Red Sox had lost seven straight at Yankee Stadium

NEW YORK (AP) -- Even two lengthy rain delays couldn't slow down

Derek Lowe and the Boston Red Sox.


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Lowe overcame two rain delays to pitch six scoreless innings and

Boston won another road game, snapping a seven-game losing streak

at Yankee Stadium with a 5-2 victory over New York on Friday night.

The game was delayed for 55 minutes at the start and 74 minutes

after Lowe threw four pitches in the bottom of the first.

"It was as awkward a situation as you could have, starting the

game and then stopping right away,'' Lowe said. "But you can't let

it affect you. If you let it affect you, you're weak-minded.''

Nomar Garciaparra tripled and scored on a wild pitch from David

Wells (6-2) to give Boston the lead in the sixth inning. Jason

Varitek hit a two-run double and Tony Clark added a two-run homer

as the Red Sox broke the game open in the eighth.

Boston became the first team in major league history to start a

season 21-4 away from home. The Red Sox extended their lead in the

AL East to two games over New York.

"It's always big to beat them, especially here,'' Lowe said.

"They're a tough team to beat.''

The fans who sat through the delays weren't rewarded with any

Yankees runs until Jorge Posada's two-run homer in the ninth.

New York had won five straight and 18 of 22, hitting 45 homers

in that stretch. But they couldn't generate anything against Lowe

(8-2), who hasn't given up a homer all season.

Lowe allowed four hits and a season-high five walks but avoided

any damage by inducing three double-play grounders and holding New

York hitless in five at-bats with runners in scoring position.

The former closer lowered his AL-leading ERA to 1.95.

"He keeps surprising us,'' manager Grady Little said. "Ever

since day one when he became a starter. He's showed us that he's

the kind of pitcher we need.''

After playing eight times already this season at Fenway Park,

the Yankees finally got to face the Red Sox at home. New York won

the final seven meetings at Yankee Stadium last year, outscoring

Boston 39-19.

But this is a far different Red Sox team and they showed their

tenacity once again, beating New York for the sixth time in nine

games this season.

"It's huge for us,'' said second baseman Lou Merloni, who

started two of the three double plays. "You come here for the

first game and you know they're going to be into it, the crowd's

going to be into it. You want to go out and win that first game.''

Boston finally broke through against Wells in the sixth inning.

Garciaparra led off by hitting a drive over center fielder Bernie

Williams' head. When the ball bounced off the wall and past

Williams, Garciaparra made it to third easily.

One out later, Wells threw a 1-1 pitch up and in to Jose

Offerman. The ball ticked off Posada's glove and went to the

backstop, allowing Garciaparra to score.

"It was one of those days when nothing went our way,'' Posada


Mike Stanton couldn't keep it close in the eighth, giving up the

big hits to Varitek and Clark, who homered for the first since

opening day.

Lowe was not sharp but was able to get a groundball whenever he

needed it.

"I can't remember a game when I pitched so much from the

stretch,'' Lowe said. "It was like being a closer again when I

always pitched out of the stretch.''

With runners on first and third and one out in the first, Jason

Giambi hit into a double play.

After Lowe walked the first two batters in the fourth, he got

Robin Ventura to ground into a double play.

Then with runners on first and second and one out in the sixth,

Posada hit a hard grounder up the middle that Merloni backhanded to

start yet another twin killing.

"He struggled a little bit with his control at times, but when

he needed the groundball he got it,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre


The Yankees have hit into an AL-worst 61 double plays this


Wells allowed one run and five hits in seven innings. He fell to

11-19 in his career against Boston -- his most losses against any


"So far, they've got my number,'' Wells said.

Game notes

The Yankees' partnership with the NBA's New Jersey Nets was

in full force. The Nets' playoff win over the Boston Celtics was

shown during the delays and even during part of Ventura's at-bat in

the second inning. ... Rickey Henderson had two hits to tie Lou

Brock for 21st place on the career list with 3,023. ... Red Sox RHP

Dustin Hermanson (injured groin) shut down his rehab program and

will return to Boston for an MRI exam Monday. ... Lowe hasn't

allowed a homer in 98 innings -- the second longest streak in the

majors to Detroit's Jeff Weaver (99 2/3).