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Boston scores five runs in seventh inning

5/21/2003

BOSTON (AP) -- Pedro Martinez wasn't around to help the Boston
Red Sox. Jose Contreras was.

Martinez missed his start with a mild strain below his right
shoulder blade, but Boston beat the New York Yankees 10-7 with a
five-run rally against Contreras in his return to the majors
Tuesday night.

"We've done a good job of coming back all year," Boston
manager Grady Little said. "It's not a personal vendetta against
anybody."

The Yankees beat the Red Sox in the offseason pursuit of
Contreras, a free agent from Cuba who signed a $32 million,
four-year deal with New York.

Boston wanted him to bolster their rotation, but lefty Bruce
Chen did a decent job when he found out a few hours before the game
that he would fill in for Martinez.

"It was very exciting," said Chen, who didn't feel pressure
stepping in for one of baseball's best pitchers. "I didn't think
about it that way. I knew that today was Pedro's start. I knew that
today was a day for me to pick it up for the team."

Boston moved back into a first-place tie in the AL East with New
York, which won Monday's series opener. In Wednesday night's series
finale, Yankees ace and former Red Sox star Roger Clemens goes for
his 299th career win.

Yankees manager Joe Torre thought his team welcomed the absence
of Martinez, who underwent an MRI exam and was listed as
day-to-day.

"You get in a little better mood," Torre said. "But
everything is not based on what they do, but what we do."

Chen allowed three runs in four innings before former Yankee
Ramiro Mendoza gave up three in two innings as New York took a 6-4
lead in the sixth.

Contreras (1-1) came in after Jeremy Giambi's RBI single off
Jeff Weaver made it 6-5 and got a double play and a strikeout to
end the sixth. Then Contreras allowed three walks, two hits and a
sacrifice fly before leaving with one out in the seventh.

"I'm going to focus on the positive'' in the sixth, Contreras
said through an interpreter. "I felt a lot more comfortable after
having the results I had previously that everyone's aware of."

Contreras struggled with his control and was sent to the minors
after four relief appearances. He appeared in four games in the
minors before being recalled Tuesday.

"Overall, it was a good outing for him," Torre said. "The
thing that was his undoing in the second inning (was) he went out
there and walked the first hitter."

The key hit was David Ortiz's two-run double that put Boston
ahead to stay, 7-6, and sent New York to its seventh loss in nine
games.

"I faced him once in spring training," Ortiz said. "All he
was throwing then was off-speed pitches. Today he was throwing a
lot of fastballs."

Contreras, whose ERA rose from 10.80 to 15.63, walked three in 1
1-3 innings after walking six in five innings before his demotion.

Alan Embree (3-1) pitched a perfect seventh for the win, and
Brandon Lyon struck out the side in the ninth for his sixth save as
Boston (28-17) got its 13th comeback win.

"We showed again tonight we're a good hitting team and can
score a lot of runs when we need them," Giambi said.

Martinez felt pain below his right shoulder blade while playing
long-toss in the outfield before Monday's 7-3 loss. He hoped to
pitch Tuesday, but Little bypassed him after he still had pain.

Todd Walker started the seventh against Contreras with one of
Boston's eight walks. Nomar Garciaparra doubled him to third, Manny
Ramirez was walked intentionally, and Ortiz doubled in two runs.

Trot Nixon's sacrifice fly made it 8-6 before Bill Mueller
walked. Sterling Hitchcock replaced Contreras and allowed a
sacrifice fly by Kevin Millar and an RBI single by Johnny Damon.

Garciaparra extended his hitting streak to 21 games, most in the
majors this year.

The Yankees got their final run in the eighth on Jorge Posada's
11th homer of the season off Mike Timlin.

They took a 2-0 lead in the first when Alfonso Soriano hit
Chen's first pitch for his 12th homer and Jason Giambi added a
sacrifice fly. Boston got a run back on Garciaparra's sacrifice fly
in the bottom half.

Todd Zeile's RBI double made it 3-1 in the second. The Red Sox
went ahead 4-3 with a run in the third on doubles by Walker and
Garciaparra, and two in the fourth when Mueller doubled and Jason
Varitek hit his sixth homer.

The five sacrifice flies in the game tied a major league
record.

Game notes
Weaver gave up only his second homer of the season. He's
allowed one in each of his last two starts after giving up none in
his first seven. ... Author John Grisham and Massachusetts Gov.
Mitt Romney attended the game. ... Zeile went 3-for-4 to snap a
2-for-26 slump.

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