Series: Game 4 of 4

Boston won 3-1

Game 1: Friday, April 12
New York 2Final
Boston 3
Game 2: Saturday, April 13
New York 6Final
Boston 7
Game 3: Sunday, April 14
New York 6Final
Boston 2
Game 4: Monday, April 15
New York 3Final
Boston 4

Yankees 3

(8-6, 5-6 away)

Red Sox 4

(7-4, 4-4 home)

    11:05 AM ET, April 15, 2002

    Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

    123456789 R H E
    NYY 000100020 3 6 1
    BOS 20002000 - 4 11 0

    W: D. Lowe (2-1)

    L: A. Pettitte (1-1)

    S: U. Urbina (6)

    Lowe's career day leads Boston to win

    BOSTON (AP) -- It took a win over the New York Yankees to convince former All-Star closer Derek Lowe that he belongs as a starter for the Red Sox, even though he came within six outs of a no-hitter two weeks ago.

    Derek Lowe

    "This is probably the best game I've pitched," Lowe said after Boston's 4-3 victory over the Yankees on Monday. "It was a test for me."

    Lowe, who entered the game 2-5 with a 7.34 ERA career against the Yankees, struck out a career-high nine, allowing one run on two hits and one walk in seven innings.

    He improved to 2-1 with a 1.29 ERA in three starts this season. In addition to his trademark sinker, Lowe used a cut fastball for the first time against the Yankees.

    By holding on in a tense ninth inning to win their annual Patriots Day game, the Red Sox took three of four from the four-time defending AL champions and finished their series leading the East by a half-game over New York.

    Yankees starter Andy Pettitte (1-1) left after three innings with a tender left elbow, which has bothered him since the start of spring training. He said it's the same pain from the spring and felt it on a fastball to Tony Clark in the third.

    "I finally felt like I was ready to let go. I guess I wasn't," Pettitte said. "I let one go, and I'm back to where I was."

    Lowe, making just his 25th career start, allowed only singles by Jason Giambi in the fourth and Robin Ventura in the seventh. The bottom of New York's lineup -- Rondell White, Shane Spencer and Alfonso Soriano -- went 0-for-7 with seven strikeouts against Lowe.

    "I'm just trying to prove that I can start," said Lowe, who made the All-Star team in 2000 as Boston's closer. "I feel like I'm prepared more than I've ever been in my years here."

    Lowe held Baltimore hitless until the eighth inning in his season debut April 5, in a 3-0 win.

    On Monday, Red Sox manager Grady Little pulled Lowe after the seventh inning.

    "The kid was mentally and physically exhausted," Little said. "He gave us everything he had."

    Derek Jeter's two-run homer off Rich Garces in the eighth pulled the Yankees within a run. Ugueth Urbina pitched the ninth to complete the six-hitter, getting his third save of the series and sixth in seven chances this season.

    Jorge Posada singled with one out in the ninth and Ventura doubled pinch-runner Gerald Williams to third. White then struck out for the fourth time and John Vander Wal, batting for Shane Spencer, took a called third strike.

    Yankees manager Joe Torre said the final pitch was "maybe a foot outside," but added, "I'm not an umpire complainer because there's not too much you can do about it. It's too bad."

    Shea Hillenbrand drove in two runs and extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

    Nomar Garciaparra hit an RBI double in the first, and New York's poor fielding allowed another run when Jeter bobbled Clark's potential inning-ending, double-play grounder, loading the bases. Pettitte followed with a four-pitch walk to Hillenbrand.

    Posada hit an RBI grounder in the fourth, but Boston made it 4-1 in the fifth off Adrian Hernandez on Hillenbrand's RBI double and Varitek's run-scoring single.

    Pettitte, limited to spring training starts because of a sore left elbow, allowed two runs -- one earned -- and five hits. He threw 64 pitches, 39 for strikes.

    Torre said he's "very concerned" and plans to bring the usually durable lefty along slowly. Pettitte said he plans to throw lightly Tuesday and doesn't plan on having tests.

    After opening the season with six scoreless innings against Tampa Bay on April 5, he lasted just 2 2-3 innings at Toronto last Wednesday, allowing four runs -- three earned -- and six hits.

    Game notes

    Lowe said his pitch that hit Nick Johnson in the first inning was not retaliation for Hillenbrand being brushed back Sunday by Mariano Rivera. Hillenbrand had hit a two-run homer off Rivera on Saturday. ... The Yankees twice intentionally walked cleanup hitter Manny Ramirez with first base empty to pitch to Clark, who grounded to shortstop in the first and struck out in the fifth. ... Ramirez has 13 walks, three intentional, this season. ... New York went 3-5 on its trip. ... RHP John Burkett, who allowed three runs in 2 1-3 innings Sunday for Triple-A Pawtucket, will make another minor league start before returning to Boston's rotation. Burkett, Boston's best pitcher in spring training, is recovering from a sore throwing shoulder. ... OF Michael Coleman was expected to report to Pawtucket on Monday for a rehabilitation assignment. Little said Coleman could return to the club for next weekend's series at Kansas City. ... The game drew a sellout crowd of 33,864.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press