NEW YORK (AP) -- David Wells had a different number on his broad
back and new life in his left arm.
Wells emerged from an ugly slump by pitching into the ninth
inning against his former team, and David Ortiz hit two long home
runs to lead the Boston Red Sox over the New York Yankees 7-2
"Not bad for an old man," Wells said.
Edgar Renteria also homered and got four more hits for the Red
Sox, who took two of three at Yankee Stadium to leapfrog New York
into second place in the AL East behind Baltimore. Boston hosts the
Orioles beginning Monday night.
The Yankees had won six straight series since dropping three of
four at Tampa Bay from May 2-5.
After the Red Sox got 27 hits in a 17-1 rout Saturday -- their
biggest blowout ever against their longtime rivals -- they came out
swinging again, piling up 14 hits against Mike Mussina (5-3) and
Boston outscored the Yankees 27-9 in the series and outhit them
Ortiz, the 2004 AL Championship Series MVP against New York,
drove in four runs and matched a career high with four hits.
"It's nothing new. We've watched that for a couple of years.
He's a very tough hitter," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
"Obviously, he has a lot of confidence in this ballpark. You look
up there and he's hitting .280. I don't know who's getting him out
-- somebody is."
Renteria went 10-for-12 in the series with two homers, six RBI
and five runs scored. Manny Ramirez added three hits, giving him
seven in two days.
All that offense made things easier for Wells (3-4), who swapped
uniform numbers with Renteria this week. Wells, who had been
wearing No. 3 in tribute to Babe Ruth, had No. 16 on his back
Renteria, who wore No. 3 before he joined the Red Sox, said the
idea came from both players. He said he and Wells had been talking
about the switch for a while, and Wells finally agreed about three
or four days ago. Renteria wouldn't say how much he had to pay to
get his favorite number back, but it was "a lot," he said.
"He wanted to do a swap. I wrote down a number, and that was
it," Wells said. "I took a number I had years ago."
Wells was 0-2 with a 13.89 ERA in his previous three starts.
After his last outing in Toronto, he said he didn't expect Boston
to keep him around much longer if he didn't improve quickly.
Pitching nine days after his 42nd birthday, the left-hander gave
up homers to Derek Jeter and Gary Sheffield in the first inning
before settling down for his first win since April 20 in Baltimore
-- he missed three weeks with a sprained right foot.
Wells allowed six hits, walked none and struck out two in 8 1/3
innings before manager Terry Francona came out to take the ball
"I didn't know if he was going to give it to me," Francona
It was a much better performance than opening night at Yankee
Stadium, when Wells lost 9-2 to Randy Johnson.
Though he was a fan favorite during two stints with New York,
the boisterous Wells again was booed by the crowd of 55,235.
"It's not good, I'll tell you that," he said. "I understand.
It's nice to shut them up, that's for sure."
He did just that, improving to 45-19 at Yankee Stadium.
"The greats, man, they're shining down. If you don't want to
pitch here, there's something wrong with you," Wells said.
Renteria singled in the first inning and Ortiz sent a 3-2 pitch
into the right-field upper deck, but Boston's first lead didn't
Jeter led off the bottom half with his fifth homer, and
Sheffield lined a shot to nearly the same spot in the left-field
stands, tying it at 2.
The Red Sox opened the third with four straight solid hits.
Renteria hit his second homer in two days, and Ortiz drove the next
pitch into the black batter's eye in center for his 12th home run.
That sent about six or seven fans scurrying out of the bleachers
after the ball, and police soon arrived to clear the area.
Ramirez then singled and scored on Trot Nixon's ringing double
to left-center, making it 5-2.
Mussina was lifted after throwing 83 pitches in three innings,
his shortest start not cut short by injury since going 2 1/3
innings against Baltimore on July 1, 2003. He had won four
decisions in a row and pitched 16 scoreless innings in his last two
starts at home.
"The couple of good pitches I did make, they'd foul them off
and then work until I made a mistake," Mussina said.
Chien-Ming Wang came on for his first major league relief
appearance and gave up Ramirez's two-out RBI single in the fourth.
That pushed the lead to 6-2 and gave Ramirez singles in seven
consecutive plate appearances the past two days. It also made the
2-3-4 batters in Boston's lineup 9-for-9 in the game. They finished
Ortiz added an RBI single off Mike Stanton in the eighth.
Mussina had allowed only four homers in 64 innings this
season. ... It was Ortiz's 13th career two-homer game, his second
this season. The other was April 23 at Tampa Bay. ... Ortiz entered
4-for-34 without a homer against Mussina in the regular season
before connecting in consecutive at-bats.