Wed, Jul 09, 2003 - Page 19 News List

The Yankees edge past Boston 2-1 to split series

AMERICAN BASEBALL Pedro Martinez and Mike Mussina matched each other pitch for pitch in a marquee matchup that lived up to all the hype

AP , NEW YORK

Curtis Pride of the New York Yankees hits the ball to win the game against the Boston Red Sox in the bottom of the ninth at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, on Monday. The Yankees won 2-1.

PHOTO: AFP

Todd Walker booted Curtis Pride's bases-loaded grounder in the ninth inning, giving the New York Yankees a 2-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Monday and a split of their four-game series.

Pedro Martinez and Mike Mussina matched each other pitch for pitch in a marquee matchup that lived up to its billing, and Red Sox reliever Kim Byung-hyun had another forgettable day at Yankee Stadium.

"If there's a blueprint for beating Pedro, that's the blueprint. Keep it close and hope for a break," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "He doesn't give you much."

New York won without Derek Jeter and Alfonso Soriano, who left early after bruising their hands on high-and-tight pitches from Martinez, and increased its AL East lead to four games over Boston.

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner thought Martinez was coming up and in on purpose.

"I don't know what was going through his mind, but if it's what it looked like, it's not good," Steinbrenner said. "It's not good for his team, not good for baseball. ... Fortunately, both of our men are OK."

Hideki Matsui and Karim Garcia singled off Kim (2-2) to start the ninth. Pinch-hitter Jorge Posada was hit by a pitch, loading the bases, and Robin Ventura struck out.

With the infield drawn in, Pride hit a grounder to second base that Walker struggled to corral on his backhand side.

Once he got a hold of the ball it was too late, and his high throw to the plate had no chance to get Matsui.

"It was a short hop," said Walker, who was charged with an error. "Infield in cuts down your reaction time. It was a play that should have been made. It just slipped out of my glove. It was a tough way to lose."

Pride, who is almost totally deaf, homered in his Yankees debut Sunday for his first longball in more than two years. He had been out of the majors since 2001 before being called up by the Yankees on Friday.

Mariano Rivera (3-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for the victory as the Yankees shut down Boston's big offense for the second straight day after getting blown out in the first two games of the series.

Pitching inside all day, Martinez struck out 11 in seven sharp innings. But Mussina was just as good, retiring 21 in a row after Manny Ramirez's RBI double in the first.

Livan Hernandez scattered seven hits in his second complete game this season, and Brian Schneider's two-run double keyed a five-run fourth inning as the Montreal Expos beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-1 Monday.

Phillies manager Larry Bowa was ejected during a wild fourth inning in which benches cleared after Brandon Duckworth (3-3) hit Hernandez with a pitch.

Hernandez appeared to follow through with a swing as the ball hit the upper part of his right arm. Plate umpire Bill Welke immediately pointed to first base. Hernandez shouted at Duckworth, who motioned that Hernandez had swung at the pitch.

"I was mad because I didn't want him to hit me on the elbow or the face," Hernandez said. "The point is, I know he didn't want to hit me but you're mad because you don't want to lose your career because he hits you in the elbow or in the face. I don't do that. I try to pitch against pitchers down and away."

Orlando Cabrera went 3-for-4 with two RBIs -- including his 13th homer -- for Montreal, which ended a three-game losing streak.

"It's one game, but it's a step in the right direction and we needed that type of game," Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "The bullpen rested tonight and we should be able to battle tomorrow."

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