Beaned Again

The Yankees ran smack into some familiar faces on Saturday afternoon. On a blazing hot day in the Bronx, the Yankees were held down by their former teammate Ramiro Mendoza, while his new teammates pounded the Yankees for the second straight night. When all was said and done, the Red Sox took the second game of the four-game series by a final score of 10-2.

With the victory, the Red Sox pulled to within two games of the Yankees at the top of the American League East.

David Ortiz, who contributed a pair of homeruns to Friday's barrage, hit two more homeruns to provide the power for the Sox. In the fourth, he hit a solo homerun off of Roger Clemens. And in the ninth, he connected on a two-run shot off of Jason Anderson to cap the scoring.

The Red Sox got on board in the second after Clemens made two bad pitches in a row. He hit Kevin Millar on the hand with a pitch and, on the very next pitch, served up a homerun to Trot Nixon that gave Boston a 2-0 lead.

The Yankees never got into the game, despite putting plenty of runners on base. Mendoza wasn't sparkling, and allowed at least a hit in each inning he pitched. But the Yankees were their own worst enemy, stranding a total of 11 runners in the game, and grounding into double plays.

New York didn't get on the scoreboard until it was already 8-0 Boston. After Mendoza left the game, and Brandon Lyon came in to start the sixth, Jorge Posada hit a solo homerun to break up the shutout. Jason Giambi added a solo homerun in the next inning, but it was much too late to make any difference in the game.

Clemens (8-6) took the loss, allowing eight runs – seven earned – in 5 1/3 innings on six hits and two walks. The Rocket struck out three batters but allowed two homeruns as he did nothing to stop the Yankees skid, which has now reached three games.

Mendoza (2-3) worked himself in and out of trouble several times, but came away with a win and a really good line. The former Yankee reliever lasted five innings and didn't allow a run despite giving up six hits and a pair of walks. It had been nearly two years since Mendoza's last start.

Boston is now playing with the house's money for the next two games. No matter what happens over the next couple of days, Boston has earned at least a split in a road series with the Yankees. Andy Pettitte (9-6, 4.78) will pitch for the Yankees and try to stop their sudden string of poor play. Boston will send John Burkett (6-3, 5.26) to the mound to face the Bombers.

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