NEW YORK (AP) -- Every time the fans booed, David Ortiz responded
by reaching base.
Ortiz doubled twice and walked three times, helping the Boston
Red Sox beat the Yankees 5-2 Saturday in the opener of a day-night
Ortiz was quoted in Monday's editions of The Boston Globe as
saying power hitters deserve MVP awards, remarks some took as a
putdown of Derek Jeter's qualifications. Ortiz was booed loudly
every time he batted and greeted with chants of "Derek Jeter!"
"I didn't expect it," Jeter said.
Jeter said Ortiz's remarks were "over with." The Yankees star
joked with the Boston slugger when Ortiz was at second base.
"Nothing any different than we always do," Jeter said. "You
joke around a little bit when you're playing against people."
Ortiz was not available to reporters between games, but manager
Terry Francona spoke about the fans' chants and boos.
"It's the way he reacts to every reception," Francona said.
"He didn't lose his focus, which was good."
New York blew open the AL East with a five-game series sweep at
Fenway Park from Aug. 18-21 and entered this series with a six-game
winning streak, its longest of the season. Friday's rain, which led
to consecutive split doubleheaders, gave way to sunshine that had
Yankee Stadium's famous late-season shadows creeping from the
right-field line in the late innings.
"Winning tonight doesn't take back last month," Francona said.
New York's magic number for clinching its ninth straight
division title remained at six, but the Yankees' AL East lead is a
comfortable 10½ games over second-place Boston, which began the day
7½ games back of Minnesota in the wild-card race.
"We're still trying to win a division, so our intensity level
has to remain up," Jeter said. "It's not like we're playing and
we have nothing to play for. We still have to win some games."
Jeter singled in the fifth inning, extending his hitting streak
to 24 games, the longest for the Yankees since current batting
coach Don Mattingly had a 24-game run in 1986.
Jeter went 1-for-5 to leave his league-leading average at
.34446, just ahead of Minnesota's Joe Mauer (.34388), who played
"We've got two weeks left. I'm not even thinking about that,"
Josh Beckett (15-10) allowed four hits and five walks in six
innings, but the only hit that cost him was Robinson Cano's two-run
homer in the second. Beckett took over the team lead in wins, with
one more than Curt Schilling.
"I definitely had to learn the hard way in a few starts this
year," Beckett said. "Did I win enough? No, and most of that was
my fault. I need to stick to my game plan and not be wishy-washy
Keith Foulke allowed his first two batters to reach in the
eighth, then got three straight outs, and Mike Timlin finished for
his sixth save. New York had its leadoff man on in each of the last
four innings without scoring.
Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang (17-6) lost for the first time
in six starts since Aug. 13, giving up three runs and nine hits in
five-plus innings. Given that he's 10-3 at Yankee Stadium, he
appears likely to start one of the first two playoff games along
with Randy Johnson or Mike Mussina.
"He, Moose and Randy, as far I'm concerned, I trust them all,"
Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
Boston rallied in the fourth, when Trot Nixon doubled leading
off and Eric Hinske reached on an infield single, with Jeter making
a diving stop and then throwing from his knees only to have the
ball skip past first baseman Jason Giambi.
New York relievers Ron Villone and Brian Bruney combined to walk
four straight batters in the seventh, including Nixon with the
bases loaded, and Octavio Dotel threw a run-scoring wild pitch in
Boston's lineup was missing outfielders Manny Ramirez (knee) and
Coco Crisp (sore finger), while several other regulars were rested
in the opener. The Red Sox were just 3-for-17 with runners in
scoring position, and the Yankees 0-for-7.
New York plans to have Gary Sheffield play in a simulated
game before a batting practice on their trip next week before
activating him. Sheffield had wrist surgery on June 13. ... Johnson
was to start the second game for the Yankees, facing Julian
Tavarez. ... Hideki Matsui will return to left field during the
final homestand, Torre said.