J.D. Drew hit an RBI single to spark an eighth-inning rally, then scored the go-ahead run on Mike Lowell's fly ball last night to help the Boston Red Sox beat visiting New York, 4-3, and improve to 8-0 against the Yankees this year.
It's the first time the Red Sox have opened the season with eight straight wins against their New York rivals since they helped christen the brand-new Fenway Park by winning the first 14 matchups against the Highlanders in 1912. The teams don't meet again until Aug. 6.
Takashi Saito (1-0) earned his first AL victory with four outs of scoreless relief, and Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 16th save. David Ortiz hit his third homer in five games.
Brad Penny pitched six shutout innings before the Yankees scored three times off Manny Delcarmen in the seventh to take a 3-1 lead. After cruising through seven innings, CC Sabathia (5-4) ran into trouble when Nick Green hit a leadoff single and Dustin Pedroia walked.
Drew singled to make it 3-2 and chase Sabathia after a season-high 123 pitches. Alfredo Aceves gave up a single to Kevin Youkilis to load the bases, and then another base hit to Jason Bay that tied it. Lowell hit a shallow fly to left-center, and Drew scored as Melky Cabrera's throw bounced into the infield behind him.
In other games:
* At Chicago, Scott Podsednik hit an RBI single off Joel Zumaya with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, giving the White Sox a 4-3 win over the Detroit Tigers.
* At St. Petersburg, Fla., Carlos Pena hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Los Angeles Angels, 11-1.
* At Arlington, Texas, Kevin Millwood (6-4) threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings and the Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 1-0.
* At Baltimore, Russell Branyan went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs as the Seattle Mariners beat the Orioles, 6-3.
* At Cleveland, Shin-Soo Choo's 10th-inning single led the Indians over the Kansas City Royals, 4-3.
* At Oakland, Rajai Davis slapped a single to right to drive in the winning run in the ninth, and the Athletics defeated the Minnesota Twins, 4-3.
* El Duque will try to make a comeback with the Texas Rangers. Orlando Hernandez, who has been part of four World Series championship teams, agreed to a minor league contract with the Rangers. The righthander is expected to join Triple A Oklahoma City for workouts Sunday, and could start pitching for the RedHawks soon after that.
Hernandez last pitched in the major leagues for the New York Mets in 2007, then had surgery on the second toe of his right foot.
Hernandez is 90-65 with a 4.13 ERA in 211 starts and eight relief appearances for the Yankees (1998-2002, 2004), White Sox (2005), Diamondbacks (2006) and Mets (2006-07).
Hernandez won World Series rings with the Yankees in 1998, 1999 and 2000, and with the White Sox in 2005. He was the 1999 ALCS MVP.
* Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Pat Burrell is set to rejoin the team today after missing 29 games with a neck strain.
* Angels righthander Kelvim Escobar was dropped from the rotation after one start and sent to the bullpen because of a lack of stamina in his surgically repaired throwing shoulder.
* Woodie Held, who played for seven AL teams, including the 1966 World Series champion Baltimore Orioles, died at age 77 after a long bout with cancer. *