NEW YORK (AP)—Jason Giambi and Andy Phillips each hit a three-run homer in a seven-run second inning Monday night, and the New York Yankees battered old nemesis Josh Beckett in a 13-5 rout of the Boston Red Sox.
The Yankees batted around in the second and third—and hardly missed Derek Jeter. The captain sat out with a bruised right thumb after he was hit by a pitch Sunday in Baltimore.
New York finished with 11 hits, its 12th consecutive game with at least 10. That broke the franchise record of 11 straight games set in May 1937.
The longtime rivals have now split eight meetings this season—the Yankees have won three in a row. New York won for the eighth time in 10 games overall and jumped over Boston into first place in the AL East by a half-game.
The anticipated pitching duel between Mussina and Beckett (7-3) never materialized—the Boston right-hander was gone by the second inning.
Staked to a 13-2 cushion after three innings, Mussina improved to 7-0 in 10 starts since his only loss on April 14 at Minnesota. He allowed five runs—four earned—and eight hits in six innings, striking out a season-high eight.
By the numbers, it was Mussina’s worst outing this season—he hadn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his 12 previous starts.
At 23, Beckett was the 2003 World Series MVP with Florida after pitching a shutout on three days’ rest at Yankee Stadium to clinch the title in Game 6.
But the Bronx Bombers teed off on him this time. He gave up eight runs— seven earned—and seven hits in 1 1-3 innings, his shortest start since May 7, 2003, with Florida, when he left after one inning against San Francisco because of a sprained elbow.
Things got ugly for the Red Sox right away, when Cabrera scored from first base in the first inning as Boston fielders scrambled all over the place like Little Leaguers.
Cabrera hesitated between first and second on Beckett’s wild pitch, which didn’t squirt far from catcher Jason Varitek. Cabrera finally took off for second, and an off-balance Varitek threw the ball into right-center for an error, sending the runner to third.
Boston’s infielders had been shifted to the right against Giambi, which left nobody covering third. So Varitek hustled over there to no avail, which left nobody covering the plate—neither Beckett nor first baseman Kevin Youkilis realized Varitek needed to be replaced.
Cabrera alertly broke for the plate as Varitek made a futile attempt to keep up, and Boston’s relay throw sailed to the backstop as the Yankees scored on an embarrassing miscue.
The Red Sox went up 2-1 in the second, but New York began the bottom half with six straight hits off Beckett. Phillips’ three-run shot was his third homer in four games. Johnny Damon added an RBI single, and Giambi’s drive off the facing of the right-field upper deck made it 8-2.
Giambi has connected in his last three games and four of his past five, giving him 16 home runs.
The crowd of 55,246 roared when Beckett was pulled after walking Alex Rodriguez.
The Red Sox thought they had an inning-ending double play in the third but the umpires reversed a call, ruling that Miguel Cairo’s dribbler hit his foot in fair territory—making it a dead ball.
The Red Sox are 42-42 against the Yankees during the last five regular seasons. … Damon reached safely in each of the first four innings, including three walks. … Mussina has 2,478 career strikeouts, tying Jack Morris for ninth place on the AL list. … Beckett has lost consecutive starts since winning four in a row. He won 14-3 at Yankee Stadium on May 9. … The last time Jeter didn’t play in a game against the Red Sox was Sept. 6, 2003, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He missed that one because of a strained rib cage.