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Red Sox 2 @ Yankees 10

Saturday June 1, 2002

Mussina W8-2 | 7IP | 5H | 5ER | 1BB | 5K | 4.26ERA

NEW YORK (AP) -- Enrique Wilson had only 20 minutes to prepare to play. Turned out to be plenty of time.

Wilson, a late addition to the starting lineup for injured Alfonso Soriano, hit a tiebreaking grand slam in the sixth inning to lead the New York Yankees over the Boston Red Sox 10-2 Saturday.

"I was ready to play," Wilson said. "That was unbelievable. I'm not used to this. Today was the best time I've had in baseball."

The Yankees backed Mike Mussina with four more home runs to win for the 19th time in 24 games.

Derek Jeter hit a first-pitch leadoff homer and Jason Giambi and Rondell White connected later as New York snapped Boston's four-game winning streak and sent the Red Sox to just their fifth loss in 26 road games.

The Yankees scored eight runs in the sixth and seventh against the Boston bullpen.

"We'd probably be lying if we tell you we're not concerned," Red Sox manager Grady Little said. "We're going to do some serious investigating here in the near future."

With "Moose" calls filling Yankee Stadium whenever he got two strikes on a batter, Mussina (8-2) allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings to win his fifth straight decision.

Mussina has three of New York's four victories against the Red Sox this season. The Yankees hit six home runs in Mussina's 14-5 win at Fenway Park on Sunday night.

"I will not complain one bit about run support," Mussina said. "I was able to keep us right there until we exploded. Sometimes things get a little contagious. One guy hitting homers leads to another guy hitting homers. You can't explain it."

Darren Oliver, whose recent struggles cost him his spot in the rotation, relieved Rolando Arrojo to start the sixth and walked Robin Ventura. With two outs, Oliver (4-5) walked Nick Johnson before Rich Garces came in and hit Jeter with a pitch to load the bases.

Wilson drove an 0-2 breaking ball over the right-center field fence for his second career slam and a 6-2 lead. It was the second home run of the year for the utility infielder, who entered the game batting .172 with three RBI in just 29 at-bats.

"He's a good guy coming off the bench," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "He gets himself ready and he has a sense for when he's going to be needed. Grand slams are a bonus."

Wilson clapped his hands as he rounded first base and watched the ball clear the wall. Urged on by the sellout crowd of 55,699, the largest at Yankee Stadium since Opening Day, Wilson came out of the dugout for his first career curtain call.

"These fans are one of the best in baseball," he said. "To play with this team and put on this uniform is something special. If we keep playing this way I think we're going to go all the way."

Wilson's other grand slam came for Cleveland on Sept. 21, 1998, off New York lefty Andy Pettitte at Yankee Stadium.

"All I heard then was 'Boo!' " Wilson said.

Bernie Williams followed with a single and Giambi crushed his team-leading 15th home run into the right-field upper deck to make it 8-2, then took a curtain call of his own.

Johnson added an RBI single and Jeter a sacrifice fly in the seventh for the second-place Yankees, who cut Boston's lead to one game in the AL East.

Arrojo, making his first start this season after 15 relief appearances, had allowed just one home run in 34 1/3 innings. But the Yankees, who lead the majors with 91 homers in 56 games, took him deep twice.

Jeter, batting leadoff because Soriano was a late scratch with a bruised hip, homered to right-center on Arrojo's first pitch, and White made it 2-0 in the second with his sixth of the season.


Yankees have 15 homers in their last six games.

"The only thing I try to stress to my team is you still have to go out there and think like a line-drive hitter and have good at-bats," Torre said. "And they're doing that. To me, when you just start thinking home runs, you give half the plate away."

Mussina's wild pitch put runners at second and third in the fifth inning, and Rey Sanchez and Johnny Damon followed with sacrifice flies to tie it at 2.

Arrojo, who has beaten New York twice in relief this season, gave up two runs and five hits in five innings. He struck out six.

"I thought I pitched well, but that's a ballclub that takes advantage of every little mistake," Arrojo said through a translator.

Game notes
As part of Project A.L.S. Day, Katie Couric introduced James Gandolfini, wearing a Yankees cap, to recite Lou Gehrig's farewell speech on the field before the game. Gandolfini and other cast members of "The Sopranos" sat in a box with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. ... Soriano was day-to-day. ... Jeter has nine career leadoff home runs. ... The Red Sox have lost eight of nine at Yankee Stadium.


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