for this game

Damon, Pettitte help Yankees top Red Sox

Aug 29, 2007 - 6:23 AM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- Andy Pettitte continued to be the stopper for the New York Yankees. But on Tuesday, they needed a little more than that.

After Pettitte gave up a game-tying solo home run to Jason Varitek in the top of the seventh inning, Johnny Damon hit a two-run shot in the bottom half as the Yankees opened a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox with a critical 5-3 victory on Tuesday.

Pettitte (12-7) won his sixth straight start and third in a row following a loss by New York. In his previous two outings after defeats, the lefthander allowed two runs and 10 hits in 15 innings.

But against the Red Sox, Pettitte was not as dominating, surrendering three runs and six hits in seven frames, but got the job done.

"I'm glad I was able to throw a good game and be able to give us a chance to win," Pettitte said. "I'm extremely happy with the guys picking me up after giving up that run in the seventh. I take a lot of pride in going out there and trying to be good."

Two of those hits were solo home runs by Manny Ramirez and Varitek, whose blast came after Derek Jeter had put the Yankees ahead, 3-2, with his ninth homer of the season. The shot was the New York captain's first in 87 at-bats and first overall hit in 15 official trips to the plate.

Before Jeter's home run, the Yankees did little against Daisuke Matsuzaka (13-10). They scored twice in the first, but after Jorge Posada's RBI double, the Japanese righthander retired 12 of the next 13 batters before Jeter's blast.

While Pettitte was able to minimize the damage following Varitek's home run, Matsuzaka was not. He began the seventh by allowing a base hit by Andy Phillips and, just two pitches later, Damon - the hero in Boston's Game Seven victory over New York in the 2004 American League Championship Series - hit his ninth home run just over the right field wall.

"The ball wasn't carrying tonight, but I definitely got it a couple of feet in," said Damon, who is hitting .435 in his 15 starts in left field. "But it counts. I guess that's all that matters."

"In a game like this, a couple of mistakes go a long way," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "A front-door cutter to Jeter, got it out too much over the plate. He tried to come in on Johnny. Even though the ball didn't catch the great part of his bat, because it wasn't in enough, he was able to not only keep it fair but in a perfect part of the ballpark."

It was the second straight home game in which Damon hit a go-ahead home run. Nine days ago in a 9-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers, he hit a go-ahead solo shot that sent the Yankees into their seven-game road trip with three straight wins.

"He knows how to hit," Yankees manager Joe Torre said of Damon, who battled leg injuries earlier this season. "He just knows how to hit. There's certain situations where he wants to take a liberty. I think (hitting the ball to right field) is all health-related."

The Yankees lost four of seven on that road trip, including Monday's 16-0 embarrassing setback in Detroit, and were in danger of a third straight loss in this one.

But Damon's homer and Pettitte's gritty effort ensured that would not happen. Despite allowing three runs for the first time in four outings, Pettitte got key outs all night - including two in the fifth, when he ended the frame by striking out Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz.

"When he's on the mound with a lot of things swirling around him, he keeps his focus and doesn't overcomplicate it for himself," Torre said of the veteran Pettitte, who improved to 69-33 lifetime following a Yankees loss.

"He was pretty much like he normally is," Ortiz said. "He was making good pitches, locating his pitches."

Pettitte, who also retired J.D. Drew on an inning-ending double play in the sixth, then gave way to rookie Joba Chamberlain, who worked around a leadoff walk to Youkilis and a two-out single by Mike Lowell by striking out Drew on an 89 miles-per-hour slider.

Mariano Rivera struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 21st save in 24 opportunites as New York (73-59) climbed within seven games of first-place Boston (80-52) in the AL East Division. The Yankees also moved within one game of Seattle (73-57) for the lead in the wild card race.

Ramirez homered in the second inning and Ortiz lifted a sacrifice fly in the third to knot the game at 2-2. Ramirez had two of Boston's seven hits but left the game in the seventh with muscle spasms in his lower back.

Facing the Yankees for the third time, Matsuzaka allowed five runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. In his starts against New York, he has yielded 15 runs and 19 hits in 19 1/3 innings.

"Both were definitely pitches that could have been prevented," Matsuzaka said through an interpreter, speaking of the home runs he surrendered.








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

    BATTERIES: BOS - DAISUKE MATSUZAKA, JAVIER LOPEZ (7TH), MANNY DELCARMEN (7TH)
    AND JASON VARITEK
    NYY - ANDY PETTITTE, JOBA CHAMBERLAIN (8TH), MARIANO
    RIVERA (9TH) AND JORGE PO

    Aug 28 10:19 PM
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    BeNuts Added 5 roots

    Red Sox vs. YankeesAug 28 9:45 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JOHNNY DAMON (9) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF DAISUKE MATSUZAKA SCORED WILSON BETEMIT.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3, NY YANKEES 5
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: D JETER (.318, 1-FOR-3, HR, RBI)

    Red Sox vs. YankeesAug 28 9:31 PM
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    Red Sox vs. YankeesAug 28 9:18 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JASON VARITEK (12) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF ANDY PETTITTE.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3, NY YANKEES 3
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: C CRISP (.271, 0-FOR-2)

    Red Sox vs. YankeesAug 28 9:18 PM
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    Red Sox vs. YankeesAug 28 8:53 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DEREK JETER (9) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF DAISUKE MATSUZAKA.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2, NY YANKEES 3
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: B ABREU (.288, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Red Sox vs. YankeesAug 28 8:50 PM
  • bones late august red sox - yankees game with playoff implications for the home team, and the crowd is fixated on a squirrel?!

    Red Sox vs. YankeesAug 28 8:13 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY DAVID ORTIZ SCORED JULIO LUGO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K YOUKILIS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2
    NY YANKEES 2 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.292, 1-FOR-1, HR, RBI)

    Red Sox vs. YankeesAug 28 8:02 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MANNY RAMIREZ (20) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF ANDY PETTITTE.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1, NY YANKEES 2
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M LOWELL (.323, 17 HR, 93 RBI)

    Red Sox vs. YankeesAug 28 7:33 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JORGE POSADA SCORED BOBBY ABREU.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J POSADA ON SECOND, H MATSUI ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0
    NY YANKEES 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: R CANO (.302, 14 HR, 74 RBI)

    Red Sox vs. YankeesAug 28 7:27 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY HIDEKI MATSUI SCORED JOHNNY DAMON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H MATSUI ON FIRST, B ABREU ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0
    NY YANKEES 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J POSADA (.329, 16 HR, 77 RBI)

    Red Sox vs. YankeesAug 28 7:25 PM
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    Red Sox vs. YankeesAug 28 9:11 AM
  • bones Feels like so long since these two played. Some great matchups this week

    Red Sox vs. YankeesAug 27 4:34 PM
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