Final in 10

Series: Game 3 of 4

Boston leads 2-1 (as of 4/18)

Game 1: Friday, April 16
NY Yankees2Final
Game 2: Saturday, April 17
NY Yankees2Final
Game 3: Sunday, April 18
NY Yankees7Final
in 10
Game 4: Monday, April 19
NY Yankees4Final

Yankees 7

(6-6, 3-4 away)

Red Sox 3

(6-5, 4-3 home)

2:05 PM ET, April 18, 2004

Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

NYY - -
BOS - -

W: P. Quantrill (1-0)

L: D. Lowe (1-1)

Rodriguez hitless for series

BOSTON (AP) -- The New York Yankees turned themselves around Sunday -- except for Alex Rodriguez and Jose Contreras.

Derek Jeter went 2-for-4 with two walks and an RBI single in the six-run third inning, leading the Yankees to a 7-3 victory over the Red Sox. It was New York's first win against its archrival since turning Boston back just five outs from the World Series.

"We got a good win today," said Rodriguez, who walked twice but was 0-for-4 on the day, dropping to 0-for-12 in the series and .156 on the year. "I'm going to be there offensively, there's no question in my mind. But it feels good to contribute in some other way."

Contreras was spotted a six-run lead in the third, but Boston scored twice in the bottom half and knocked him out after 2 1-3 innings, the shortest of his 11 major league starts. With Paul Quantrill (1-0) pitching, Rodriguez threw out Manny Ramirez on a close play at the plate and Travis Lee made a diving stop on Jason Varitek's grounder, throwing back to the pitcher to barely beat the runner to first base.

"That probably decided the game," Boston's Kevin Millar said.

Quantrill held Boston to one hit over 2 2-3 innings, and Gabe White, Tom Gordon and Mariano Rivera added four more scoreless innings.

Gary Sheffield doubled twice to help the Yankees rebound from a poor start by Contreras, who gave up three runs and six hits in his second rough outing in as many tries.

"I'm not angry at him or upset with him or disappointed," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "It's something we're going to get right before this thing is over with, because his stuff is electric."

Torre could said the same thing about Rodriguez's troubles at the plate. The reigning AL MVP, who flirted with the Red Sox before he was traded to the Yankees this winter, stranded seven runners on Sunday and drew a sarcastic cheer when he lofted a harmless fly to center with the bases loaded, ending the ninth.

"You can't keep a good player down. You can't keep a good team down," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "I have total confidence in him. ... The numbers are going to be there at the end."

Pitching on 10 days' rest because of a pair of rainouts that cost him a start, Derek Lowe (1-1) lasted just 2 2-3 innings. He allowed seven runs, eight hits and four walks.

"Pitching is a thing of feel and control, and I didn't have either. ... It was one of the worst outings I've ever had," Lowe said. "A starter's job is to stop the big inning. The only thing that saved me was that they actually missed the point after: They only scored six instead of seven."

Ramirez had two hits for the Red Sox, who beat the Yankees in the first two games of the series but need a win in the Patriots Day game on Monday to avoid a split.

Fenway Park was sold out for the 71st consecutive game, but the scoring outburst in the third took away a lot of the excitement for the Boston fans who waited all winter for this series. The rivalry, already intense in the eight decades since Babe Ruth went to New York in 1920, hit a new high when Aaron Boone homered in the 11th inning of the seventh game of the AL championship series beat Boston and send the Yankees to the World Series.

The Red Sox tried to get Rodriguez from Texas over the winter in an effort to avoid finishing second to New York for the seventh consecutive year, but they failed to land him. When Boone blew out his knee, New York closed the deal, and the animosity between the two cities spiked again.

Jeter was 2-for-10 with three strikeouts and two errors in the first two games of the series. But his RBI single tied the game 1-1 in the second. Lowe was knocked out in the third, allowing six runs, six hits and a walk in the inning.

Rodriguez drew a leadoff walk, Jason Giambi singled, Sheffield doubled, Hideki Matsui singled and Jorge Posada doubled.

Travis Lee struck out, but Enrique Wilson singled and, after Jeter grounded out, Bernie Williams doubled to make it 7-1.

Mark Malaska relieved Lowe and got Rodriguez to hit a line drive to center that Johnny Damon snagged by reaching high above his head.

Given a cushy lead to work with, Contreras almost gave it back.

Damon singled to lead off the bottom half and Bill Mueller walked. After Damon took third on a flyout, Ramirez doubled in two runs and Kevin Millar walked.

Contreras left after his first offering to Ellis Burks was a wild pitch that put runners on second and third. Quantrill got Burks to ground to Rodriguez, who made the play home.

Game notes

New York placed OF Kenny Lofton (strained muscle in his right quadriceps) and RHP Jorge DePaula (sprained right elbow) on the 15-day DL. ... RHP Scott Proctor and LHP Alex Graman were recalled from Triple-A Columbus. Graman is scheduled to start against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. ... The Yankees went 27 innings over four games without a multi-run inning before scoring six in the third inning on Sunday. ... Boston acquired minor league pitcher Scott Cassidy from Toronto for a player to be named. Cassidy went 1-4 with a 5.73 ERA in 58 games with Toronto in 2002. He will report to Boston's Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press