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Yankees drill Beckett with two three-run homers in second inning

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

NEW YORK -- Even without Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees slugged their way to a satisfying blowout against Boston.

Jason Giambi and Andy Phillips each hit a three-run homer in a seven-run second inning Monday night, and New York battered old nemesis Josh Beckett in a 13-5 rout of the Red Sox.

Melky Cabrera and Robinson Cano added two-run doubles in the third, making it an easy night for ace Mike Mussina (8-1) in the opener of a four-game series.

"The guys came out and hit the ball all over the place," Mussina said.

The Yankees batted around in the second and third -- and hardly missed Jeter. The captain sat out with a bruised right thumb after he was hit by a pitch Sunday in Baltimore.

"I'm not counting on him for a couple of days," manager Joe Torre said.

Also missing injured sluggers Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui for some time now, 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.

"We care about those guys and you want to see them get back," Phillips said. "But at the same time, we use that as an excuse and we'll be at the bottom looking up."

The longtime rivals have now split eight meetings this season -- the Yankees have won three in a row. New York (34-22) won for the eighth time in 10 games overall, matched a season-best 12 games above .500 and leapfrogged 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.

"When it gets out of hand so quickly, it's not a lot of fun," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.

Staked to a 13-2 cushion after three, 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.

"It wasn't at all a smooth game," Mussina said. "I knew they weren't all going to be smooth."

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.

"It's such a freaky play because of the way we were defensing it," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Once it got away, we had guys all over the field."

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 way we got that first run may never happen again," Mussina said. "That was just pure youth and speed and recklessness."

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 season-high crowd of 55,246 roared when Beckett was pulled after walking Alex Rodriguez, and the pitcher looked straight up to the sky in frustration.

"It was kind of disbelief. Almost in awe that this was going on," Beckett said.

Francona lifted Varitek and Manny Ramirez in the fourth. The Red Sox got a home run from Doug Mirabelli and two RBI singles from Mike Lowell.

Notes

  • Mariano Rivera worked a scoreless ninth for the Yankees. He had been unavailable the previous four games because of back spasms.
  • Beckett has allowed 14 earned runs and six homers over six innings in his last two outings.
 
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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Manager Terry Francona gives Josh Beckett some encouragement before pulling him in the second.  (AP)
Manager Terry Francona gives Josh Beckett some encouragement before pulling him in the second. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

A. Phillips
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
New York

J. Giambi
AB 2
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Boston Red Sox
Coco Crisp, CF5010010 .271
Mark Loretta, 2B5010021 .300
David Ortiz, DH3000111 .257
   a- Alex Cora, PH-DH1000001 .273
Manny Ramirez, LF2000012 .293
    Doug Mirabelli, C2111010 .189
Trot Nixon, RF2320200 .305
Kevin Youkilis, 1B-3B4120011 .317
Mike Lowell, 3B2022000 .327
    J.T. Snow, 1B2011000 .222
Jason Varitek, C2000001 .242
    Willie Harris, LF2000013 .167
Alex Gonzalez, SS4000012 .219
Totals3651043912 
a-grounded out for Ortiz in the 9th
Batting
2B - Coco Crisp (2, Mussina), Trot Nixon (11, Mussina), Kevin Youkilis (15, Villone)
HR - Doug Mirabelli (1, Mussina)
RBI - Doug Mirabelli (3), Mike Lowell 2 (31), J.T. Snow (3)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Loretta-A. Gonzalez-Snow
E - Jason Varitek (2, Wild throw)
Boston Red Sox
Josh Beckett (L,7-3) 1.1787212 5.27
Jermaine Van Buren 1.1155400 6.23
David Riske 2.1200220 4.50
Julian Tavarez 2000220 4.26
Manny Delcarmen 1100000 6.48
HBP - Posada (by David Riske)
WP - Josh Beckett (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Beckett 45-26, Jermaine Van Buren 39-16, David Riske 42-26, Julian Tavarez 29-17, Manny Delcarmen 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Beckett 3-0, Jermaine Van Buren 2-2, David Riske 2-3, Julian Tavarez 3-1, Manny Delcarmen 1-1
Batters Faced - Josh Beckett 13, Jermaine Van Buren 9, David Riske 12, Julian Tavarez 8, Manny Delcarmen 3
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, CF2111300 .297
    Terrence Long, CF0000000 .167
Melky Cabrera, LF5312004 .295
Jason Giambi, DH2213310 .282
    Kevin Thompson, PR-DH0000000 .400
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3110200 .293
Jorge Posada, C3111103 .293
Robinson Cano, 2B5122025 .310
Andy Phillips, 1B5123004 .298
Bernie Williams, RF4210101 .265
Miguel Cairo, SS5110021 .247
Totals3413111210518 
Batting
2B - Melky Cabrera (4, Van Buren), Robinson Cano (13, Riske)
HR - Jason Giambi (16, Beckett), Andy Phillips (4, Beckett)
RBI - Johnny Damon (29), Melky Cabrera 2 (12), Jason Giambi 3 (46), Jorge Posada (33), Robinson Cano 2 (22), Andy Phillips 3 (14)
2-OUT RBI - Melky Cabrera 2 (8), Jorge Posada (16), Robinson Cano 2 (8)
SB - Alex Rodriguez (5, 2nd base off Van Buren/Varitek)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Rodriguez-Cano-Phillips, Cano-Phillips
E - Alex Rodriguez (10, Wild throw)
New York Yankees
Mike Mussina (W,8-1) 6854281 2.67
Scott Proctor 1000000 3.46
Ron Villone 1100110 1.80
Mariano Rivera 1100000 2.22
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Mussina 91-62, Scott Proctor 12-8, Ron Villone 18-10, Mariano Rivera 16-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Mussina 5-4, Scott Proctor 1-2, Ron Villone 2-0, Mariano Rivera 2-1
Batters Faced - Mike Mussina 27, Scott Proctor 3, Ron Villone 5, Mariano Rivera 4
Game Information
Attendance - 55246
Game Time - 3:31
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Field Culbreth, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Marty Foster