August 19, 2006

Damon’s homers lead Yankees to key double over Red Sox

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Johnny Damon homered in both games of
a day/night doubleheader against his former team mates to help
give the New York Yankees a huge sweep of the Boston Red Sox,
winning 12-4 and 14-11 in American League play Friday night at
Fenway Park.

The Yankees pounded out 17 hits in the opener and had
another 17 hits in the nightcap to take the first two games of
the crucial five-game series between the AL East rivals.

New York now leads the division by 3- games and the sweep
ensures the Yankees will not give up the division lead before
the series ends, even if the Red Sox win the last three games.

Damon had three hits, scored three runs and drove in four
runs in the opener, with his two-run homer in the fifth inning
putting the Yankees ahead to stay.

New York carried a 4-3 lead into the seventh inning before
scoring four runs in that inning and another four in the ninth
to turn the opener into a rout.

Bobby Abreu had four hits to pace the Yankees attack in the
opener, while Derek Jeter had three hits, scored twice and
drove in a run.

Jason Giambi drove in three runs with a pair of hits for
New York, while Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano both had two
hits and two RBI.

Chien-Ming Wang (14-5) allowed three runs on seven hits
over six innings for the win, striking out two and walking

Three relievers allowed just three hits the rest of the

Boston starter Jason Johnson took the loss. Johnson (3-12)
allowed four runs on seven hits in 4-1/3 innings, striking out
three and walking two.

Manny Ramirez hit his 33rd home run of the season for the
Red Sox, while Mark Loretta and newly acquired Eric Hinske both
had three hits in the opener.

In the nightcap both teams had 17 hits, but the Yankees
finally prevailed, using seven pitchers to complete the sweep.

New York scored seven runs in the seventh inning to
overcome a 10-7 deficit against the Red Sox bullpen, winning
despite committing three errors.

Damon had three more hits in the second game and another
three RBI, while Jeter and Cano both drove in three runs.

Melky Cabrera had three hits, scored three runs and drove
in another two runs for the Yankees.

Mike Myers (1-0), the fourth Yankee pitcher, got two outs
in relief and was credited with the victory. Mariano Rivera
pitched the ninth in a non-save situation and gave up the final
Boston run.

Mike Timlin (5-3) was knocked around for four runs on four
hits in 2/3 inning and was the loser in game two of the

Manny Ramirez had four hits for the Red Sox in the nightcap
and drove in a pair of runs.

Loretta had three hits and drove in four runs, while Alex
Cora added three hits and scored three runs and David Ortiz hit
his 43rd home run of the season in the ninth inning off Rivera.

(Writing by Roger Lajoie in Montreal)