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Yankees strike early, end slide at three

5/20/2003

BOSTON (AP) -- The New York Yankees needed only one inning to
break out of their slump.

Raul Mondesi hit a bases-loaded triple as New York scored five
times in the first to beat the Boston Red Sox 7-3 Monday night and
snap a three-game losing streak. The win put the Yankees back in
sole possession of first place in the AL East, where they had been
all season before losing six of seven to let Boston climb into a
tie.

"We got the lead from the very beginning, and it held up with
pitching," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "Kind of
like the Yankee clubs we're used to seeing."

A day before his 40th birthday, David Wells (6-1) scattered nine
hits and a walk over 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run and striking
out four. Seven of the hits against him came with two outs, but
each time Wells got in trouble he pitched out of it.

"That's David Wells right there. He's tough," Red Sox manager
Grady Little said. "He's got the ability to stop anything before
it gets started."

Jorge Posada reached base five times -- two hits, two walks and
an error -- for the Yankees, who followed an 18-3 start by going
9-13. The early outburst quieted the sellout crowd of 35,099 -- the
biggest at Fenway since 1990 -- before it began the traditional
derogatory chants about the Yankees.

"It's kind of special coming in here, and we're tied for the
lead," Wells said. "We want to get ahead of them. We don't want
to lose ground."

Casey Fossum (4-2) gave up five runs on six hits and two walks,
striking out four in six innings. All the damage came in the first
before he settled down and retired 16 of the next 18 batters.

"It was a heck of a way to get started, but he rebounded,"
said Little, who was one batter from pulling Fossum from the game.
"He was just a little snake-bit there in the first inning."

And after that it was too late.

Alfonso Soriano singled on the first pitch of the game, Derek Jeter doubled on the second and, after fouling one off, Jason Giambi singled to make it 2-0. Bernie Williams flied out to center
before Hideki Matsui singled and Posada walked to load the bases.

Mondesi lined a ball off the Green Monster and it got away from
center fielder Johnny Damon, clearing the bases and making it 5-0.
Mondesi's hit was the first hard-hit ball of the game.

"It's not like we killed the ball," Jeter said. "But it felt
good."

Posada reached on a single in the third and again in the sixth
on third baseman Bill Mueller's fielding error -- the only other
baserunners allowed by Fossum before he was replaced to start the
seventh.

The Yankees added two more runs when Posada walked to lead off
the eighth. Mondesi singled, pinch-hitter Robin Ventura was
intentionally walked and Soriano walked before Jeter lined a single
to right off Jason Shiell to make it 7-1.

Boston made it 7-2 on doubles by Kevin Millar and Mueller in the
eighth. Damon led off the ninth with his second triple of the game
and scored on Nomar Garciaparra's sacrifice fly.

Garciaparra singled in the first inning to extend his hitting
streak to 20 games, tying Tim Salmon for the longest in the majors
this season. It's his fourth career streak of at least 20 games,
tying Tris Speaker's club record.

Game notes
It was the first of 19 meetings between the Yankees and Red
Sox this season. ... Jason and Jeremy Giambi became the third set of brothers to play against each other
in the history of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry. Joe and Dom DiMaggio
and George and Bill Dickey are the others. ... The last time the
Red Sox had been in first place was June 27, 2002. ... Boston OF
Trot Nixon, who left Sunday's game with tightness in both
hamstrings, got the day off. ... Wells saved an out and maybe his
own nose when he grabbed Millar's line drive in the fourth. ...
Jason Giambi was 2-for-21, Jeter 1-for-12 and Mondesi 6-for-21
before they keyed the five-run rally in the first inning.