Boston scores five runs in seventh inning

BOSTON (AP) -- Pedro Martinez wasn't around to help the Boston

Red Sox. Jose Contreras was.

Martinez missed his start with a mild strain below his right

shoulder blade, but Boston beat the New York Yankees 10-7 with a

five-run rally against Contreras in his return to the majors

Tuesday night.

"We've done a good job of coming back all year," Boston

manager Grady Little said. "It's not a personal vendetta against


The Yankees beat the Red Sox in the offseason pursuit of

Contreras, a free agent from Cuba who signed a $32 million,

four-year deal with New York.

Boston wanted him to bolster their rotation, but lefty Bruce

Chen did a decent job when he found out a few hours before the game

that he would fill in for Martinez.

"It was very exciting," said Chen, who didn't feel pressure

stepping in for one of baseball's best pitchers. "I didn't think

about it that way. I knew that today was Pedro's start. I knew that

today was a day for me to pick it up for the team."

Boston moved back into a first-place tie in the AL East with New

York, which won Monday's series opener. In Wednesday night's series

finale, Yankees ace and former Red Sox star Roger Clemens goes for

his 299th career win.

Yankees manager Joe Torre thought his team welcomed the absence

of Martinez, who underwent an MRI exam and was listed as


"You get in a little better mood," Torre said. "But

everything is not based on what they do, but what we do."

Chen allowed three runs in four innings before former Yankee

Ramiro Mendoza gave up three in two innings as New York took a 6-4

lead in the sixth.

Contreras (1-1) came in after Jeremy Giambi's RBI single off

Jeff Weaver made it 6-5 and got a double play and a strikeout to

end the sixth. Then Contreras allowed three walks, two hits and a

sacrifice fly before leaving with one out in the seventh.

"I'm going to focus on the positive'' in the sixth, Contreras

said through an interpreter. "I felt a lot more comfortable after

having the results I had previously that everyone's aware of."

Contreras struggled with his control and was sent to the minors

after four relief appearances. He appeared in four games in the

minors before being recalled Tuesday.

"Overall, it was a good outing for him," Torre said. "The

thing that was his undoing in the second inning (was) he went out

there and walked the first hitter."

The key hit was David Ortiz's two-run double that put Boston

ahead to stay, 7-6, and sent New York to its seventh loss in nine


"I faced him once in spring training," Ortiz said. "All he

was throwing then was off-speed pitches. Today he was throwing a

lot of fastballs."

Contreras, whose ERA rose from 10.80 to 15.63, walked three in 1

1-3 innings after walking six in five innings before his demotion.

Alan Embree (3-1) pitched a perfect seventh for the win, and

Brandon Lyon struck out the side in the ninth for his sixth save as

Boston (28-17) got its 13th comeback win.

"We showed again tonight we're a good hitting team and can

score a lot of runs when we need them," Giambi said.

Martinez felt pain below his right shoulder blade while playing

long-toss in the outfield before Monday's 7-3 loss. He hoped to

pitch Tuesday, but Little bypassed him after he still had pain.

Todd Walker started the seventh against Contreras with one of

Boston's eight walks. Nomar Garciaparra doubled him to third, Manny

Ramirez was walked intentionally, and Ortiz doubled in two runs.

Trot Nixon's sacrifice fly made it 8-6 before Bill Mueller

walked. Sterling Hitchcock replaced Contreras and allowed a

sacrifice fly by Kevin Millar and an RBI single by Johnny Damon.

Garciaparra extended his hitting streak to 21 games, most in the

majors this year.

The Yankees got their final run in the eighth on Jorge Posada's

11th homer of the season off Mike Timlin.

They took a 2-0 lead in the first when Alfonso Soriano hit

Chen's first pitch for his 12th homer and Jason Giambi added a

sacrifice fly. Boston got a run back on Garciaparra's sacrifice fly

in the bottom half.

Todd Zeile's RBI double made it 3-1 in the second. The Red Sox

went ahead 4-3 with a run in the third on doubles by Walker and

Garciaparra, and two in the fourth when Mueller doubled and Jason

Varitek hit his sixth homer.

The five sacrifice flies in the game tied a major league


Game notes
Weaver gave up only his second homer of the season. He's

allowed one in each of his last two starts after giving up none in

his first seven. ... Author John Grisham and Massachusetts Gov.

Mitt Romney attended the game. ... Zeile went 3-for-4 to snap a

2-for-26 slump.