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Red Sox keep on hitting, pull closer to Yankees

NEW YORK (AP) -- Ramiro Mendoza, not Roger Clemens, defeated his
former team.

Mendoza worked out of trouble to pitch five shutout innings in
his first start since June 2001, and the Boston Red Sox blew out
the New York Yankees again with a 10-2 victory Saturday.

Clemens (8-6) became the second straight Yankees starter to give
up eight runs against Boston's major league-leading offense. Eight
of the nine batters in Boston's starting lineup, all but leadoff
man Johnny Damon, came in with batting averages of .300 or higher,
and the Red Sox began the day with a .298 team average.

David Ortiz homered twice for the second game in a row, and Trot
Nixon hit a two-run shot in the second that put Boston ahead as the
Red Sox connected three times after hitting seven homers in
Friday's 10-3 win.

Ortiz had a solo shot in the fourth against Clemens and a
two-run drive off Jason Anderson in the ninth.

Boston, with its second straight win in the four-game series,
pulled within two games of the AL East leaders. The Red Sox broke
the game open with a three-run fifth that included a two-run single
by Damon, who had three RBI.

After New York fell behind 8-0, Jorge Posada and Jason Giambi
hit solo homers off reliever Brandon Lyon.

Mendoza (2-3), who signed with the Red Sox in December after 11
seasons in the Yankees' organization, had been on the disabled list
since June 13 because of tendinitis in his right knee. He had made
131 relief appearances since his previous start, a 10-6 loss to
Atlanta on June 9, 2001.

He allowed at least one runner in every inning, letting the
leadoff batter reach in the second, third and fourth, but hung
tough and gave up just six hits, all singles. Robin Ventura
grounded into 4-6-3 double plays in the second and fourth innings,
and Mendoza got Ruben Sierra to hit a weak comebacker with the
bases loaded and two outs in the fifth.

Sierra left six runners on in the first five innings, and New
York stranded seven in that span and 11 in all.

Clemens, who pitched for the Red Sox from 1984-96, dropped to
7-4 against Boston in the regular season, including 1-2 this year.
He allowed eight runs against the Red Sox for the second straight
time, and Boston fans among the sellout crowd of 54,948 taunted him
with a sing-song chant of "Ro-ger, Ro-ger."

Game notes
New York RF Raul Mondesi, out of the starting lineup for
the first time this season, probably will miss three or four days
because of a strained hip flexor, according to Yankees manager Joe
Torre. ... Nixon also hit a two-run homer off Clemens on May 28,
2000, a ninth-inning drive that gave Pedro Martinez a 2-0 win. ...
To make room for Mendoza, Boston optioned RHP Ryan Rupe to Triple-A
Pawtucket of the International League. ... New York 1B-DH Nick
Johnson, sidelined since May 15 because of a stress fracture in his
right hand, hit off a tee for the first time Saturday. ... Ortiz
has four multihomer games in his career, doubling his total in a
24-hour span.