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Pettitte earns 17th victory, ties AL leaders

8/30/2003

BOSTON (AP) -- Nick Johnson and Jorge Posada wouldn't let the New
York Yankees' bullpen give the game away.

That's why Andy Pettitte came away with a win and Pedro Martinez
didn't.

Pettitte outlasted the fatigued Red Sox ace Saturday and led the
Yankees to a 10-7 victory over Boston, surviving early trouble to
move into a tie for the league lead with his 17th win. New York
extended its lead in the AL East to 4{ games.

"This could be the biggest game of the year," Yankees manager
Joe Torre said.

Posada homered twice and Johnson had four hits and four RBI.
Pettitte (17-7) allowed three earned runs on seven hits in seven
innings, striking out seven to win for the fourth consecutive start
and the 12th time in 13 decisions.

"I really felt like I got into a good groove," said Pettitte,
who allowed three runs in the first before settling down. "I was a
little winded early, throwing all those pitches. But then when the
team scored those runs to get me back, I was able to get a second
wind."

Mariano Rivera earned his 30th save despite contributing to
Boston's three-run eighth inning that cut New York's lead to one.

Coming on with one out, the bases loaded and an 8-4 lead, Rivera
gave up a two-run double to pinch-hitter David McCarty and two
walks to score another run before striking out Bill Mueller to end
the threat.

"I know there's going to be a lot of talk about Rivera and what
he gave up," Torre said. "But the fact that he struck out the
last hitter in the eighth inning speaks volumes of him, more so
than the other stuff."

Martinez (10-4), who missed his Aug. 21 start because of a
severe fever and sore throat, allowed five runs on nine hits and
struck out three in four innings. He was not available for comment
after the game.

"He wasn't 100 percent out there today," Boston manager Grady
Little said. "He's still a little bit affected by the sickness he
had last week and it caught up with him pretty good there about the
fourth inning. He's had better days, and he'll have better ones
later."

Posada hit his second homer in the ninth, a two-run shot off
Byung-Hyun Kim, to make it 10-7. Alan Embree and Kim couldn't keep
the Yankees from adding to the lead.

Nomar Garciaparra, who was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle
Friday night, got his major league-leading 13th of the season -- but
his first in 65 games -- in his first at-bat Saturday. He also had a
single in the fifth and led off the eighth with a double high off
the Green Monster as Boston loaded the bases.

McCarty doubled off Rivera to make it 8-6, then Lou Merloni
walked to load the bases again and Johnny Damon walked to pull
Boston within one. Mueller struck out, swinging at a 93 mph
fastball.

Martinez was spotted a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but he gave
up two runs in the second and three more in the third.

Posada led off the fourth with a homer to cut Boston's lead to
4-3. Aaron Boone, Karim Garcia and Enrique Wilson all singled to
score one run and Johnson singled in another to give New York the
lead.

The Yankees added three more in the eighth on an RBI single by
Wilson and Johnson's two-run single, his fourth hit of the game.

David Ortiz homered for the sixth consecutive start. He also
became the ninth Red Sox player with 100 hits, tying a major league
record that has been accomplished 44 times.

Game notes
Red Sox pitching coach Tony Cloninger, recovering from
cancer treatments, was back with the team. Interim coach Dave
Wallace will continue in the job with Cloninger as an adviser, so
as not to disrupt things. ... Manny Ramirez missed his second
consecutive game with a high fever. ... Filmmaker Spike Lee threw
out a ceremonial first pitch wearing a Jeter jersey and a Yankees
cap. Even though his introduction noted that he has a home in
Massachusetts, he was loudly booed. ... Yankees 2B Alfonso Soriano,
3-for-28 lifetime against Martinez, was replaced in the starting
lineup by Wilson (6-for-16). Asked about it before the game, Torre
deadpanned, "George (Steinbrenner) asked me last night and I
decided to." Wilson went 3-for-4. After the game, Torre said,
"Boy, am I smart. Enrique Wilson, he was magic." ... Six of
Ortiz's 23 homers this season have come against the Yankees. ...
Dick Stockton called the game on Fox TV. It was his first Red
Sox-Yankees game at Fenway since the Oct. 2, 1978, one-game playoff
New York won with the help of Bucky Dent's famous home run.
Stockton also called Carlton Fisk's epic homer in Game 6 of the
1975 World Series on the radio, saying, "There it goes ... A long
drive ... If it stays fair ... A home run!" ... Saturday would
have been Ted Williams' 85th birthday. ... Damon and LF Gabe Kapler
collided on Bernie Williams' fly ball toward the Green Monster.
Kapler hit Damon in the face with his glove after making the catch,
then Damon crashed into the Wall. But he stayed in the game.