Boston at New York

Scoreboard
Boston (30-14)000010100270
N.Y. Yankees (20-23) «22002000x692

Yanks take opener, Wang stymies Red Sox

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

NEW YORK -- Hoping to begin a long climb back into the AL East race, the New York Yankees took a crucial step in the right direction Monday night.

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Alex Rodriguez homered for the third straight game and Chien-Ming Wang stymied Boston, sending the Yankees to a 6-2 victory that moved them within 9½ games of the division-leading Red Sox, who still own the best record in the major leagues at 30-14.

"Everything is important from now on. We don't have the luxury to throw games away," Rodriguez said.

Jason Giambi snapped a 1-for-26 slide with an upper-deck homer and leadoff batter Johnny Damon got the Yankees started all game against his former team. New York improved to 2-5 this year against its biggest rival, with both wins coming vs. knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

"We're working our way out of this hole," Giambi said. "I hope that as this weather warms up, so does the offense."

Building on a crisp victory the night before over the Mets that allowed them to avoid a Subway Series sweep, the patient Yankees (20-23) drew eight walks and ran on Wakefield all night. New York had five two-out RBI, and the Red Sox went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

Robinson Cano hit a two-run triple and Damon finished with three singles, a walk and two stolen bases.

"His body just looked like it was electric," manager Joe Torre said.

After struggling previously against Boston, Wang (3-3) changed his approach, throwing more soft sliders and changeups to go with his hard sinker.

He yielded two runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings to win his second consecutive start, becoming the first Yankees pitcher with three wins this season. He left to a huge ovation from the spirited crowd of 55,078 and tipped his cap as he neared the dugout.

"All he did was keep them off balance," pitching coach Ron Guidry said. "Give 'em something different."

Scott Proctor escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth on a nice play by Cano at second base, and Kyle Farnsworth finished up.

Wakefield (4-5) walked five in five innings and served up both New York homers. Once a befuddling matchup for the Yankees, the right-hander fell to 1-7 with a 6.00 ERA in his past nine starts against them beginning May 27, 2005.

He walked six in 5 1/3 innings during his other start against New York this season, a 3-1 loss on April 28 at Yankee Stadium.

"I tried my best to grind it out, but I never had it tonight," Wakefield said.

Kevin Youkilis doubled in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games and scored when David Ortiz followed with a double, knocking the ball out of shortstop Derek Jeter's glove on a headfirst slide. Wang avoided further damage by retiring personal nemesis Manny Ramirez and J.D. Drew.

Bobby Abreu got a two-out rally started in the bottom half with a single and a stolen base. Giambi walked and hustled home from first on his aching left foot when Cano tripled to left-center, making it 6-1.

"We're getting more comfortable -- especially the thing that deserted us, which was the offense," Torre said. "We won two in a row. We haven't done this in a while. It's not something we usually trumpet, but we haven't done this a lot."

Rodriguez hit his major league-leading 18th homer with Damon aboard in the first, a long drive to left into Boston's bullpen adjacent to Monument Park.

Before hitting three home runs in three days, Rodriguez connected only once in 22 games from April 23 until May 19.

"Alex seems to be back," Torre said.

Jeter's two-out error loaded the bases in the second and Wang went to 3-1 on Youkilis before striking him out.

Batting seventh in his first start since last Thursday, Giambi hit a solo shot in the second for his sixth homer this season and first since May 3 at Texas.

"It felt a ton better since I got the orthotics," Giambi said, referring to his foot. "It felt comfortable just to be in the box. I just felt like I couldn't push off. It was nice to be able to swing and run the bases a little."

Cano doubled and scored when Jeter extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single, making him 13-for-20 (.650) this year with two outs and runners in scoring position for a total of 15 RBI.

Ortiz's sacrifice fly off Mike Myers cut it to 6-2 in the seventh.

"Nothing's going to be easy," Ortiz said. "We've still got 120-something games left. We've got to play the game the way it's supposed to be played."

Notes

  • Wang threw a career-high 114 pitches.
  • The Yankees stole a season-high four bases and were caught once, all against Wakefield and his personal catcher, Doug Mirabelli.
  • The Red Sox stranded five runners in the first two innings.
  • New York C Jorge Posada went 0-for-3 with a walk, ending his career-high hitting streak at 15 games.
  • Mirabelli singled in the second, ending an 0-for-17 skid.
  • Wakefield dropped to 9-15 lifetime against the Yankees.
  • Ramirez is 11-for-19 (.579) against Wang.
 
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 breaks a 1-for-26 slump with a solo home run, his sixth homer on the season.  (US Presswire)
Jason Giambi breaks a 1-for-26 slump with a solo home run, his sixth homer on the season. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
New York

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

R. Cano
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Boston Red Sox
Julio Lugo, SS4100113 .244
Kevin Youkilis, 1B5120013 .342
David Ortiz, DH2012200 .314
Manny Ramirez, LF5010023 .244
J.D. Drew, RF5000014 .244
Mike Lowell, 3B4000020 .325
Coco Crisp, CF2010200 .239
Doug Mirabelli, C4010001 .205
Alex Cora, 2B3010001 .333
Totals3427257  
Batting
2B - Kevin Youkilis 2 (12, Wang, Wang), David Ortiz (19, Wang)
SF - David Ortiz (1)
RBI - David Ortiz 2 (36)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Cora-Lowell-Youkilis
Boston Red Sox
Tim Wakefield (L,4-5) 5966522 3.14
J.C. Romero 1000300 2.45
Manny Delcarmen 1000000 0.00
Joel Pineiro 1000000 5.71
HBP - Jeter (by Joel Pineiro)
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Wakefield 109-59, J.C. Romero 30-11, Manny Delcarmen 16-9, Joel Pineiro 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Wakefield 4-7, J.C. Romero 1-2, Manny Delcarmen 2-1, Joel Pineiro 2-1
Batters Faced - Tim Wakefield 27, J.C. Romero 6, Manny Delcarmen 3, Joel Pineiro 4
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, CF4130100 .271
Derek Jeter, SS3011102 .365
Hideki Matsui, LF5000017 .282
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3112203 .311
Jorge Posada, C3000112 .374
Bobby Abreu, RF3110103 .244
Jason Giambi, DH2211200 .272
Robinson Cano, 2B4122002 .247
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B4000002 .212
Totals3169682  
Batting
2B - Robinson Cano (9, Wakefield)
3B - Robinson Cano (2, Wakefield)
HR - Alex Rodriguez (18, Wakefield), Jason Giambi (6, Wakefield)
RBI - Derek Jeter (25), Alex Rodriguez 2 (43), Jason Giambi (19), Robinson Cano 2 (19)
2-OUT RBI - Derek Jeter (16), Alex Rodriguez 2 (28), Robinson Cano 2 (4)
SB - Johnny Damon 2 (9, 2nd base off Wakefield/Mirabelli, 2nd base off Wakefield/Mirabelli), Alex Rodriguez (4, 2nd base off Wakefield/Mirabelli), Bobby Abreu (6, 2nd base off Wakefield/Mirabelli)
CS - Alex Rodriguez (1, 3rd base by Wakefield/Mirabelli)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Rodriguez-Cano-Mientkiewicz
E - Brian Bruney (1, Throwing), Derek Jeter (8, Misplayed grounder)
New York Yankees
Chien-Ming Wang (W,3-3) 6.1722350 4.28
Mike Myers 0.1000000 3.43
Brian Bruney 1000120 1.69
Scott Proctor (H,7) 0.1000000 3.04
Kyle Farnsworth 1000100 4.42
HBP - Cora (by Scott Proctor)
Pitches-Strikes - Chien-Ming Wang 115-65, Mike Myers 2-1, Brian Bruney 20-12, Scott Proctor 5-3, Kyle Farnsworth 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chien-Ming Wang 9-5, Brian Bruney 1-1, Scott Proctor 1-0
Batters Faced - Chien-Ming Wang 29, Mike Myers 1, Brian Bruney 5, Scott Proctor 2, Kyle Farnsworth 4
Game Information
Attendance - 55078
Game Time - 3:28
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Ed Rapuano, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Joe West