June 4, 2007


Late A-Rod HR a Boston beater

Red Sox

Associated Press/Winslow Townson
Boston Red Sox’s Julio Lugo gestures at home plate umpire Chris Guccione after he was called out sliding into home against the New York Yankees during the sixth inning Sunday at Fenway Park. Yankees rallied to win, 6-5.

AP Sports Writer

BOSTON  — The Yankees finally have something to savor after winning an intense series from their biggest rivals.
They just don’t have much time to enjoy it.
Fresh off Alex Rodriguez’s solo homer in the ninth inning that gave New York a 6-5 win over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night, the Yankees headed for Chicago hoping to keep closing their huge deficit in the AL East.
“Right now, we have to take baby steps,” pitcher Andy Pettitte said. “If we don’t go and play well in Chicago, this is going to be for nil.”
Besides taking the rubber game of the three-game series, one sign that the Yankees luck may be changing is that they suffered another injury Sunday but, for a change, it wasn’t serious. Pettitte left in the fifth inning with a stiff back but expects to make his next start.
On Saturday, they lost first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz for what manager Joe Torre estimated could be at least six weeks with a broken right wrist when Mike Lowell flattened him after beating the wild throw to first. They also learned Roger Clemens’ return would be delayed by at least one start, which had been set for tonight, because of a fatigued right groin.
On Friday, designated hitter Jason Giambi went on the disabled list with torn tissue in his left foot with a chance he won’t return this season.
But Rodriguez’s homer, Mariano Rivera’s save, and excellent fielding plays by catcher Jorge Posada and right fielder Bobby Abreu made the flight to Chicago more pleasant.
“Obviously, it doesn’t make a huge dent in the lead that the Red Sox have, but I think it did a great deal for our confidence,” Torre said.
The Yankees trail the Red Sox by 12 1/2 games in the AL East, but Sunday’s win kept them out of the division cellar.
And they did it against two of the AL’s best pitchers. Starter Josh Beckett is 8-0 and Jonathan Papelbon (0-1) is one of the top closers.
Rivera, though, is one of the greatest of all time and he got a big out to start the ninth when David Ortiz lined out to Abreu.
“It was typical. Yankees-Red Sox. David, Rivera,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “Such a great at bat.”
But Ortiz was out and wasn’t happy after the game that lasted four hours, four minutes and ended after midnight. He was about to take the redeye to Oakland for the start of a four-game series tonight.
“No way you’re going to be in an airplane for six hours and play the next day,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
There was nothing strange about the reception Rodriguez got from the fans, who jeered him throughout the series.
“I heard some, but it’s always in good fun,” he said. “I think the Boston fan always has a lot of fun and I appreciate that. It’s not a big deal.”
On Friday night, many fans held masks picturing a blonde-haired woman in front of their faces — a reference to photos published last week of the married Rodriguez with a blonde woman in Toronto.
On Sunday night, they yelled loudly as he settled under a popup four days after he said something as he passed between — and angered — two Blue Jays infielders, causing one of them to back off and let the ball drop.
Torre thinks it may have been a bigger deal than Rodriguez let on.
“It’s got to take some of the sting out of it, I would think,” Torre said. “Obviously, when you’re dealing with a personal situation, it’s more than just a game at that point.”
Brian Bruney (2-1) got the win and Rivera earned his fifth save — just his second since May 3.
The Red Sox overcame a 4-0 deficit with five runs in the fifth off Pettitte, highlighted by Dustin Pedroia’s bases-clearing triple and Kevin Youkilis’ go-ahead sacrifice fly. But the Yankees tied it at 5 in the eighth on Robinson Cano’s RBI triple.
Papelbon easily retired the first two batters in the ninth, then threw an 0-and-2 pitch that Rodriguez hit into Boston’s right-center field bullpen, giving him at least 20 homers for the 12th straight season.
“It’s important what we do after this,” Rodriguez said. “We were in a must situation where we needed to win this series against a good team. (Now) we’ve got to back it up.”
Notes: Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 13 games. ... The Yankees broke a losing streak of 10 games decided by three runs or less. ... Matt DeSalvo will be recalled from Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre to pitch against Chicago on Monday.




Lias maintains Skyline perfection

BLODGETT MILLS — Sean Lias remained perfect while Clayton Ingrahm and Steve Faatz each notched their third wins of the season at Skyline Raceway Saturday night.
Lias took the led on lap nine of the 20-lap IMCA Modified feature after Pete Neff brought out the caution flag with mechanical problems. Lias led the final 12 laps to capture his sixth win in as many outings.
Ingrahm made the winning pass on the seventh lap of the 20-lap Pure Stock main event after a good side-by-side battle with Norm Whittemore for the top spot. Whittemore drove a strong race to record a season’s best runner-up finish.
Faatz executed a perfect restart to win a one-lap dash to the checkered flag over defending Junkyard Dog track champion Ray Congdon to secure his third victory of the season in the 15-lap feature. Congdon settled for a runner-up finish with
Also picking up checkered flags at Skyline were Tim Howell drove in the Sportsman Modifieds, Greg Erwin in the Four-Cylinder Modifieds and Leon Brockway in the Junkyard Pups feature. Jason Rhodes took top honors in the Mini-Van Enduro.
AT THUNDER MOUNTAIN, fans were treated to some great racing and a special appearance by NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Ted Musgrave. There will more with Musgrave Friday in the Around The Track column. Musgrave did beat Thunder Mountain promoter Dick Stark in a 10-lap match race in the 600cc Modifieds.
In on-track action, Rodney Hart held off his brother, Donnie, to claim the 20-lap Sportsman Modified feature. Hart led from flag-to-flag and held off all challengers, including Kevin Jordan, who was running in the top three when his suffered mechanical problems and headed pit side.
Steven Deinhart won his third Hurricane Street Stocks feature of the season, but he needed to hold off John Cooper, Jr. in a one-dash after a caution lap on lap 19 of the 20-lap main event.
Cooper led the first half of the race before Deinhart moved in front and was pulling away before the late caution flag set up the exciting finish.
Eric Whitby won his first-ever 600cc Modified feature Saturday with a strong run in their 20-lap feature.




Carpetmen capture opening day slugfest

Pat Casselberry went 3-for-3 with a double and Cortland Carpet scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and held on for a 13-12 Cortland Men’s Over-35 Slow Pitch Softball League win over Red Dragon on opening day Sunday.
In other games, Paddy’s Pub edged Gator’s Tavern 6-5 and Friends topped UAW 8-2.
Cortland Carpet 13, Red Dragon 12: The Carpetmen led 6-4 through four innings before Red Dragon scored six runs in the top of the fifth for a 10-6 advantage, Cortland Carpet answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth before adding the winning runs in the sixth. The Dragons did score twice in the seventh to pull within one run, but could not complete the comeback.
Dale Bancroft added a 2-for-3 bat while Tim Bowers was also 2-for-3 with a double for the winners. Mike Myers ad Gary Watts homered for Cortland Carpet.
Sean Babcock was 3-for-4 with one double for Red Dragon while Tim Stogdell also adding a 3-for-4 effort.
Paddy’s Pub 6, Gator’s 5: Paddy’s scored the winning run in the top of the seventh inning to break a 5-5 tie and spoil a Gator’s rally from a five-run deficit. Gator’s scored twice in the bottom of the fourth and tied the game with two runs in the sixth.
Mike DuBrava was 2-for-3 with a home run for the winners while Tom Civiletto was also 2-for-3. Jim Stanton posted a 2-for-4 effort.
Howard Thomas was 3-for-3 to lead Gator’s with Dick Arnold going 3-for-4. Jim Grant, Randy Arnold and Gregg White each contributed two hits to the Gator’s cause.
Friends 8, UAW 2: Friends built a 4-0 lead through three innings and held UAW scoreless until the bottom of the sixth. After UAW closed to within 5-2, Friends sealed the opening night win with three more runs in the top of the seventh.