Schilling becomes AL's first to nine wins; Sox top Yanks

NEW YORK (AP) -- For Curt Schilling, his ninth victory of the

season Thursday night was another strange outing. Eight innings

pitched, four hits allowed, three of them home runs in a 9-3 Boston

victory over the New York Yankees.

It left him pleased but puzzled.

Short Hops

The walking-wounded Yankees get a little breather from the AL East this weekend as the Oakland Athletics come to the Bronx.

To read more of the Thursday night Short Hops, click here.

"It was another weird game," Schilling said. "I go through

periods like that and it's no singles. That's the way it's going.

Mentally, I'm trying to stay positive. I'm still searching."

Schilling became the first nine-game winner in the American

League, riding a 15-hit Boston attack to an easy victory. Jason

Varitek drove in four runs, three of them on a home run that broke

the game open in the seventh inning.

But Schilling (9-2) was troubled with what happened before that.

In the first inning, the Red Sox scratched out a run on three

singles. In the bottom of the first, Johnny Damon tied the game for

New York with a leadoff home run.

"Three hits and we scrapped to get a run," Schilling said.

"One hitter and the game's tied. I've been doing that."

Bernie Williams and Robinson Cano also homered for the Yankees,

each of them with the bases empty. For Yankees manager Joe Torre

that was a tipoff on Schilling.

"The mark of a good pitcher is giving up homers with the bases

empty and Schilling has done that," Torre said. "He's not going

to beat himself. He's not going to walk people. He nade a couple of

mistakes with the splitter. That's two homers. He throws a lot of

strikes. He makes you beat him."

Schilling retired the last 12 batters he faced. He threw 96

pitches, 62 for strikes, struck out four and walking none.

Damon, who also had a double, thought Schilling was vulnerable.

"He was definitely not as sharp as he can be," he said. "His

splitter didn't have that bite. But he doesn't walk guys, He wasn't

trying to strike guys out."

The home runs gave New York a 3-1 lead before the Red Sox came

back against Jaret Wright (3-4) in the sixth inning.

Manny Ramirez led off with a walk and Trot Nixon singled to

right. Varitek's single to left scored Ramirez and when Mike Lowell

was hit by a pitch, loading the bases, Wright was finished.

Scott Proctor relieved and surrendered a sacrifice fly to Kevin

Youkilis, tying the score at 3-3.Then Alex Gonzalez doubled off

third baseman Alex Rodriguez's glove, scoring Varitek and giving

Boston the lead.

An inning later, the Red Sox padded their lead, batting around

against Proctor and Scott Erickson. David Ortiz opened with a

double and Ramirez was walked intentionally. After Nixon flied out,

Varitek hit his sixth home run of the season, making it 7-3. When

Erickson relieved, Lowell singled, Youkilis was hit by a pitch, the

runners advanced on a passed ball and Coco Crisp added a two-run


The Red Sox bunched three hits for a run in the first but could

have had more.

Singles by Crisp, Ortiz and Ramirez gave Boston the lead with

one out. After Nixon walked, loading the bases, Varitek hit back to

Wright, who fumbled the ball but still had time to start and

inning-ending double play.

Damon tied it for New York leading off the bottom of the first

against Schilling with his eighth home run of the season. The ball

hit the screen attached to the right field foul pole and was his

third leadoff homer this year and the 19th of his career.

Williams put the Yankees in front in the second inning with his

fourth homer of the season and second in two games.

In the fifth, Cano made it 3-1 with his third home run of the


Game notes
Ramirez's two singles gave him 17 hits in 33 at-bats

against the Yankees this season. He has 14 RBI in 10 games. ...

Red Sox 2B Loretta accounted for all three outs in the Yankees

fourth, throwing out Jason Giambi, Rodriguez and Jorge Posada....

Schilling had allowed 10 home runs in 12 previous starts this

season including three against the Yankees on May 10. ... Yankees

had won four straight against Boston before Thursday. ... Tom

Glavine of the New York Mets became the first nine-game winner in

the majors Wednesday night.