Sun, Sep 11, 2005 - Page 23 News List

Yankees win with pitching, defense

BASEBALL Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada homered off David Wells as New York overcame a 3-1 deficit and cut Boston's division lead to three games with a little more than three weeks left in the season

AP , NEW YORK

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter throws out Johnny Damon of the Red Sox during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium, New York, Friday. Yankees won 8-4.

PHOTO: EPA

Derek Jeter turned in two great defensive plays and drove in the go-ahead run, and Aaron Small won his seventh straight decision to lead the New York Yankees over the Red Sox 8-4 Friday night in the opener of a big three-game series.

"That's how you win -- pitching and defense," Jeter said.

Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada homered off David Wells as New York overcame a 3-1 deficit and cut Boston's division lead to three games with a little more than three weeks left in the season. New York remained a half-game back of Cleveland in the wild-card race.

"We can't be thinking in terms of holding our own. We've got to make an impact," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "The only way you can do that is to go out there and win the first game."

Rodriguez, Posada and Jason Giambi had three hits apiece for the Yankees, who scored single runs in each of the first four innings, then chased Wells (12-7) during a four-run sixth.

Jeter threw out Jason Varitek at the plate with a relay in the third, singled in the fourth to put the Yankees ahead to stay at 4-3, then ranged into the hole at shortstop to get a forceout on Edgar Renteria's grounder in the seventh and stymie a comeback attempt.

Boston tied a season high with four errors -- by second baseman Tony Graffanino, center fielder Johnny Damon, shortstop Renteria and Varitek behind the plate.

Barely an afterthought when the Yankees left spring training, Small improved to 7-0 overall, including 5-0 in six starts as a fill-in. He allowed four runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings, becoming the first pitcher to win his first seven decisions with the Yankees since Doug Bird in 1980 and 1981.

Athletics 9, Rangers 8

In Arlington, Texas, Eric Chavez drove in four runs, Mark Ellis homered and had four hits for Oakland.

Mark Kotsay also homered and got three hits for the A's, and Dan Johnson added a home run as Oakland remained 1{ games behind Cleveland in the AL wild-card race. Jason Kendall had three hits.

Mark Teixeira hit his 37th homer and knocked in five runs for Texas to reach 120 RBIs. His three-run shot off closer Huston Street in the ninth cut it to 9-8, but Street retired Alfonso Soriano on a routine fly for his 19th save.

Oakland's Barry Zito (13-11) struck out eight and walked two in seven innings, allowing four runs and five hits and beat rookie Juan Dominguez (3-4).

Mark DeRosa and Phil Nevin also homered for the Rangers, who had won nine of 12.

Royals 12, Tigers 2

In Detroit, Emil Brown drove in three runs, and Aaron Guiel homered among his three hits as Kansas City handed the Tigers a season-high ninth consecutive loss.

John Buck homered, Matt Stairs had two RBIs as Kansas City had 18 hits against seven Detroit pitchers. Justin Huber had three hits and three runs.

Zack Greinke (4-16) won for the first time since July 19. He gave up one run on five hits in 5 2-3 innings and beat Sean Douglass (5-4) .

Greinke was ejected with two outs in the sixth inning after he threw a pitch over the head of Ivan Rodriguez. Home plate umpire Mike Everitt had warned both benches after Detroit's Matt Ginter hit Chip Ambres with a pitch in the fifth.

Blue Jays 7, Devil Rays 2

In St. Petersburg, Florida, Josh Towers threw six effective innings and Corey Koskie homered for Toronto.

Towers (11-10) gave up two runs and nine hits. He has gone six innings or more in 10 straight starts.

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