All's Wells That Ends Wells

The real David Wells (13-6) finally came out from whatever rock he was hiding under to help the Yankees pull out a dramatic 3-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox. After losing the first two games of the series badly, the Yankees held Boston's bat stifled long enough to wait for Bernie Williams to crush a key two-run homerun. Wells, who had been in danger of losing his rotation spot, won his first game since July 19.

The Boomer had been in one of the worst slumps of his career heading into Sunday's game. His ailing back had been holding him back and keeping his pitches flat, but he was lights out against Boston. Wells had lost his last three starts and hadn't won any of his previous seven, but he allowed just five hits and an unearned run over 7 1/3 innings for the win.

Boston's Jeff Suppan was equally as brilliant through the early part of the game. Heading into the seventh inning, Suppan had allowed just a single to Derek Jeter. With two out in the seventh though, Jorge Posada worked a four-pitch walk to set the table for Bernie Williams. Williams connected on his first homerun since August 19, and just his 11th all year, to put the Yankees ahead 2-0.

Boston struck back in the eighth inning. With one out Johnny Damon grounded a ball to shortstop but Jeter made a bad throw to first for an error. After Bill Mueller's single moved Damon to second, Wells came out of the game in favor of Mariano Rivera.

Rivera got Nomar Garciaparra to fly out to right for the second out of the inning and bring up Manny Ramirez. Ramirez hit a soft looper into right field to score Damon and cut the lead in half. Rivera then got David Ortiz to ground out to end the inning.

The Yanks tacked on a run in the next inning against Alan Embree. With one out, Alfonso Soriano doubled to right on a strange play where the ball eluded all the fielders. Soriano could have made it to third if he was hustling, but he made up for it by swiping third a few pitches later. Nick Johnson that slapped a single into right field to score Soriano.

Suppan (1-2) took the loss for Boston despite pitching his best game for the Sox. He allowed just two runs on three hits and a pair of walks over seven innings while striking out three batters.

Rivera earned his 33rd save of the season by recording the final five outs of the game.

The win gave the Yankees a 2 ½ game lead over the Red Sox and let them avoid having Boston pull to within a ½ game. The Yankees will continue their 11-game homestand with a makeup game against the Blue Jays on Monday. Mike Mussina (15-7, 3.22) will take the mound for the Yankees to face Toronto's Kelvim Escobar (10-8, 4.30).

Subscribe to today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Total Access Pass, ESPN the Magazine, and all premium content on, Scout™ Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all Websites, and Player Pages, detailing the progress and careers of players from high school, the minors, and the pro ranks.

Sample the Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 5 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual Total Access Pass™ at $79.95.

Subscribe to

Pinstripes Plus Top Stories