Streak Stoppers: Yankees Manhandle Red Sox

The Yankees ended several streaks Tuesday night, none more important than their five-game losing streak, by routing the Red Sox 11-3. For at least one night, the Yankees bats broke out of their collective funk, pounding out 13 hits and drawing five walks. Andy Pettitte (5-5) dominated for 7 2/3 innings to break his personal losing streak, and Nomar Garciaparra went 0-4, ending his 25-game hit streak.

Andy Pettitte was given the opportunity to pitch with a lead from the start, when Derek Jeter led off the game with a homerun to left field to quickly make the score 1-0. Jeter pulled Boston starter Bruce Chen's offering, tomahawking it over the left field fence. The Yankees' shortstop, who missed the first month of the season with a dislocated shoulder, had been having trouble with inside pitches.

After Robin Ventura added a solo homerun in the second inning to put the Bombers up 2-0, it was Pettitte's show the rest of the way. The southpaw, who hadn't won in his previous four starts, stifled Boston's offense for 7 2/3 innings, allowing just two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out six batters and grabbing the win.

The Yankees got to Chen (0-1) early and often. The lefty allowed the homers to Jeter and Ventura, then allowed one more to Todd Zeile in the fourth inning, a two-run shot that put the Yanks up 4-1. Chen, starting in place of the injured Pedro Martinez for the second time in a row, allowed four runs on five hits and a walk through five innings, striking out three.

But the Yankees didn't break out until long after Chen was out of the game. The Bombers scored a run in the seventh off of former teammate Ramiro Mendoza on Alfonso Soriano's sacrifice fly.

Things got interesting in the eighth inning when Matt White relieved Mendoza. White, making his major league debut, allowed six runs on five hits and a pair of walks to put the game out of reach for the Sox. White couldn't finish the inning, giving way to Rudy Seanez after handing a free pass to Jorge Posada.

With the score 11-2, Mariano Rivera entered the game to finish off Boston. In an obvious non-save situation, Rivera allowed a solo homerun to Kevin Millar, but by that point it was far too late for Boston.

Jason Giambi went 3-5 with a couple of RBI and a pair doubles to left field, an unusual feat for Giambi, who tends to be a strict pull hitter. Zeile led the Yankees with three RBI and two runs scored, while going 2-2.

Bill Mueller and David Ortiz each had two hits for Boston, but the biggest story was Nomar Garciaparra's 0-4 evening, ending the shortstop's 25-game hit streak.

Before Tuesday, the Yankees had lost eight straight games at home, as well as 12 of their last 13. The win cut Boston's lead to 1 ½ games over the Yanks atop the AL East.

The rubber match of the three-game set between the division rivals is Wednesday at 7:05 pm. Mike Mussina (7-3, 2.54) will look to build on Tuesday's victory as well as to stop his own personal three-game losing skid. Derek Lowe (4-3, 5.27) will take the mound for Boston; Lowe pitched a complete game against the Cleveland Indians in his last outing.

Notes: Jose Contreras (1-1, 8.74) will start on Friday against Detroit in place of David Wells, who is out with a calf injury. Wells injured the calf after being hit there by a batted ball. Contreras hasn't allowed a run in his last five innings pitched … Jeter's homerun was the tenth leadoff homer of his career … Zeile's homerun gave him 238 for his career, the most ever by a player with the last intial of ‘Z'.

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