Series: Game 3 of 3

NY Yankees won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, May 21
NY Yankees6
Game 2: Tuesday, May 22
NY Yankees3
Game 3: Wednesday, May 23
NY Yankees8

Red Sox 3

(31-15, 15-8 away)

Yankees 8

(21-24, 12-10 home)

    7:05 PM ET, May 23, 2007

    Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    BOS 000001020 3 11 1
    NYY 31110011 - 8 16 1

    W: A. Pettitte (3-3)

    L: C. Schilling (4-2)

    Red Sox-Yankees Preview


    The Boston Red Sox have built a double-digit lead in the AL East despite a subpar start from Manny Ramirez. To the New York Yankees, though, Ramirez's play hasn't appeared any different than usual.

    Boston's slugger looks to continue his success against both the Yankees and starter Andy Pettitte when the teams play the deciding game of their three-game set on Wednesday night.

    Ramirez, a .313 career hitter who has had at least 30 home runs and 100 RBIs in each of the last eight seasons, enters with a .244 batting average and seven homers -- putting him on pace for only 25.

    However, three of those homers have come against the Yankees. Ramirez is hitting a respectable .281 (9-for-32) versus New York this season, and has reached base safely in all eight meetings -- six of them Boston victories.

    On Tuesday, Ramirez gave the Red Sox (31-14) an early lead with a three-run, first-inning homer off Mike Mussina. Boston went on to win 7-3 and increase its division lead over the Yankees -- which had shrunk to single digits after a 6-2 loss on Monday -- back to 10 1/2 games.

    Toronto is tied with New York (20-24) in second place.

    "You really have to think in terms of winning series, and certainly the pressure is on us to do that (Wednesday)," said Yankees manager Joe Torre, whose club has dropped eight of its last 12 games.

    The homer was Ramirez's 51st against New York, ranking him fifth all-time. Only Jimmie Foxx (70), Ted Williams (62), Hank Greenberg (53) and Carl Yastrzemski (52) -- all Hall of Famers -- had more home runs versus the Yankees. The Red Sox left fielder may have a good chance for more success in the series finale. Ramirez is 26-for-64 (.406) with three homers and seven doubles in his career against Yankees starter Andy Pettitte (2-3, 2.83 ERA). The 26 hits are the most Pettitte has allowed to any batter.

    The left-hander made three starts and one relief appearance against Boston last month, going 0-1 with a 5.25 ERA in those outings. He took the loss at home April 27, when he allowed five runs, six hits and five walks in 4 2-3 innings of the Yankees' 11-4 loss to the Red Sox.

    Pettitte has yielded three runs or fewer in each of his four starts since then, but has only a 1-2 record. He limited the Mets to three runs over seven innings on Friday, but received just two runs of support as the Yankees fell 3-2.

    He'll be opposed by Curt Schilling (4-1, 3.57) in a rematch of an April 20 contest in Boston. Schilling allowed five runs and eight hits -- including two homers -- in seven innings, but the Red Sox rallied with five runs in the bottom of the eighth and won 7-6.

    Schilling is riding a personal four-game winning streak, but has not recorded a decision in either of his last two outings. The 40-year-old right-hander labored through six innings against Detroit on Thursday, throwing 118 pitches while giving up eight hits and four walks but only yielded two runs as Boston won 4-2.

    Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew continued to slump Tuesday, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout and a double-play grounder to drop his average to .237. Drew is 0-for-9 in the series, and is batting just .161 (14-for-87) in his last 25 games.

    "It hasn't been a very good month. I know that," Drew said. "It's one of those tough go-rounds where you don't want to overdo it, but you definitely want to mix it up a little bit. It's just a matter of keeping composed and doing the things you've always done at this level to be successful."

    Drew is 6-for-14 with two homers lifetime against Pettitte.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     BostonNew York
    Current StreakL1W2
    Last 106-46-4

    Pitching Matchup

    BostonNew York
    C. Schilling
    9-8, 3.87 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/25 vs OAK
    6.0 IP, 1 ER
    Dec = Win
    A. Pettitte
    15-9, 4.05 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/29 at BAL
    5.0 IP, 8 ER
    Dec = Win

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.BostonNew York
    1. J. Lugo, SS J. Damon, CF
    2. C. Crisp, CF D. Jeter, SS
    3. D. Ortiz, DH H. Matsui, LF
    4. M. Ramirez, LF A. Rodriguez, 3B
    5. K. Youkilis, 1B J. Posada, C
    6. M. Lowell, 3B B. Abreu, RF
    7. J. Varitek, C J. Giambi, DH
    8. W. Pena, RF R. Cano, 2B
    9. D. Pedroia, 2B D. Mientkiewicz, 1B