New York Pedro Martinez outpitched Mike Mussina in a marquee matchup that lived up to its billing, sending the Boston Red Sox over the New York Yankees, 4-2, Friday night in the opener of a big three-game series.
Shea Hillenbrand had two RBIs, and Nomar Garciaparra drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly foulout to first baseman Nick Johnson undercut by second baseman Alfonso Soriano near the tarp. Boston beat the Yankees for the eighth time in 12 meetings this season and cut its deficit in the AL East to two games.
"It's really important because this is the team we're chasing," Martinez said. "Every win we can get against these guys is huge. It sets the tone for the rest of the games."
Yankees catcher Jorge Posada made a key throwing error and struck out four times stranding the potential tying run on third in the eighth.
The Red Sox have won four straight following a four-game skid. New York lost for just the fifth time in 16 games.
Nearly the entire sellout crowd of 55,510 waited through a rain delay of 2 hours, 17 minutes, at the start. Flashbulbs popped with the first pitch, but Martinez (12-2) quickly quieted the fired-up fans by fooling one Yankees slugger after another.
Throwing as hard as he has all season, the right-hander struck out nine to increase his AL-leading total to 158. He gave up two runs and five hits over 71â3 innings. Martinez walked three, hit Robin Ventura with a pitch twice and was lifted after throwing 114 pitches.
"I tell you what, it was vintage Pedro and Mussina out there," Boston manager Grady Little said. "We were fortunate to come out on top. Pedro was outstanding. Either pitcher deserved to win that game."
The Yankees broke through as Martinez tired in the eighth. Derek Jeter walked with one out, and Jason Giambi reached on an infield single up the third-base line against an overshifted defense.
Bernie Williams' RBI double chased Martinez, and Ventura added an run-scoring groundout off reliever Chris Haney to cut it to 3-2.
But Ugueth Urbina fanned Posada to end the inning, shouting with enthusiasm as he walked to the dugout. Urbina finished for his 24th save in 26 chances. He has saved five of Boston's eight victories against the Yankees this season.
Mussina (12-4) gave up three runs two earned and five hits in eight innings, snapping a five-start winning streak against the Red Sox. He is 3-1 against Boston this season, and had won four consecutive decisions overall.
Hillenbrand hit a two-out RBI double in the seventh for a 2-0 lead.
Trot Nixon doubled leading off the eighth. Jose Offerman sacrificed, and Posada threw the ball away for a run-scoring error on an ill-advised attempt to get Nixon at third, making it 3-0.
Jason Varitek tripled off Steve Karsay and scored on Hillenbrand's RBI single in the ninth.
Athletics 10, Rangers 0
Oakland, Calif. Cory Lidle (3-8) pitched a one-hitter for his first major league shutout, allowing only Juan Gonzalez's leadoff double in the eighth inning. Texas has lost a season-high seven straight.
John Mabry homered and drove in four runs, and Scott Hatteberg hit a three-run homer for the A's, who won for the 10th time in 13 games. Miguel Tejada added his fifth homer in seven games during Oakland's seven-run sixth inning.
Aaron Myette (0-1), recalled from the minors earlier in the day, allowed seven runs and eight hits in 51â3 innings.
Twins 5, Tigers 1
Detroit Corey Koskie and David Ortiz homered on the first two pitches of the fourth inning to back Kyle Lohse's solid pitching as Minnesota beat Detroit.
Doug Mientkiewicz added a home run as the Twins handed the Tigers their fourth straight defeat and took a 12-game lead over Chicago in the AL Central. Lohse (9-5) gave up one run on six hits in six innings. Johan Santana pitched three innings for his first major league save.
Orioles 10, White Sox 4
Baltimore Rodrigo Lopez pitched seven strong innings to earn his 10th win, and Baltimore used a six-run fourth to pull away.
Gary Matthews Jr. homered and drove in two runs for the Orioles, who also got two RBIs apiece from Chris Singleton, Jay Gibbons and Geronimo Gil.
Lopez (10-3) allowed three runs and six hits to become the first rookie to win 10 games for Baltimore since Rocky Coppinger in 1996. The right-hander had a career-high eight strikeouts and walked one.
Chicago's Jon Garland (8-7) allowed eight runs in three-plus innings.
Blue Jays 11, Devil Rays 8
Toronto Tom Wilson hit a three-run homer as Toronto sent Tampa Bay to a team-record 12th consecutive road loss. Tampa Bay, with the worst record in the majors at 29-65, has lost six straight overall and 14 of 15. Esteban Loaiza (4-5) won for the first time in nine starts.
Angels 15, Mariners 3
Anaheim, Calif. Tim Salmon tied a career high with five hits and had five RBIs as Anaheim ended a 12-game home losing streak against the Mariners. David Eckstein had three hits and three RBIs, and Garrett Anderson had three hit for the Angels, who had 20 in all. Anaheim beat Seattle for just the seventh time in 28 games and closed within three games of the AL West leader.
All-Star right-hander Freddy Garcia (11-6) lost for only the second time in nine decisions.