Tue, Jul 08, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Yankees figure out how to beat Boston

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL Andy Pettitte allowed four hits and struck out 10 batters in eight innings to win his fifth consecutive start, retiring 16 straight men at the plate

AP , NEW YORK ANDATLANTA, GEORGIA

Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees pitches against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in New York City.

PHOTO: AFP

Andy Pettitte shut down baseball's top-hitting team and Curtis Pride homered in his Yankees debut, leading New York to a 7-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

"He's pitched some big games for us," manager Joe Torre said. "I don't know if he's pitched any bigger regular-season games than this one because of the way we were beat up the last two days."

Alfonso Soriano went 3-for-5 with a two-run triple to help the Yankees snap a three-game losing streak and move three games ahead of second-place Boston in the American League East.

"This wasn't a must-win game, but it was big," Pettitte said. "I knew we had to have it in a big way."

Pettitte (10-6) allowed four hits and struck out 10 batters in eight innings to win his fifth consecutive start. He retired 16 straight until Manny Ramirez singled with one out in the seventh.

"If you make a mistake, they're going to hurt you," Pettitte said. "Even when you don't they'll get you. They're a great hitting ballclub. I was very fortunate to be able to hold them down.''

Bill Mueller homered in the first inning for the Red Sox -- their 11th homer of the series -- but the Yankees overcame the deficit quickly by scoring twice in the bottom half against John Burkett (6-4).

White Sox 11, Devil Rays 3

In St. Petersburg, Florida, Jose Valentin and Joe Crede homered and drove in three runs each to back the pitching of Mark Buehrle and lead Chicago over the Devil Rays. Buehrle (7-10) allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings to win for the fifth consecutive time since stopping a nine-game losing streak on June 16. The left-hander also snapped the Devil Rays' season-high three-game winning streak.

Lou Piniella, Tampa Bay's manager, dyed his hair with blond streaks before the game, keeping a promise to change his hairdo if his young, last-place team won three successive games at any point this season.

Rangers 5, Mariners 1

In Arlington, Texas, Rafael Palmeiro hit his 510th career homer and Ismael Valdes pitched six strong innings as Texas beat Seattle.

Valdes (7-5) was the beneficiary of early run support and snapped a personal three-game losing streak, allowing one run and four hits. In his three previous starts, Valdes had a 16.05 ERA. But he shut down Seattle, which had an AL-high five All-Stars selected Sunday.

Michael Young also homered off Gil Meche (10-4) for the Rangers, who got a two-run single from Doug Glanville and took two of three in the series. The Mariners, who have a major league-best 31-15 road record, went 3-4 on their road trip -- their first losing trip this season. Seattle All-Star Edgar Martinez hit his 18th homer.

Chipper Jones hit two home runs and Mike Hampton bounced back from two shaky starts to lead the Atlanta Braves past the Montreal Expos 7-5 Sunday.

"It's been a long time coming," Jones said. "My confidence was waning a little bit. I've been starting to get comfortable, and for five at-bats, I felt in control the whole time."

Hampton also had two hits, including his first homer of the season -- the 11th of his career, as the Braves won for the third time in the four-game series.

Braves manager Bobby Cox was ejected in the third inning for apparently arguing a balk call against Hampton, the seventh time this season he's been tossed.

Hampton (4-5), who won for only the second time in his past 10 starts, going seven innings in this one despite a 24-minute rain delay after the fourth inning, and retiring 12 of the last 15 batters he faced. He gave up nine hits and was charged with all four runs.

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