Pride And Andy: Yanks Halt Skid

The Yankees handed the Red Sox a taste of their own medicine on Sunday. After getting knocked around in the previous two games, Andy Pettitte (10-6) shut down the Sox for eight innings and led the Yankees to a 7-1 victory. Curtis Pride homered for the Yankees in his first game with them to help end the three-game losing streak.

In the first inning, things weren't looking good for the Bronx boys. Boston's second batter of the game, Bill Mueller, took a 2-0 pitch from Pettitte and deposited it over the wall in left field to give Boston a 1-0 lead. Pettitte worked out of the inning, but it looked like the Yankees were going to be on the receiving end of things again.

But after the bottom of the inning, that attitude changed. Alfonso Soriano led off with a double off of Boston starter John Burkett, and came around to score on Ruben Sierra's two-out single. Hideki Matsui followed that with a long double to left center that plated Sierra to give the Yankees the lead.

That would be all that Pettitte would end up needing. The southpaw mowed down the Red Sox from the second inning on. Pettitte finished his night after pitching eight innings and allowing just the one run on four hits while striking out ten batters – a season high. It was Pettitte's fifth straight victory after being manhandled by the Cubs on June 8. He joined Mike Mussina and David Wells as the Yankees' third starter with ten wins before the All-Star break.

While Pettitte was dominating the Red Sox lineup, the Yankees were doing their part on the offensive end.

In the fifth, Robin Ventura walked with the bases loaded to drive in a run. The Yankees had two on and nobody out in that inning, but managed to put across just one run.

Later in the sixth, Pride hit his first homerun since 2001, a solo homer to deep centerfield. Pride joined the team just two days earlier, when the Yankees sent Brandon Claussen back down to AAA. Expected to be primarily a pinch runner, Pride was given the opportunity to start because Raul Mondesi is nursing an injury. He certainly made good use of it.

The Yankees added three more runs in the seventh on Soriano's two-RBI triple and Derek Jeter's subsequent RBI single.

Burkett (6-4) took the loss, allowing four runs on ten hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out three but never looked like he was in control of the game. Todd Jones made his second appearance for the Sox and allowed the three runs in the seventh.

Every Yankee in the starting lineup had a hit except for Robin Ventura, who went 0/3 but drove in a run. Matsui had a pair of hits to raise his average to .311, Soriano had three hits to get to .300 and Jeter had three knocks to raise his BA back up to .297.

The Yankees will look to earn a split against the Sox on Monday, but it won't be easy. They will have to face Boston's ace, Pedro Martinez (6-2, 2.53), who will be making his first start against the Yanks in 2003. Mike Mussina (10-5, 3.29) will square off against Pedro in a baseball lover's dream matchup.

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