NEW YORK (AP)—Mark Loretta’s first hit sent Hideki Matsui to a hospital with a broken left wrist. His fourth turned into a go-ahead, two-run infield single that led the Boston Red Sox to a 5-3 victory over the New York Yankees on Thursday night.
Loretta hit a ground ball to the shortstop hole with runners on second and third, and the Red Sox trailing 3-2 in the seventh inning. Derek Jeter went to the ground and threw from his knees to first.
His throw was high and on the home-plate side of the bag, and the ball popped out of Miguel Cairo’s glove as he jumped and tagged Loretta, allowing two runs to score.
“We got a break there after not getting too many breaks early in the game,” Loretta said.
Boston, which stranded 15 runners, was 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position before that hit.
Then, after Wily Mo Pena doubled leading off the fourth, Johnny Damon jumped to snare a drive by former Boston teammate Doug Mirabelli near the top of the center-field wall, a ball that likely would have been a few inches shy of a homer and gone for a run-scoring extra-base hit.
“A couple of balls left the ballpark but didn’t leave the players,” Boston manager Terry Francona said.
Boston took two of three in the series, opened a one-game AL East lead and has won three of four against New York this year.
Loretta, Boston’s No. 2 hitter, sent a blooper into left field in the first inning, and Matsui landed hard on his wrist in an unsuccessful bid to make a diving catch. He immediately left, was put in an ambulance while still in uniform and was to have surgery Friday.
Matsui had played in 518 consecutive games since joining the Yankees in 2003 after playing in 1,250 straight for the Yomirui Giants from Aug. 22, 1993, through 2002.
Yankees manager Joe Torre estimated Matsui will be sidelined about three months. After looking at Matsui’s swollen wrist, Damon said it’s possible Matsui might not play again until next season.
“He’s like the Rock of Gibraltar,” Torre said. “You don’t even think about anything that’s going to keep him down.”
New York was already missing a starting outfielder: Right fielder Gary Sheffield hurt his left wrist in a collision at first base on April 29 and went on the disabled list this week. He can’t come off the DL until May 21, and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Sheffield might go to Tampa, Fla., for rehabilitation.
Because Matsui did not play a full half inning, his consecutive games streak ended when the game became official. Baseball rule 10.24 (c) states: “A consecutive game playing streak shall be extended if the player plays one half inning on defense, or if he completes a time at bat by reaching base or being put out.”
Bernie Williams, who took over from Crosby in right, cost the Yankees in the seventh after Mirabelli singled with one out. No. 9 hitter Alex Gonzalez lofted a ball into the right-field corner against Ron Villone (0-1). Williams overran it, and the ball dropped just fair for a double that put runners on second and third.
“I was getting ready to climb up that wall, and as I was getting ready to do that, the wind blew it back,” Williams said. “It was very unfortunate. It turned out to be a big play. I wish I could have up with it, but I couldn’t.”
“You have no time to set,” Jeter said. “You wish someone else hit it who was a little slower, but that wasn’t the way it was.”
Cairo thought he had a chance to get the out, but Loretta knocked it loose.
“The ball slipped out of my glove when he hit it,” he said.
Tim Wakefield (3-4) struck out nine, allowing three runs and six hits. Jorge Posada hit a two-run single through the knuckleballer’s legs in the first inning, and Jeter had an RBI single in the fourth.
“The ball was moving so much in the first inning, I couldn’t get it in the strike zone,” he said.
With Jeter on second and one out in the seventh, Mike Timlin struck out Jason Giambi and Alex Rodriguez. Williams doubled against Keith Foulke leading off the eighth but was stranded at third when Cairo fouled off four two-strike pitches against Jonathan Papelbon, then struck out.
Youkilis added an RBI single in the ninth off Mariano Rivera, and Papelbon finished for his 13th save in 13 chances. He retired Giambi on a popup with a runner on to end it after 3 hours, 59 minutes.
“Dreams are made of these games,” Papelbon said.
A smoking object appeared to land on the field in the middle of the seventh. … Shawn Chacon lasted just 4 2-3 innings and walked five, throwing 52 of 104 pitches for strikes. But he gave up only one run, on David Ortiz’s run-scoring grounder in the third. “He was all over the place. He just had no feel for the strike zone, basically,” Torre said. “It was only because of his guttiness that he lasted that long.”