painted No. 15 on his catcher's mask to pay tribute to
and delivered a performance that would have delighted the former
New York Yankees
Yup, the Yankees are finally on the board against the rival
Boston Red Sox
Muhammad Ali and a starry crowd watched as the Yankees beat Boston for the first time in nine games this season, with Posada
hitting three-run homers in New York's 13-6 victory on Thursday night.
''We are playing a lot better than we started playing at the beginning,'' Posada said. ''We are pitching better and we're
doing a lot of things well on the mound and at the plate. Hopefully we can carry on and do what we did today.''
Posada had three hits and three RBIs, saluting Munson with the type of all-around game that the former Yankees catcher was
known for before he died in a plane crash on Aug. 2, 1979. Posada said he had never put Munson's number on his mask before.
''Thurman was special to me,'' he said. ''Just wanted to tell everybody that I was thinking about him today.''
also connected for New York, which ended a nine-game skid against Boston dating to last season. It was the Yankees' longest
drought in one of baseball's most heated rivalries since they lost 17 straight from Oct. 3, 1911, to July 1, 1912.
Damon's third-inning shot off
(2-5) was his third in three days, Cabrera and Posada went deep in New York's eight-run fourth and Teixeira delivered the
final blow with his 28th homer leading off the seventh.
''That's an unforgiving lineup in an unforgiving ballpark,''
Despite a career-high seven walks,
(8-2) lasted five innings to win his fourth consecutive start.
''You've got to give credit to the offense for picking us all up and doing the things that they've done great since the second
half,'' he said.
hit a two-run homer in his first start for Boston and
also went deep.
went 0 for 5 and was booed lustily in his first game at Yankee Stadium since he said the union confirmed his name was on the
list of 104 major leaguers who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003.
The AL East-leading Yankees increased their lead over Boston to 3 1/2 games with their fourth consecutive win.
is scheduled to face A.J. Burnett on Friday in the second matchup of the four-game series.
Banged-up Boston played without All-Star outfielder
departed in the fourth inning with an irritated left forearm. Bay re-injured his right hamstring Wednesday night and is expected
to miss at least the first two games against New York, leading to a rare start in left for Gold Glove first baseman
Kotchman's first homer since he was acquired from Atlanta on July 31 gave the
a 3-1 lead in the fourth but Smoltz quickly gave it away in the bottom half, looking nothing like the big-game pitcher Boston
hoped it was getting when it signed him in the offseason.
''I'm not doing it right now,'' Smoltz said. ''I'm a big enough man to stand up here and say I'm not doing it. Time may not
be on my side if this continues. I've been here before, but not like this.''
The Yankees' first five batters reached in their biggest inning since they scored nine runs in the fourth against the Mets
on June 14. Cabrera belted a 1-2 pitch from Smoltz into the second deck in right to give New York a 5-3 lead and Posada capped
the scoring with a shot to center off
Smoltz (2-5) was tagged for eight runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings, sending his ERA to 8.33 for his eight starts this season.
It was his most runs allowed since he gave up eight in a no-decision with Atlanta on May 28, 2006, at Wrigley Field.
''I'm frustrated, all the way around,'' he said. ''Felt good coming in, didn't make pitches.''
Chamberlain gave up four runs and six hits. He hasn't lost since June 18 against Washington.
A sellout crowd of 49,005, the largest at New York's plush new ballpark, delivered a loud chorus of boos when Ortiz came up
with two outs and two on in the first. A fan sitting in left field held up a sign with an asterisk. Ortiz then flied out,
leading to an even louder cheer.
The only testy moment came in the eighth when
threw a pitch over the head of Pedroia, then hit the Boston leadoff man.
Posada walked with Pedroia down the first-base line and Francona came out to talk with plate umpire Derryl Cousins. Francona
said Cousins issued a warning against further trouble.
''I don't know why they're throwing at me, if they were. It's a blowout,'' Pedroia said.
Said Yankees manager
: ''It's very unfortunate that he hit him. It's 13-4. We're not trying to hit anyone.''
NOTES: The Yankees acquired pitcher
San Diego Padres
for a player to be named, announcing the deal during the game. ... The
on the 15-day disabled list because of a bruised left ankle and recalled OF
from Triple-A Pawtucket. ... Yankees pitchers issued 12 walks, their most in a win since 1967 when they walked a dozen in
a 4-3 victory over Boston.