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Red Sox Bring Yankees Back Down to Earth
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The Boston Red Sox ended the Yankees's mini-revival with a 7-3 victory on Tuesday, a day after New York had completed back-to-back wins over their two main rivals to instill a belief they had recovered from a poor start.

Manny Ramirez jolted the Yanks with a three-run homer off starter Mike Mussina in the first inning to fuel a victory that restored Boston's AL East-lead to 10 games over New York (20-24) and Toronto (20-24).

Boston's Mike Lowell added a solo shot down the leftfield line in the fourth.

Julian Tavarez, Boston's fifth starter in the rotation, celebrated his 34th birthday by improving to 3-4, working 5 2/3 innings and giving up two runs on just three hits.

The Yankees expected better results after beating the New York Mets on Sunday and the Red Sox in Monday's opener of their three-game series.

"We thought 'three runs, big deal'," former Red Sox and current Yankee centerfielder Johnny Damon told reporters about falling behind on Ramirez's blast.

"The past couple of nights we were able to score at least six runs," he added.

"Especially going up against their number five (pitcher), we were hoping to be able to scratch and claw our way back in the game. It seemed like we were close a few times but nothing really materialized."


The Yankees wasted two golden opportunities to rally.

In the fifth and eighth innings they had the bases loaded with one out, but scored a single run both times on ground-outs by Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada, two of their hottest hitters.

Mussina was downcast after the defeat, particularly miffed at leaving a tepid fastball over the plate that Ramirez crushed for Boston's early advantage.

"You can't do that in a game like this. You can't put your team in a situation like that. It's frustrating," said Mussina, who gave up seven runs on 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings.

The veteran right-hander yielded five runs in 5 1/3 innings in his previous start against the Chicago White Sox.

"Sooner or later I got to figure what's going on. I can't continue to pitch like this. I don't want to pitch like this.

"It's depressing, it's frustrating, it's disappointing. It's not what we need. I can't stand it, so I have to get to work and figure this out and get going in the right direction and give these guys a chance to win ball games."
(CRI via Reuters May 23, 2007)

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