven’t said anything I haven’t heard before.”
Tino Martinez grounded out, and Williams homered onto the roof of the Red Sox bullpen to chase Schilling, who condemned steroid use in Congressional testimony last month.
Alex Rodriguez was 0-for-5 and the only Yankee in the lineup who didn’t get a hit, delighting the Boston fans. Manager Joe Torre moved him to fifth from second in a lineup reshuffling that also dropped leadoff man Derek Jeter to second and Williams from eighth to ninth.
It worked: The bottom four hitters were 8-for-15 and scored all five runs.
After hurting his right ankle at the end of the regular season, Schilling was knocked around by the Yankees in Game 1 of the AL championship series. Only an experimental procedure—tested on a cadaver—allowed him to win Game 6 and force a seventh game.
After the Red Sox dispatched the Yankees, Schilling had his tendon sutured again for his start in Game 2 of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. He allowed no earned runs in six innings and, two games later, Boston finished the sweep for the title.
Williams started in the ninth spot in the batting order for the first time since 1995. … The Red Sox activated Schilling before the game and sent 3B Kevin Youkilis to Triple-A Pawtucket. … Boston RHP Wade Miller made a rehab start for Single-A Greenville against Savannah, pitching 4 2-3 innings and allowing two runs on four hits and a walk, striking out four. … SS Edgar Renteria made a nice play on a bad hop to retire Rodriguez in the sixth. But when Kevin Millar went to throw the ball around the horn, he threw it behind second baseman Ramon Vazquez. … Jeter went 1-for-5 and is 1-for-9 in the two games.