Red Sox ready to resume rivalry with Yankees

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 19, 2003

Fresh off another win at Fenway Park, the Red Sox are all set.

Bring on the Yanks!

Boston won while New York lost Sunday, leaving the longtime rivals tied for the AL East lead.

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And what timing, too: They'll meet for the first time this season on Monday night, opening a three-game series in Beantown.

''I think those baseball gods kind of work in weird ways, don't they?'' Red Sox manager Grady Little said.

''On the eve before the Yankees are coming into town they kind of put us in a tie and I don't guess that any of us would have it any differently.''

The Red Sox improved to 15-6 at home as Manny Ramirez homered and John Burkett pitched seven solid innings to beat Anaheim 5-3.

New York kept stumbling. John Thomson pitched a three-hitter as the Texas Rangers completed their first three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium in the franchise's 43-year history, 5-1.

The Yankees have lost six of seven and dropped three straight series for the first time since May 1999.

''I see a team that's flat. We're reeling in all aspects,'' general manager Brian Cashman said.

Cashman, naturally, has been in daily contact with owner George Steinbrenner.

''He feels the way you think he would feel,'' Cashman said.

The Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs are the only teams in the majors that have not lost three in a row this season.

Nomar Garciaparra extended his hitting streak to 19 games, Bill Mueller had three hits and Jason Varitek drove in two runs for Boston.

In the Bronx, the team that began the weekend with the worst pitching in the majors continued to shut down New York.

Texas held New York to eight hits in winning the final two games and outscored the Yankees 18-8 in the series.

''Anytime you're not scoring, it looks like the team is flat,'' Yankees star Derek Jeter said. ''It looks pretty bad when you're not pitching, you're not hitting, you're not playing defense.''

Slumping slugger Jason Giambi went 0-for-3, dropping his average to .203.

Mariners 6, Tigers 2

Mike Maroth dropped to 0-9 as Detroit lost to Seattle at Comerica Park.

Maroth gave up six runs in five innings. He joined Ted Gray (1953) as the only Tigers pitchers to lose their first nine decisions of the season.

Heathcliff Slocumb was the last major league pitcher to start out 0-9, doing it in 1997 with Boston and Seattle. The record for consecutive defeats to open a season is 14, by Joe Harris (1906) of the Boston Pilgrims and Matt Keough (1979) of the Oakland Athletics.

Bret Boone, Carlos Guillen and Greg Colbrunn homered as the Mariners swept the three-game series.

Twins 3, White Sox 2

Minnesota moved into sole possession of first place in the AL Central lead for the first time this season, rallying in the eighth inning against sloppy Chicago.

Tom Gordon's wild pitch let the tying run score and the Twins took the lead when shortstop Jose Valentin threw away a double-play replay.

The three-game sweep at the Metrodome gave the Twins a half-game lead over Kansas City. They trailed the Royals by eight games on April 28.

The Twins, however, lost first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz to a sprained left ankle. He hurt himself when he stepped on Chicago third baseman Joe Crede's foot, and Minnesota will make a decision Monday on whether to put Mientkiewicz on the disabled list.

The White Sox lost their eighth in a row at the Metrodome.

Blue Jays 4, Royals 3

Josh Phelps hit a three-run homer and Toronto completed a three-game sweep at Kansas City.

The Royals have lost 8-15 after starting the season at 16-3.

Phelps connected in the sixth inning, sending the Blue Jays to their 12th win in 16 games.

Kelvim Escobar pitched three innings for Toronto in his first start since 2001. He had 38 saves last season, but had a 7.79 ERA in 15 relief appearances this year.

Escobar, whose fastball was clocked at 99 mph against the Royals, was on a pitch count and pulled after throwing 61.

Athletics 8, Indians 5

Eric Byrnes hit a go-ahead single and Oakland scored five times in the ninth inning to prevent Cleveland from sweeping a three-game series at Jacobs Field.

The Athletics trailed 5-3 before beginning their rally against closer Danys Baez.

Pinch-hitter Chris Singleton tied it with a single and Byrnes put the A's in front, extending his hitting streak to 10 games.

Devil Rays 9, Orioles 8

Aubrey Huff tripled, doubled twice and drove in the tiebreaking run in the ninth inning as Tampa Bay beat Baltimore.

The Devil Rays have won three straight road series for the first time in team history.

Travis Lee had four hits and drove in three runs for Tampa Bay.

Jeff Conine, Deivi Cruz and Melvin Mora homered for the Orioles, who have lost seven of eight.