Series: Game 1 of 3

Boston leads 1-0 (as of 9/5)

Game 1: Friday, September 5
NY Yankees3
Game 2: Saturday, September 6
NY Yankees0
Game 3: Sunday, September 7
NY Yankees3

Red Sox 9

(82-58, 36-34 away)

Yankees 3

(84-55, 39-29 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 5, 2003

    Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    BOS 314001000 9 14 1
    NYY 000001200 3 7 0

    W: P. Martinez (11-4)

    L: A. Pettitte (17-8)

    Martinez cruises through six innings

    NEW YORK (AP) -- This one was a laugher for Pedro Martinez and the Boston Red Sox.

    Johnny Damon tripled with the bases loaded Friday night and the Red Sox roughed up Andy Pettitte in a 9-3 victory over the Yankees that cut New York's AL East lead to 2{ games.

    Martinez (11-4) struck out nine in six easy innings, cruising to his first win in four starts against the Yankees this season. Boston had not been so close to first place since Aug. 7 -- the Red Sox trailed New York by 7{ games on Aug. 20.

    "I don't think anybody's scared of anybody -- but they know we're here," catcher Jason Varitek said. "They've known we're here all year."

    With an 8-0 lead by the third, Martinez even enjoyed a chuckle on the mound at the expense of absent-minded teammate Manny Ramirez.

    The left fielder, never known for his defense, made a terrific running catch at the wall in the fourth. Ramirez then threw the ball into the stands and began to jog in, thinking there were three outs.

    Martinez flashed an impish smile and put up two fingers, for two outs, and covered his mouth with his glove. Ramirez and his teammates also laughed at his mistake.

    "I've got a new brain for (him)," David Ortiz said.

    "That was hilarious," Kevin Millar said. "We were all dying laughing. The guy took about 20 steps before he realized there were two outs. We had a lot of fun with it."

    Ramirez was the center of attention all week after he missed last weekend's series against New York at Fenway Park with a sore throat and fever, yet managed to pull himself out of bed to reminisce with Yankees infielder Enrique Wilson about their Cleveland days.

    On Sunday, Ramirez didn't show up for an appointment with the team doctor, and when he joined the team Monday he sat on the bench but said he was "too weak" to pinch-hit.

    But he was back in the lineup at Yankee Stadium, hitting an RBI single in the first inning to put Boston on the board and begin the rout. Varitek drove in two runs, and No. 9 hitter Lou Merloni reached base four times in Boston's fourth straight win -- all on the road -- and 11th in 14 games overall.

    Ramirez was hit by a pitch in the eighth and left the game.

    New York's Roger Clemens makes his final regular-season start against his former team Saturday. Tim Wakefield goes for Boston in a rematch of last Sunday's game won by the Rocket.

    Pettitte (17-8) had won four straight starts and 12 of his last 13 decisions, including a 10-7 victory over Martinez last Saturday. Still fighting an illness, the Boston ace blew leads of 3-0 and 4-2 in that game.

    "He was a lot stronger, you could tell," Millar said. "When you're sick you lose a lot."

    Pettitte allowed eight earned runs -- his most since giving up eight Aug. 19, 2001, at Seattle -- and nine hits in 2 1-3 innings. He walked three, including Merloni twice.

    "I wasn't able to get it done tonight," Pettitte said. "I felt really good in my mind, really until the third inning. And then I got out of sync."

    Martinez struck out four of his first five batters and improved to 9-8 career against the Yankees. He gave up one run, four hits and walked one.

    "I thought his ball was exploding tonight," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

    Damon led off the game with a bunt single -- Pettitte failed to cover first -- and Nomar Garciaparra had an infield single with one out -- shortstop Wilson threw high on a slow roller.

    Ramirez and Ortiz followed with RBI singles to right. Varitek added a two-out RBI single, making it 3-0.

    Garciaparra had a two-out RBI single in the second, and Damon grounded a bases-loaded triple inside first base in the third, chasing Pettitte. Bill Mueller followed with an RBI single off Jeff Weaver.

    Wilson and Soriano hit consecutive doubles in the sixth off Martinez.

    The Yankees loaded the bases with none out in the seventh against Scott Sauerbeck and scored on Wilson's double-play grounder and Soriano's RBI single.

    Game notes

    The Yankees lead the season series 9-8. ... SS Garciaparra threw out Soriano from deep in the hole in the first inning. ... Weaver had an encouraging outing, allowing one run and five hits in 4 2-3 innings. ... RHP Jorge De Paula made his major league debut for the Yankees in the eighth and promptly hit Ramirez with an 0-2 pitch. De Paula pitched two hitless innings. ... Wilson, starting for injured SS Derek Jeter, doubled twice off Martinez, making him 10-for-20 lifetime against the Boston ace.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press