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Saturday September 8, 2001
Red Sox 2 @ Yankees 9

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Mike Mussina didn't come close to perfection. Thanks to Tino Martinez, he didn't need to this time.

Martinez homered twice and drove in five runs while Mussina, who came within one strike of a perfect game at Fenway Park in his last start, pitched the New York Yankees over Boston 9-2 Saturday.

"I had a sense that the way the fans were reacting, Mike was trying to do it again. The first five or six hitters, he had three-ball counts on and then it looked like he was trying to make perfect pitches to them," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

Mussina (15-11) struck out the side in the first inning on 19 pitches.

Troy O'Leary drew a two-out walk in the second from Mussina. Trot Nixon ended the no-hit suspense when he led off the fourth with a line-drive double to right-center field.

"It's just the way the game goes sometimes. You have to get the same guys out six or seven times in a row," Mussina said.

"Sometimes it's harder, sometimes it works out. Today, for me, it worked out," he said.

Martinez, in the final year of his five-year contract with the Yankees, leads the team with 31 home runs and 102 RBI.

"I'm just trying to help the team win. I'm not playing for next year, I'm playing for this year," Martinez said.

Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first inning. He added his 31st homer, a three-run shot, to trigger a seven-run sixth.

Beating the Red Sox for the fifth straight time, the Yankees extended their AL East lead over Boston to 12 games.

For the second straight start, Mussina outpitched David Cone (8-5). Last Sunday night, Mussina won 1-0.

"I thought I had a chance to have good game today, but Tino had other ideas," Cone said. "It was Tino's day all the way."

Mussina, whose perfect-game bid last weekend was broken up by pinch-hitter Carl Everett's two-out single in the ninth, gave up three hits and an unearned run in six innings.

Mussina's string of 23 straight scoreless innings ended with the unearned run in the fifth inning.

Mussina struck out Everett the first two times they faced each other Saturday. Everett grounded out in his final at-bat against Mussina.

Martinez gave Mussina a 2-0 lead in the first inning with his first homer, a drive into the lower deck in right field after a two-out walk to Bernie Williams.

Cone lasted into the sixth when Martinez homered after Chuck Knoblauch's leadoff single and a one-out walk to Williams.

With two out, Jorge Posada, who continues to play while appealing his six-game suspension, singled and Rich Garces relieved Cone.

Garces faced six Yankees before getting the final out with four more runs scoring in the inning.

Nick Johnson walked, Alfonso Soriano doubled and both scored on Enrique Wilson's triple. Another walk to Knoblauch and Randy Velarde's RBI double followed.

Nixon drove in both Red Sox runs with a single off Mussina in the fifth and a groundout off reliever Mike Stanton in the seventh.

Stanton relieved Mark Wohlers with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh.

Game notes
Martinez reached the 30-homer plateau for the third time in his career. He hit 31 in 1995 and 44 in 1997. ... Martinez's multihomer game was the 16th of his career, his second this season. ... Cone is now 1-4 since his seven-game winning streak was broken Aug. 11 in Baltimore. ... Boston's Mike Lansing left the game in the fifth after bruising his left knee in an awkward slide back to first on an attempted pickoff.