Work in Sports
View from the top
Boston breaks tie atop AL East with 4-1 win
Posted: Friday May 26, 2000 11:50 PM
NEW YORK (AP) -- When it comes to the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, anything can happen. On the field, or in the stands.
In a game interrupted when a fan fell from the upper deck onto the screen behind home plate, Boston beat New York 4-1 Friday night on the pitching of Ramon Martinez.
The fan, identified as Stephen Laurenzi, 24, of Yonkers, N.Y., was briefly unconscious as he was sprawled on the screen. Able to walk later, he was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct, police Lt. John Roeder said.
Laurenzi was taken to a hospital for observation. Police said he was OK.
"I've never seen anything like that before," Martinez said. "Only in the movies."
New York, which eliminated the Red Sox in the playoffs last year, has lost nine of 13. The Yankees have dropped six straight regular-season games to Boston.
"It was a great outing," Martinez said. "I'm the kind of pitcher that once I get going, I'm pretty consistent."
Martinez (4-3) allowed seven hits, including Clay Bellinger's home run, in 7 2-3 innings. He struck out five and walked none.
Smart baserunning by the Red Sox and a blunder on the bases by the Yankees helped decide it.
Cone (1-4), in his 10th start of the season, made a bad decision that cost him in the first.
"I think Coney forgot about the guy on first," Everett said.
Frye stayed in a rundown long enough to leave runners at second and third, and Everett followed with his single.
Stanley homered in the third, and Bellinger homered in the bottom half.
In the Yankees fifth, Chris Turner led off with a single and took second on Bellinger's single. Ricky Ledee followed with a single to center and Bellinger tried to advance to third, only to find Turner standing there.
Bellinger was tagged out, and Martinez escaped without allowing a run.
"Bellinger made the right read and the wrong decision," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "Just because you read it as a base hit doesn't mean that everybody does."
"It was just a bad play and there's no excuse for something like that," he said. "You don't like to blame anyone and have them wear the goat horns, but it sure took us out of a big situation."
The Red Sox and Yankees started a stretch in which they play each other 10 times in 28 days. Aside from the first week of the 1995 season, the longtime rivals had not meet when tied for first place since their famous one-game playoff for the AL East title on Oct. 2, 1978.
The game marked the start of the Yankees' no-alcohol policy in the bleachers. The bleachers usually hold the most rowdy fans at Yankee Stadium, but the crowd of 54,470 was startled by what happened in the upper deck in the third inning.
With Wilson Delgado of the Yankees batting, Laurenzi fell headfirst onto the netting behind the plate. As play continued for two more outs, the fan remained motionless for about five minutes before suddenly sitting up and raising both arms high.
"He popped up in a drunken stupor and started waving to the crowd," Cone said.
Some fans cheered, apparently thinking he was unhurt, while others booed, believing it was a stunt. Police said it was unclear what occurred, unsure whether Laurenzi jumped or fell.
"It was scary because he didn't move," Torre said. "You thought he broke his neck or something."
Laurenzi then crawled his way into the middle of the ballpark's three decks, leaving a wallet on the screen. Able to walk, he was led away in handcuffs by security personnel.
"Loosen the cuffs, man, they're too tight," he told officers.
After the Yankees finished batting in the third, the game was halted for six minutes while players on both teams and the umpires moved in for a closer look. Beneath the fan, stadium security officers, police and emergency workers gathered with a stretcher, just in case.
"I've seen a lot of different things, this just adds to them," Red Sox manager Jimy Williams said. "It was a high-wire act."
In a game on Aug. 23, 1989, between the Red Sox and Yankees in New York, a 24-year-old man jumped onto the netting. He was not hurt and was charged with reckless endangerment.
Notes: The Yankees hoped to activate SS Derek Jeter, on the disabled list with an abdominal strain, for Saturday's game. He played for Class A Tampa on Friday night and went 2-for-3 and was flawless in the field. "I'm out of here at 10:30," Jeter said. ... The Red Sox hope to activate SS Nomar Garciaparra from the disabled list Saturday. He's been out since May 12 because of a strained left hamstring. ... 2B Chuck Knoblauch was a late scratch from the Yankees lineup because of a strained left forearm.