for this game

Pettite, Matsui lead Yanks to series win against Red Sox

May 24, 2007 - 4:02 AM BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- When the New York Yankees re-signed Andy Pettitte, they envisioned him making big starts against the Boston Red Sox. They probably did not think it would take place in May with a double-digit deficit in the standings.

Pettitte pitched seven effective innings and Hideki Matsui hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning as the Yankees posted an 8-3 victory over the Red Sox in the rubber game of a three-game series.

The Yankees (21-24) won for the third time in four games and are now 9 1/2 games behind the Red Sox (31-15). Before Wednesday they had not won a series since taking two of three from Texas at Yankee Stadium two weeks ago.

"It was a huge series, no doubt," Pettitte said. "You just got to remember that it's so early and you still feel like you have such a good team that we're going to start playing a lot better and reel off a lot of wins. That was our whole mindset."

"It's all about winning games," Yankees manager Joe Torre added. "That's the only thing I will continue to remind them. It's about our record and we need to win our games."

New York was 16-16 when it took the first two games with the Rangers and six games behind Boston. The 14-2 loss in the series finale triggered a 2-7 slide that saw the Yankees face their first double-digit deficit since manager Joe Torre took over in 1996.

"When you're trying to catch a team, every game you play is pretty much two games," New York captain Derek Jeter said.

In the last four days, the Yankees have shown some signs of snapping out of their funk. Before the Red Sox pounded Mike Mussina Tuesday, rookie Tyler Clippard and Chien-Ming Wang produced effective outings against the Mets and Red Sox, respectively.

"We're going to look back in a couple of weeks and hopefully we can say this got us going a little bit." Pettitte said. "It seems like it's been a while since we won a series. I don't know when and it was nice to get this series."

On Wednesday, it was Pettitte's (3-3) turn to halt any further damage that the Red Sox could inflict, and he did so. He helped himself by picking off Coco Crisp in the first during an at-bat to David Ortiz and set the tone for an effective night by striking out Boston's designated hitter on an 83-miles-per-hour cutter to end the inning.

"He never got a lot of attention when he was here last time," Torre said of Pettitte. "Not that he wanted it but there was always somebody who was higher up on the ladder. He sort of liked being in the shadows.

"But coming back as he has here, he's getting a lot more attention. But he's never shied away from responsibility. He lost a game 3-2 to the Mets, he pitched a helluva ballgame and felt that he let everybody down. That's what he's all about. He has a heart this big and I'm just glad New York brings out the best in him."

Pettitte also got a pair of double plays, including one in the fifth after Dustin Pedroia's fly ball went off right fielder Bobby Abreu's arm for a base hit. He snagged Julio Lugo's comebacker and threw to second to easily retire Pedroia and then avoided confrontations with Ortiz and Ramirez by getting Crisp on a foulout to third base.

Pettitte's shutout bid ended with two outs in the sixth when Mike Lowell doubled to right. But he retired Jason Varitek on a flyout to right field and finished his 105-pitch outing by allowing one run and eight hits.

"I thought he was very aggressive with his fastball," Boston manager Terry Francona said of Pettitte. "He always has the cutter and the breaking ball. I thought he threw his fastball in to righthanded hitters to open up the rest of the plate."

On Tuesday, the Red Sox jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Manny Ramirez's three-run home run in the first. On Wednesday, after Jeter's RBI single gave them a 1-0 lead, the Yankees did the same against Curt Schilling, whose 3-2 fastball was deposited into the right field seats by Matsui for a three-run edge.

"More than hitting a home run, just getting three runs on the board from the get-go (was big)," Matsui said through an interpretor. "I think that was very important for the team."

While the home run had a very positive effect for the Yankees, it had just the opposite impact for Boston, which had not lost its previous nine series.

"We were (behind the eight-ball)," Schilling said. "It was 3-0 after three hitters. With Andy throwing the way he's throwing, the last thing you want to do is against either one of these teams is to put your team in a hole. We were never in this game because I couldn't execute."

After Matsui's fourth home run, the Yankees scored a run apiece in the next three innings.

Jeter had an RBI single in the second. It was his 2,215th career hit, moving him past Joe DiMaggio for fifth place on the Yankees' all-time list.

Jorge Posada made it 5-0 with a run-scoring single in the third and Doug Mientkiewicz blasted a solo home run off the facing of the upper deck in right field.

Schilling (4-2), who was 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA, in his previous four starts vs. the Yankees, lasted six innings and was reached for six runs - five earned and 12 hits.

"For the most part (it was location issues)," Schilling said.

The righthander set season worsts in runs and hits and also allowed an unearned run for the first time since June 16, 2004 at Colorado, ending his major league record streak at 69 games.

"I was just inconsistent in counts and pitches," Schilling said. "I was consistently inconsistent and I couldn't afford to be against a lineup where you got to locate."

It also was Schilling's first loss since Opening Day at Kansas City. He had been 4-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his previous eight starts but was tagged for five runs and eight hits in seven innings against Pettitte and the Yankees on April 20.

Kyle Farnsworth allowed a solo home run to Crisp in the eighth, walked Ortiz, balked him to second and gave up an RBI single to Kevin Youkilis.

Mariano Rivera closed out the Red Sox with a scoreless ninth.

Matsui had three RBI and added a run-scoring single in the seventh. Johnny Damon, who had three hits capped the scoring with an RBI base hit in the eighth.






  • 5
    roots
    kpasricha Added 5 roots

    Red Sox vs. YankeesMay 23 11:54 PM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 3 11 1
    NY YANKEES 3 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 x 8 16 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BOS - CURT SCHILLING, BRENDAN DONNELLY (7TH), JOEL PINEIRO (8TH) AND
    JASON VARITEK
    NYY - ANDY PETTITTE, KYLE FARNSWORTH (8TH), MARIANO
    RIVERA (9TH) AND JORGE POSAD

    May 23 10:09 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOHNNY DAMON SCORED DOUG MIENTKIEWICZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J DAMON ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3
    NY YANKEES 8 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: D JETER (.369, 3-FOR-4, 2 RBI)

    Red Sox vs. YankeesMay 23 9:57 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KEVIN YOUKILIS SCORED DAVID ORTIZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, K YOUKILIS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3
    NY YANKEES 7 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M LOWELL (.335, 2-FOR-3, RBI)

    Red Sox vs. YankeesMay 23 9:46 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY COCO CRISP (1) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF KYLE FARNSWORTH.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2, NY YANKEES 7
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.319, 0-FOR-3)

    Red Sox vs. YankeesMay 23 9:39 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HIDEKI MATSUI SCORED DEREK JETER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H MATSUI ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    NY YANKEES 7 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: A RODRIGUEZ (.308, 1-FOR-3)

    Red Sox vs. YankeesMay 23 9:30 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MIKE LOWELL SCORED MANNY RAMIREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M LOWELL ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    NY YANKEES 6 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J VARITEK (.279, 0-FOR-2)

    Red Sox vs. YankeesMay 23 9:16 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DOUG MIENTKIEWICZ (4) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 4TH OFF CURT SCHILLING.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0, NY YANKEES 6
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J DAMON (.273, 2-FOR-2)

    Red Sox vs. YankeesMay 23 8:26 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JORGE POSADA SCORED ALEX RODRIGUEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J POSADA ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0
    NY YANKEES 5 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: B ABREU (.243, 1-FOR-1)

    Red Sox vs. YankeesMay 23 8:11 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DEREK JETER SCORED ROBINSON CANO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D JETER ON FIRST, J DAMON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0
    NY YANKEES 4 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: H MATSUI (.289, 1-FOR-1, HR, 2 RBI)

    Red Sox vs. YankeesMay 23 7:54 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY HIDEKI MATSUI (4) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF CURT SCHILLING SCORED DEREK JETER.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0, NY YANKEES 3
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: A RODRIGUEZ (.308, 18 HR, 43 RBI)

    Red Sox vs. YankeesMay 23 7:29 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DEREK JETER SCORED JOHNNY DAMON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D JETER ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0
    NY YANKEES 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: H MATSUI (.283, 3 HR, 20 RBI)

    Red Sox vs. YankeesMay 23 7:24 PM