Red Sox Throw Pettitte A Beating

It had to happen sooner or later. Andy Pettitte, who had been on a two-month-long hot streak since being rocked by the Cubs in early June, was banged around by the Red Sox in the series opener between Boston and New York. The Red Sox tagged Pettitte for eight runs in less than three innings en route to a 9-3 victory.

Boston wasted little time in getting to work. They notched three runs against the Yankees in the very first inning, scoring on RBI singles by Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and Jason Varitek, and putting the Yanks in an early hole.

Nomar Garciaparra made it 4-0 with an RBI single in the fourth, then Boston broke the game open in the third inning on Johnny Damon's bases-loaded triple that knocked Pettitte from the game. Jeff Weaver relieved and allowed an RBI single to Bill Mueller that scored Damon and gave Boston a 8-0 lead.

The eight runs were certainly more than enough for Pedro Martinez (11-4), who was dominant on Friday. Martinez allowed just a sixth-inning double to Alfonso Soriano that scored a run. Pedro lasted six and allowed just four hits and a walk while striking out nine batters.

Pettitte (17-8) suffered his first loss since August 9. He lasted just 2 1/3 innings and allowed eight runs on nine hits and three walks with five strikeouts. Weaver pitched admirably in relief, allowing just a run on five hits in 4 2/3 innings after Pettitte came out.

The Yankees picked up a pair of runs against Scott Sauerbeck in the seventh when Enrique Wilson grounded into a double play to plate a run. Aaron Boone followed with an RBI single to cut Boston's lead to 9-3. But the Yanks wouldn't get any more.

The game cut the Yankees' lead over Boston atop the AL East to just 2 ½ games. Game two of the three game series is on Friday at 1:20 pm. Roger Clemens (13-8, 4.01) will take the mound for the Yankees to face the knuckleballer, Tim Wakefield (9-7, 4.47).

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