Red Sox brawl with A-Rod, KO Yanks

BOSTON (AP) -- There's a little fight left in the Boston Red Sox,

after all.

Bill Mueller hit a two-run homer off Mariano Rivera to cap a

three-run ninth inning and lead the Red Sox to an 11-10 victory

over the New York Yankees on Saturday. The shot brought the Red Sox

pouring out of their dugout for the second time -- the first was

during a bench-clearing brawl when the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez was

hit by a pitch in the third.

"It just shows you how much both teams were hyped up," said

Rodriguez, among four players ejected and forced to watch from

their clubhouses. "Once you're in the moment competing against a

team you really don't like ... you can't really control your


Kevin Millar had four hits and former Yankee Ramiro Mendoza

(1-0) earned the win with two hitless innings. Boston rallied from

a 9-4 deficit despite four errors.

The game, which started after a 54-minute delay, almost was

postponed. The grounds crew wanted to call it off but Boston

players argued for it to go on despite wet grounds -- some Yankees,

told the game wouldn't be played, had already showered.

"The Red Sox wanted to play today," Millar said.

And it turned into another Red Sox-Yankees thriller.

"I'm very, very proud of what our players did today," Boston

general manager Theo Epstein said. "We've been waiting to have

this feeling all year."

With Boston trailing 10-8, Nomar Garciaparra doubled to lead off

the ninth, Trot Nixon hit a long out to the warning track and

Millar, who homered three times on Friday, singled to score

Garciaparra. Mueller homered into the bullpen -- just the second

homer this year off Rivera, who had converted 23 consecutive save


"I was biting my nails the whole time," said Boston catcher

Jason Varitek, who sparked the brawl when he hit Rodriguez in the

face. "It was the hardest game I've had to watch. I think my head

almost hit the ceiling in the locker room. It was awesome."

The Red Sox, who also brawled with the Yankees during last

year's playoffs, were two outs from falling 10½ games behind New

York in the AL East; they have never come back from more than 10

games to win the division.

Instead, Boston is 8½ games back heading into Sunday night's

series finale, fighting with Chicago and Oakland for the wild-card


"Our rivalry is probably -- not probably, it is -- like no other

rivalry," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "It's an emotional

game. You'd like to believe you can play like a board game, but you

can't. There are people involved. There are emotions. It's a

high-energy situation."

Hideki Matsui went 3-for-5 with three RBI for the Yankees.

Ruben Sierra homered to lead off the seventh to make it 10-8 after

the teams combined for 10 runs in a 1-hour, 5-minute sixth inning.

The Red Sox were trailing 3-0 and hitless before Bronson Arroyo

plunked Rodriguez, prompting the AL MVP to stare at the mound as he

moved slowly toward first. Varitek positioned himself in front of

Rodriguez and the two began jawing before Varitek, still wearing

his mask, pushed the Yankees star in the face.

The dugouts and bullpens emptied.

"I told him, in choice words, to get to first base," Varitek

said. "And then it changed from him yelling at Bronson to [us] yelling

at each other, and then things got out of hand."

Several scrums erupted, with Gabe Kapler battling Yankees

starter Tanyon Sturtze, soon joined by Nixon and David Ortiz.

Kapler and Kenny Lofton also were ejected.

"Two guys fighting. They're gone. ... We had to calm down the

situation," plate umpire Bruce Froemming told a pool reporter.

"Then my partners got together and we picked out the guys who were

the most flagrant. There were other guys fighting, too. But we

can't see everybody."

Boston manager Terry Francona was ejected in the fifth inning

after arguing a call by second base umpire Mike Winters on a force

play at the bag.

Sturtze pitched the bottom of the third with blood on his

shoulder from a cut under his left ear, but he left after the

inning with a bruised right pinky; X-rays were negative.

Enrique Wilson went 2-for-3 with a two-run single in the sixth

that made it 9-4.

New York took the lead in the second when Arroyo missed the bag

while covering on a grounder to the second baseman. Jorge Posada

singled to center and Matsui doubled into the left-center gap to

score one; Posada scored on Tony Clark's groundout to make it 2-0.

They made it 3-0 in the top of the third when Bernie Williams

doubled, took third on Derek Jeter's single and scored on Gary Sheffield's double play groundout. That brought Rodriguez to the


The Red Sox, on the verge of dropping out of the division race,

seemed to get a spark from the brawl. They opened the bottom half

with Millar's single and Mueller's double before Mark Bellhorn and

Johnny Damon hit run-scoring groundouts.

After Juan Padilla replaced Sturtze, Garciaparra singled in two

runs to give Boston a 4-3 lead.

Matsui had a two-run double in the sixth, Miguel Cairo had a

run-scoring single and Sheffield drew a bases-loaded walk as New

York sent 12 batters to the plate. Boston sent 10 batters to the

plate in the bottom half, getting a sacrifice fly from Mueller, an

RBI double from Bellhorn, an RBI single from Damon and a

bases-loaded walk by Manny Ramirez.Game notes
Boston acquired LHP Terry Adams from Toronto for Double-A

slugger John Hattig.