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Boston at New York

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Boston210000000380
N.Y. Yankees «01203100x7111

Rodriguez brings antidote to end Red Sox streak

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Hey Boss, Alex Rodriguez got the big hit against Boston.

A-Rod had a powerful answer for George Steinbrenner's criticism, and the New York Yankees roughed up old nemesis Curt Schilling in a 7-3 victory over the Red Sox on Wednesday night.

Jason Giambi, Jorge Posada and Rodriguez all homered off Schilling, sending the Yankees to their first win this season against their longtime rivals.

"I'm judged just the way I should be judged. I make an awful lot of money and I'm a talented guy," Rodriguez said. "I expect all the criticism, and it motivates me."

Mike Mussina (6-1) provided stability on a hectic day in the Bronx, settling down after a shaky start to become the American League's first six-game winner.

David Ortiz hit a two-run homer and went 4-for-4, ending his 2-for-24 skid. Mike Lowell's solo shot gave Schilling a 3-0 lead, but he couldn't hold it and the Red Sox had their five-game winning streak snapped.

"These games have so much passion and people care so much about them, but they are all the same in the standings," Boston manager Terry Francona said.

Johnny Damon added an RBI single for New York, his first hit in 11 at-bats against his former team. The Yankees rebounded from a 14-3 drubbing the night before and improved to 1-2 against Boston.

"It's a big win for us simply because of the way we got beat up last night," Mussina said.

Shawn Chacon faces Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield in the series finale Thursday night.

Rodriguez was singled out in critical quotes attributed to Steinbrenner after making two errors Tuesday night.

"I'm upset at a lot of them," the owner was quoted as saying in New York newspapers on Wednesday. "The third baseman!"

But manager Joe Torre said Steinbrenner called him and told him his comments were misinterpreted. Torre said The Boss told him he never meant to "get on" any of his players.

Rodriguez responded with a tiebreaking shot in the fifth inning and said nobody expects more of him than he does himself.

"Alex is sensitive. I know he's a great talent and all that stuff, but he certainly wants everybody to be proud of him," Torre said. "He's going to have to deal with it and move on. He doesn't need motivation."

Besides all that buzz before the game, the Yankees sent struggling ace Randy Johnson for an MRI to make sure he isn't hurt. Tests on his left shoulder showed nothing abnormal, the team said.

Mussina won his fifth straight start, allowing three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings for his 230th career win. He struck out five, walked one and departed to chants of "Mooooose!"

Scott Proctor, supplanting Tanyon Sturtze as Torre's go-to guy in the seventh inning, brushed Manny Ramirez back, then struck out the slugger to strand two runners.

"I knew I could get him away. I've done it before," Proctor said. "This is the way I knew I could pitch, and I'm finally pitching to my potential. Just knowing that (Torre) has faith in me gives me confidence."

Proctor also worked a perfect eighth and Mariano Rivera finished up for the Yankees (19-12), who have won six of seven and eight of 10 to match their season high of seven games over .500.

Schilling (5-2) gave up eight hits and a season-high six runs in five innings, his shortest outing this year. He had allowed four homers in 47 2/3 innings entering the game.

"I felt like I had everything working. I gave it, and they took it back," Schilling said. "It was a very small strike zone. Anytime you have to go against either of these lineups and the strike zone is smaller than you're used to, you have to make adjustments. He did it and I didn't."

With the score tied at 3, Schilling struck out Derek Jeter and Giambi to start the fifth, then ran into trouble. Rodriguez, booed by fans early in the game, drove a 2-1 pitch way over the left-field fence for his seventh homer this season and first at Yankee Stadium.

"He needed that," Giambi said.

Satisfied with his quick, powerful swing, Rodriguez tossed his bat aside as he began to circle the bases.

"We realize that it's been tough for him. We realize that everybody expects him to go 4-for-5 with two homers every game against Boston, and if he doesn't it's a disappointment. But he's a pretty good player," Mussina said. "I know it was a big hit. It was a big deal, and most of us that have been here a while realize it."

Schilling, of course, helped Boston rally from 3-0 down to beat the Yankees in the 2004 AL Championship Series and was co-MVP of Arizona's World Series win over New York in 2001. He also was one of several Red Sox to criticize A-Rod before the 2005 season.

Rodriguez responded back then by saying it was "going to give us great motivation to beat him up in the future."

But after Wednesday's win, Rodriguez said: "I have all the respect for Curt. He's a great pitcher, so don't even go there."

Later in the inning, Posada hit a two-run drive into the right-field upper deck.

Notes

  • Lowell's previous eight hits were doubles, the longest such streak since Gerald Williams of the Yankees did it in 1995.
  • Mussina improved to 18-14 against Boston in the regular season, including 9-8 with the Yankees. He was 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA in four starts vs. the Red Sox last year.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Jason Giambi brings his home run total this season to 12, while two other Yankees also go deep.  (AP)
Jason Giambi brings his home run total this season to 12, while two other Yankees also go deep. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

D. Ortiz
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 1
RBI 2
New York

J. Posada
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Boston Red Sox
Kevin Youkilis, 1B5000010
Mark Loretta, 2B4120010
David Ortiz, DH4142000
Manny Ramirez, LF4010023
Trot Nixon, RF3000100
Jason Varitek, C4000014
Mike Lowell, 3B4111001
Willie Harris, CF4000011
Alex Gonzalez, SS4000000
Totals36383169 
Batting
2B - Manny Ramirez (, Mussina)
HR - David Ortiz (, Mussina), Mike Lowell (, Mussina)
RBI - David Ortiz 2 (), Mike Lowell ()
SB - Mark Loretta (, 2nd base off Myers/Posada)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - A. Gonzalez-Youkilis
Boston Red Sox
Curt Schilling (L,-) 5866253
Mike Holtz 0.1211000
Mike Timlin 0.2000010
Julian Tavarez 1100000
Jonathan Papelbon 1000000
Pitches-Strikes - Curt Schilling 100-65, Mike Holtz 10-7, Mike Timlin 9-6, Julian Tavarez 14-8, Jonathan Papelbon 7-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Curt Schilling 3-7, Mike Holtz 1-0, Julian Tavarez 1-1, Jonathan Papelbon 2-1
Batters Faced - Curt Schilling 25, Mike Holtz 3, Mike Timlin 2, Julian Tavarez 3, Jonathan Papelbon 3
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, CF4011013
Derek Jeter, SS4110011
Jason Giambi, 1B4122021
    Andy Phillips, 1B0000000
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4121011
Hideki Matsui, LF3100101
Jorge Posada, C4222000
Robinson Cano, 2B4020000
Bernie Williams, DH3111011
Melky Cabrera, RF1000101
    Bubba Crosby, RF1000000
Totals327117269 
Batting
2B - Jorge Posada (, Schilling), Bernie Williams (, Holtz)
HR - Jason Giambi (, Schilling), Alex Rodriguez (, Schilling), Jorge Posada (, Schilling)
SF - Bernie Williams ()
SH - Melky Cabrera ()
RBI - Johnny Damon (), Jason Giambi 2 (), Alex Rodriguez (), Jorge Posada 2 (), Bernie Williams ()
2-OUT RBI - Alex Rodriguez (), Jorge Posada 2 ()
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Jason Giambi (, Dropped line drive)
New York Yankees
Mike Mussina (W,-) 6.2733152
Mike Myers0100000
Scott Proctor (H,) 1.1000010
Mariano Rivera 1000000
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Mussina 110-75, Mike Myers 6-4, Scott Proctor 16-10, Mariano Rivera 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Mussina 5-11, Scott Proctor 1-2, Mariano Rivera 2-1
Batters Faced - Mike Mussina 29, Mike Myers 1, Scott Proctor 4, Mariano Rivera 3
Game Information
Attendance - 54769
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Charlie Reliford