Yankee Offense Wakes Up, Bombers Beat Boston 7-3

It took just four pitches from Boston starting pitcher Casey Fossum for the Yankees to break out of their offensive slump. Alfonso Soriano and Derek Jeter both got hits on the first pitches they saw to put runners at second and third for Jason Giambi. Giambi then slapped a ground ball up the middle - through Boston's shift - for a two-RBI double that gave the Yankees a permanent lead.

Raul Mondesi tripled off of The Green Monster to score three more runs and the Yankees took a 5-0 lead after half an inning.

David Wells (6-1) did not have his best stuff, but pitched just well enough to record his sixth victory of the season. Wells - who pitched with a lead from his first pitch to his last - went 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run on nine hits and a walk - just the third free pass he has allowed this season - while striking out four.

The game looked like it might turn into a shootout in the bottom of the first. Boston centerfielder Johnny Damon doubled to lead off the frame, and advanced to third on Nomar Garciaparra's single. Manny Ramirez drove Damon home with an RBI fielder's choice to make the score 5-1, but Wells struck Kevin Millar out swinging to end the inning.

The game was quiet from the second inning until the eighth. Fossum (4-2) settled down and retired 16 of the next 18 Yankees he faced. The southpaw was charged with the loss after allowing five runs on six hits and two walks through six innings. He also struck out four.

In the eighth inning, the Yanks tacked on two more runs from a two-RBI single off the bat of Jeter. Jorge Posada and Robin Ventura scored on the play.

Not to be outdone in any particular inning, the Red Sox scored a run of their own in the eighth. Kevin Millar doubled to left field with one out, and after Shea Hillenbrand grounded out, Bill Mueller doubled to center to score Millar.

Four Yankees had a multiple-hit game, and Damon paced the Sox offense with a 3-5 performance.

Monday's game was the first meeting between the two division rivals of the 2003 season. The Yankees' victory gave them sole possession of first place in the AL East.

Game two of the three-game set in Boston is Tuesday at 7:05pm. Jeff Weaver (3-2, 4.78) takes the hill for the Yankees to face Boston's ace Pedro Martinez (4-2, 2.83).

Notes: Garciaparra extended his hitting streak to 20 games, tying the 2003 mark set by Tim Salmon earlier this year … OF Trot Nixon was not in the starting lineup one day after leaving the game with tightness in his hamstrings … The Giambi brothers - Jason and Jeremy - are the third pair of siblings to participate in the Boston/New York rivalry. Dom and Joe DiMaggio and George and Bill Dickey are the others … RHP Steve Karsay will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder and might miss the rest of the season. Karsay has not pitched yet in 2003 … RHP Jose Contreras will likely be called up sometime within the next two days.

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