Red Sox 7

(13-13, 5-6 away)

Yankees 2

(13-13, 8-5 home)

    1:15 PM ET, March 29, 2005

    George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tampa, Florida 

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    BOS 002101300 7 - -
    NYY 100000010 2 - -

    Boston 7, New York 2

    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Boston's pitcher threw a ball behind Alex Rodriguez and no one got upset.

    It's only spring training and a matchup between the Red Sox and New York Yankees doesn't necessarily add to the teams' rivalry.

    Rodriguez scrambled out of the way of the first-inning pitch by John Halama, who pitched three innings in Boston's 7-2 victory Tuesday.

    "We're great friends," Rodriguez said of Halama. "I just laughed."

    Halama, who played with Rodriguez in Seattle, said he was trying to throw the pitch inside but it broke too much.

    "I try not to laugh out (on the mound) because I want to try to get him out," Halama said, "but after it was over I came into the dugout and I laughed about it."

    It wasn't as peaceful last July 24 when Rodriguez was hit by a pitch by Boston's Bronson Arroyo at Fenway Park. Rodriguez stared and yelled at Arroyo as he started walking toward first base. Catcher Jason Varitek then pushed Rodriguez and the dugouts and bullpens emptied.

    There were other differences between the exhibition game, played five days before Boston faces New York at Yankee Stadium on opening day Sunday, and a meaningful matchup.

    The Red Sox used only four regular starters and their entire outfield was made up of players not on their 40-man roster. The Yankees started most of their regulars, although first baseman Jason Giambi and second baseman Tony Womack sat out with injuries.

    Giambi has minor tightness in his left hamstring and Womack was hit by a pitch in his left knee Monday. He had an MRI on Tuesday that showed no serious damage. Both are expected to play Thursday.

    "I think both clubs sort of had the same idea about this one," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "We're so close to the season opening, that's where we're concentrating right now."

    The last time the teams met in an important game, the Red Sox won Game 7 of the AL championship series 10-3 to complete a comeback after losing the first three games. Then they swept St. Louis in the World Series.

    In the first inning on Tuesday, Rodriguez grounded out before Bernie Williams singled in a run off Halama, who allowed one run and five hits. The Red Sox scored twice in the third and once in the fourth against loser Aaron Small.

    They made it 4-1 in the sixth on Mike Lockwood's RBI triple off Tanyon Sturtze then reached Alex Graman for three runs in the seventh.

    "We had a lot of young kids play. It was fun. They had a little extra bounce in their step," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "Our veterans got what they needed out of the game and then the young kids came in and played and played well."

    Next stop for both teams: Yankee Stadium. This year the Yankees, who have won 26 World Series, will be aiming to knock off the new champions, although Torre doesn't think that gives this year's games between the teams added meaning.

    "You play (each other) 19 times and that doesn't guarantee anything because you still go to postseason," he said, "and have to do it all over again and it's a sport that you can't get yourself too fired up for one particular game."

    Game notes

    The Yankees acquired minor league catcher Wil Nieves from the Los Angeles Angels for right-hander Bret Prinz. ... Five Boston relievers allowed just three hits in the last six innings. ... New York's Paul Quantrill struck out the side in the ninth. ... Boston designated hitter David Ortiz wore No. 79 because his usual No. 34 jersey was left behind in Fort Myers. ... New York had won its previous three games. ... Small, signed to a minor league contract last Jan. 21, allowed three runs on six hits in four innings with three strikeouts and no walks.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press