Lowe allows career-high nine runs

NEW YORK (AP) -- Johnny Damon hit the second pitch of the night

into the right-field upper deck. The Red Sox looked as if they were

ready to burst by the Yankees again.

Then, New York made Boston's April dominance seem like distant



height=90 align=right alt="Tony Clark">



height=90 align=right alt="Gary Sheffield">


Gary Sheffield hit a three-run homer, Tony Clark sent a rare

drive into the center-field bleachers and Javier Vazquez beat the

Red Sox for the first time in his career, leading the Yankees to an

11-3 victory Tuesday night.

"We were jacked up for this one," Sheffield said.

With Vice President Dick Cheney looking on and a sellout crowd

of 55,231 yelling from the first pitch, there was a postseason

atmosphere at Yankee Stadium. And the Yankees, who went 1-6 against

Boston in April and dropped 4½ games out of first, responded with a

playoff-type performance, opening a season-high 6½-game AL East

lead over the second-place Red Sox.

"After the way they manhandled us the first time, you're

wondering how you stack up," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

New York has never failed to finish first after leading by at

least 6½ games. The 1933 Yankees led by six, then finished behind


"You want to try to get some breathing room," Derek Jeter


Damon had a pair of solo homers and David Ortiz hit his 20th,

tying teammate Manny Ramirez for the league lead. But the Red Sox,

seeking to win four straight at Yankee Stadium in one season for

the first time since 1986, were done in by atrocious defense and a

poor outing by Derek Lowe (6-7), who allowed a career-high nine

runs, although just five were earned.

"They beat us pretty much in every facet of the game," Lowe


After the long first-inning homer, Damon put the ball deep into

the right-field bleachers in the third. That was the high-point for


"Johnny Damon was like Babe Ruth tonight," Rodriguez said.

Following a 15-6 start, the Red Sox have gone 27-27 since April,

putting pressure on themselves to keep up.

"We have to do better," Boston manager Terry Francona said.

Hideki Matsui, 11-for-19 (.579) against Lowe with 11 RBI, hit a

tiebreaking two-run single in a three-run third that made it 4-2.

It came one pitch after Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, running on their

own decision, pulled off a double steal.

"That's just some of the little things that help you win

games," Jeter said. "You pick your spots."

New York had four steals to match its season high, and Jeter had

three hits to raise his average to a season-best .272, up from .189

on May 26.

The Red Sox, who have lost six of nine overall, made three

errors and allowed four unearned runs, raising their total to a

major league-leading 58. Shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, who missed

the April games with Achilles tendinitis, was Boston's Achilles'

heel, allowing Jeter's two-out grounder in the fourth to kick off

the heel of his glove for his second error of the game.

"There were just too many mistakes out there," Damon said.

Sheffield followed with a three-run homer that boosted New

York's lead to 7-2. Fans responded with chants of "Thank you,


"We try to make plays. There's nothing wrong," Garciaparra


Second baseman Pokey Reese bobbled Jorge Posada's fifth-inning

grounder, failing to help turn what would have been an

inning-ending double play. Clark followed with a two-run homer,

joining Bernie Williams and Danny Tartabull as the only players to

reach the center-field bleachers more than once since the remodeled

Yankee Stadium opened in 1976.

Rodriguez, 7-for-28 in the April games against Boston after

going 1-for-17 at Fenway Park, was 1-for-4 with an RBI grounder, a

walk and a single that bounded off third base and 20 feet into the

air -- it would've been a run-scoring double had it not hit the bag.

Boston outscored the Yankees 35-19 in April and beat Vazquez

(9-5) twice, dropping him to 0-3 against the Red Sox. This time, he

matched his season best with eight strikeouts, allowing three runs

and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. The three homers matched his

career high.

Cheney, who visited both clubhouses after batting practice,

watched part of the game from the box of Yankees owner George

Steinbrenner and part from a first-row seat next to the Yankees

dugout, where he sat between New York Gov. George Pataki and former

New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Cheney was booed when he was

shown on the right-field videoboard during the seventh-inning


But mostly it was a night of cheering in the ballpark.

Next up, Boston sends Tim Wakefield (4-5) to face Jon Lieber

(5-5) and Pedro Martinez to pitch against rookie Brad Halsey (1-1).

"This team is resilient," Kevin Millar said. "You shower, you

think of what you could have done better and you come back


Game notes
Williams and Tartabull reached the CF bleachers three times

each. Clark became the first player to do it with both the Yankees

and a visiting team (Detroit). ... Millar had a 12-pitch at-bat

when he struck out in the third. ... One fan hung pictures of

former Boston manager Grady Little from the upper deck for each of

Vazquez's strikeouts.