needed one pitch to reach a milestone and get the Yankees going again.
New York's leadoff batter hit the first pitch of the game for a homer, his 2,700th career hit, and the Yankees beat the
Boston Red Sox
8-4 Sunday night with five homers off
''We got pitches to hit and we hit them,'' Jeter said one night after Boston's 14-1 win. ''It's not really more complicated
than that. When we hit them, we hit them hard.''
Yankees starter CC Sabathia became the majors' first 15-game winner but wasn't as sharp as he had been, forcing fans hoping
for a pitchers duel between the AL's only two 14-game winners to settle for a power display.
''Beckett is a great pitcher,'' Sabathia said, ''but this lineup is unbelievable.''
hit two homers, matching his output of Friday night, and
also went deep.
''These are humbling deals,'' Beckett said. ''That was a whupping I got today. That's the only words I've got to sum it up.''
Sabathia (15-7) won his fifth straight start but gave up three earned runs and eight hits. He had allowed a total of three
runs in his previous three starts. But he had excellent control with eight strikeouts and no walks.
''You take a little solace in the fact that he's been pitching well,'' said
, who struck out in two of his three at-bats against Sabathia. ''He pitched well and we still got four runs. Ultimately tonight
our guy gave up more.''
Beckett (14-5) was hurt by the long ball for the third straight game, allowing a career-high five homers. He's given up 10
in those three games, the same amount he allowed in his other 22. He lasted eight innings but gave up eight runs on nine hits
while striking out five and walking none. He allowed seven runs in his previous start.
The aces of their pitching staffs figured to shut down streaking offenses that produced a 20-11 win by New York and a rout
by Boston in the first two games of the series. That prospect faded early when the score was tied at 2 after two innings.
The Yankees scored in each of the first five innings.
had four runs off Sabathia before he left with two outs in the seventh.
''These are two of the best teams in baseball, two of the best lineups,'' Sabathia said. ''You've just got to go out and hold
it down the best you can.''
The Yankees improved to 16-4 in their last 20 games and won their 10th series out of 11 since the All-Star break. They lead
by 7 1/2 games in the AL East.
Jeter's homer left him in second place in career hits for the Yankees, 21 behind
. It was his second of the season leading off the Yankees' first inning and tied
for second in team history with 21.
leads with 24 for the Yankees.
Beckett's first pitch in the second inning also cleared the fence as Matsui hit his first homer of the game.
tied it in the bottom half on an RBI single by
and a run-scoring double by
The Yankees made it 4-2 in the third on
's RBI single and Rodriguez's run-scoring groundout. Cano hit his 19th homer, a solo shot in the fourth that tied his career
high, and Rodriguez hit his 22nd, a two-run drive, in the fifth that made it 7-3.
had scored a run in the fourth when Varitek's popup bounced off Cano's left arm as the second baseman overran the ball. That
allowed Bay, who had singled, to score. Baldelli's sacrifice fly in the sixth made it 7-4.
Beckett settled down after Rodriguez's homer and retired nine straight batters before Matsui hit his 23rd with two outs in
''He never feels real hittable. He's always an uncomfortable at-bat,'' Rodriguez said. ''Tonight we got our pitches and we
didn't miss them.''
Notes: Sabathia is 20-2 in August since 2005. ...
started in left field for New York after missing Saturday's game with a bruised right knee suffered when he fouled a pitch
off it on Friday night. ... Boston lefty DH
got the night off against left-hander Sabathia after hitting his 20th homer and driving in three runs Saturday. Manager
, who has been hitting well, at DH and said the
will face right-handers the next three nights against the
Chicago White Sox
's streak of reaching base in 30 straight games ended.