|N.Y. Yankees «||0||0||0||0||1||5||0||0||x||6||7||1|
Cano and Womack threw out runners at the plate in the sixth inning to keep Boston from building a big lead, and Cano and Sheffield hit impressive home runs during a five-run rally in the bottom half, leading the New York Yankees to a 6-3 victory Friday night.
"A big game," said Sheffield, whose tiebreaking, three-run drive wound up in the first row of the rarely reached left-field upper deck.
Randy Johnson (5-3) won despite another perplexing start. He tinkered with his mechanics and regained a fastball that topped out at 97 mph. But he struck out just three and allowed hits to his final five batters. Boston managed only one run in the sixth inning due to his defense.
"It changed the complexion of the ballgame," Johnson said.
Mariano Rivera, who had blown his first two save attempts of the year against Boston, got two outs for his 12th save in 14 chances. He failed in his first two opportunities of the season against the Red Sox, both on the opening homestand, but has converted two in a row against Boston.
New York, 11-19 three weeks ago following its worst start since 1966, has won 16 of its last 18, including nine straight at home. The Yankees are second in the AL East, 3½ games behind Baltimore.
Boston, meanwhile, has lost four straight and fallen five games back of the Orioles.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona missed the World Series champions' previous game at Yankee Stadium on April 6 when he was rushed to the hospital. He joked about it Friday afternoon, calling it a "fake heart attack," but Boston then provided little to smile about.
Tim Wakefield (4-4) walked seven, his highest total in eight years, and the Red Sox, who outhit the Yankees 11-7, went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position during the first five innings.
"We just didn't get that knockout punch," Kevin Millar said.
Edgar Renteria singled sharply to left, and Womack made a strong one-hop throw to catcher Jorge Posada, who let Bellhorn slide into his glove for the tag. David Ortiz followed with a grounder toward the right side of second base, and it rolled off Cano's glove into the outfield. The rookie quickly picked it up and made a one-hop throw to Posada, who tagged Damon in a mirror image play at the plate.
"The momentum swing changed," Damon said. "When you make good plays defensively, it lifts the team."
Bernie Williams led off the bottom half with a walk, and Cano hit a fastball for his second career homer in 75 at-bats, a drive into the right-center field bleachers. As he rounded first, Cano pumped a fist twice, and he circled the bases so fast he nearly caught up to Williams.
"I said, `Come on, Bernie,"' Yankees manager Joe Torre recounted. "Bernie is used to it, he's not."
Jeter then singled, left-hander Alan Embree relieved and Womack dumped a single into left after failing to get a bunt down. Sheffield, hitting .413 against lefties, crushed an 0-1 fastball, quite a different experience than his whiff and two walks against Wakefield.
"I have no clue how to hit a knuckleball," Sheffield said. "I'd rather face anybody than him."
Johnson allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings and has just eight strikeouts in his last three starts. But he was pleased with his progress.
"As long as I've got some air in my lungs, don't count me out," he said.
|Rookie second baseman Robinson Cano hits a two-run home run in the sixth. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Johnny Damon, CF||5||0||1||1||0||0||4||.337|
|Edgar Renteria, SS||4||0||3||0||1||1||3||.269|
|David Ortiz, DH||5||0||1||0||0||1||6||.276|
|Manny Ramirez, LF||4||1||0||0||1||1||4||.224|
|Jason Varitek, C||4||1||1||2||1||1||2||.327|
|Kevin Millar, 1B||5||0||2||0||0||1||3||.248|
|Bill Mueller, 3B||4||0||0||0||1||1||3||.282|
|Jay Payton, RF||3||1||2||0||0||0||0||.221|
|a- Trot Nixon, PH-RF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.307|
|Mark Bellhorn, 2B||2||0||1||0||2||1||2||.237|
|a-struck out for Payton in the 8th|
|2B - Edgar Renteria (8, R. Johnson), Jay Payton (2, R. Johnson)|
|HR - Jason Varitek (10, R. Johnson)|
|RBI - Johnny Damon (24), Jason Varitek 2 (19)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jason Varitek 2 (4)|
|SB - Johnny Damon (6, 2nd base off R. Johnson/Posada)|
|Team LOB - 13|
|DP - Bellhorn-Renteria-Millar, Bellhorn-Renteria-Millar|
|E - Mark Bellhorn (5, Wild throw)|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Tim Wakefield (L,4-4)||5||4||4||4||7||3||1||4.48|
|HBP - Rodriguez (by Tim Wakefield)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Tim Wakefield 99-53, Alan Embree 21-11, Matt Mantei 8-7, John Halama 11-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Wakefield 5-8, Alan Embree 1-0, Matt Mantei 1-0, John Halama 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Tim Wakefield 28, Alan Embree 5, Matt Mantei 3, John Halama 3|
|New York Yankees|
|Derek Jeter, SS||5||2||2||0||0||0||1||.305|
|Tony Womack, LF||5||1||1||1||0||1||1||.272|
|Gary Sheffield, RF||3||1||1||3||2||1||0||.318|
|Hideki Matsui, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.267|
|Alex Rodriguez, 3B||0||0||0||0||3||0||0||.324|
|Tino Martinez, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||1||3||.264|
|Jorge Posada, C||3||0||2||0||1||0||3||.298|
|Bernie Williams, DH||3||1||0||0||1||0||5||.230|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||4||1||1||2||0||1||2||.263|
|3B - Derek Jeter (2, Wakefield)|
|HR - Gary Sheffield (8, Embree), Robinson Cano (2, Wakefield)|
|RBI - Tony Womack (10), Gary Sheffield 3 (35), Robinson Cano 2 (11)|
|SB - Derek Jeter (8, 2nd base off Wakefield/Varitek)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Outfield Assists - Tony Womack 1|
|E - Robinson Cano (3, Misplayed grounder)|
|New York Yankees|
|Randy Johnson (W,5-3)||6||9||3||3||4||3||1||3.99|
|Tanyon Sturtze (H,8)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||3.32|
|Buddy Groom (H,2)||0.2||0||0||0||1||1||0||5.40|
|Tom Gordon (H,12)||0.2||0||0||0||1||2||0||3.33|
|Mariano Rivera (S,12)||0.2||1||0||0||0||2||0||1.47|
|WP - Randy Johnson (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Tanyon Sturtze 13-9, Buddy Groom 13-8, Tom Gordon 13-6, Mariano Rivera 16-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Johnson 6-8, Tanyon Sturtze 3-0|
|Batters Faced - Randy Johnson 30, Tanyon Sturtze 4, Buddy Groom 3, Tom Gordon 3, Mariano Rivera 3|
|Attendance - 55051|
|Game Time - 3:15|
|Temperature - 70|
|Umpires - Home - Bruce Froemming, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Jerry Meals, Third Base - Tom Hallion|