Yankees saved by Cabrera catch

The Associated Press
New York Yankees' Melky Cabrera, left, goes over the wall to make a catch off a hit by Boston Red Sox' Manny Ramirez as Yankees' Johnny Damon (18) looks on in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game at Yankee's Stadium. The play helped preserve a 2-1 Yankees win.

AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK — Perhaps the best reaction to Melky Cabrera’s game-saving catch that robbed Manny Ramirez of a tying homer Tuesday night came from Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.
“That’s why I hit mine 500 feet,” Ortiz said. “Then I don’t have to deal with that.”
Cabrera made a leaping catch in the eighth inning, and the New York Yankees edged Boston 2-1 behind a strong start from Chien-Ming Wang. Ortiz’s third-inning homer accounted for the only run for the Red Sox.
The Yankees’ left fielder by necessity not choice, Cabrera went to the wall and brought back Ramirez’s drive for the final out of the eighth. The catch was so good, it had center fielder Johnny Damon jumping and pumping his fist in celebration.
Cabrera, whose early experience in left field filling in for injured Hideki Matsui was not always pretty, called this the best catch of his life. Speaking through a translator, he said, “I was aware of the score and I followed the flight of the ball. I knew I had it all the way.”
He might have been the only one.
Boston manager Terry Francona called the catch “devastating.”
“I knew it was going to be close,” he said. “It was a pretty big play at a pretty big time of the game.”
On his way out to left field, Ramirez passed Cabrera. “He said, ‘You should let that ball go out,”’ Cabrera recalled. “I said, ‘I’m trying to win.”’
Wang (6-2) and Boston rookie David Pauley (0-1) dueled on even terms into the seventh inning with Ortiz and New York’s Bernie Williams accounting for the only runs with homers. With two outs in the Yankees’ seventh, Miguel Cairo sent a squibber under the glove of Pauley and past second baseman Mark Loretta for a single.
“If I come up with that, we get out of the inning and it’s 1-1,” Pauley said. “I just didn’t get my glove down far enough. It was a matter of inches.”
Damon followed with a single and Cabrera walked on four pitches, chasing Pauley. With no left-hander in his bullpen, Francona brought in right-hander Rudy Seanez, and left-handed swinging Jason Giambi walked on a 3-2 pitch, forcing home the go-ahead run.
Then came Cabrera’s clutch catch at the 399-foot sign in left-center as he leaped to rob Ramirez of a homer off Kyle Farnsworth. The rookie tumbled to the ground with the ball for the third out as a smiling Ramirez watched in disbelief and mouthed “Wow!” Cabrera got a warm greeting from Farnsworth as he returned to the dugout and came out for a curtain call.
The first-place Yankees (35-22) have won the first two meetings of a four-game series, both without ailing captain Derek Jeter (bruised right thumb), to move 11/2 games in front of Boston in the AL East. They won for the ninth time in 11 games overall and moved a season-high 13 games above .500.
Mariano Rivera worked a perfect ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances. His 391st save moved him ahead of Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley into sole possession of fourth place on the career list.
The Red Sox took the lead in the third inning when Ortiz hit his 17th home run. With the Yankees playing an exaggerated shift to the right side, Ortiz pulled a 1-0 pitch from Wang off the facing of the upper deck in right field.
Ortiz routinely hits into the shift, refusing to bunt or settle for singles to left field. Francona said he’s not bothered by the slugger’s refusal to go the other way.
“That’s not why he’s here,” Francona said. “He hits 40 homers and drives in 140. That’s why he’s here.”
Williams tied it for the Yankees leading off the fifth with his third home run on the first pitch from Pauley.
Before Tuesday night, Wang was 0-2 with a 6.04 ERA against the Red Sox. He allowed eight hits in seven innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
Notes: The Yankees got nine hits, ending their franchise-record streak of reaching double digits at 12 games. ... New York 1B Andy Phillips turned an unassisted double play in the third when he grabbed Trot Nixon’s line drive and doubled Ramirez off first base. ... Ramirez was thrown out by Damon in the sixth as he tried to stretch a single into a double.


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SUNY Cortland Stadium plays host to NYS Final Four in Girls' Lacross

All three defending state champions, two of them from Section 3, will be on hand Friday as their respective New York State Public High School Athletic Association Girls’ Lacrosse Final Fours get underway at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex.
Heading up the list is two-time defending champion Fayetteville-Manlius in Class A (known as Division I in 2004). The Hornets, who come in with an 18-4 record, take on Section 11’s Farmingdale (16-2) at 4 p.m. Friday after Section 1’s Yorktown (18-1) meets Webster Thomas (16-4) from Section 5 at 1:30 p.m. Friday’s winners meet for the state title at noon Saturday.
Skaneateles (19-3) is the defending state Class C champion, and will go against Shoreham-Wading River from Section 11 in an 11:15 p.m. semifinal Friday after Penn Yan (21-1) from Section 5 and Section 1’s Rye (16-3) clash at 9 a.m. The winners battle for the Class C state crown at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
Brighton (18-1) from Section 5 returns after winning it all in Class B last year, going against Glens Falls (17-3) from Section 2 at 6:15 p.m. Friday. Immediately following, Corning East (18-0) from Section 4 and Section 8’s Garden City (18-0) collide at 8:30 p.m. The Class C championship game is 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Corning East advanced to the semis by knocking off Section 3 champion Carthage 10-6 last Saturday. The Comets had won the Section 3 title two days before with a 9-6 win over Cortland.
IN NEW YORK State regional play at Corning East Stadium, West Genesee got three goals from Tim Desko in a 13-5 victory over Binghamton in Class A, Corning East scored four unanswered goals in the fourth period in a 7-2 win over New Hartford in Class B and Syracuse CBA got five goals from Devin Daly in a 14-11 victory over Chenango Forks in Class C.



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