Red Sox 1, Yankees 0
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) _ Manager Kevin Kennedy is new to the Boston Red Sox. He still knows how intense their competition has been with the New York Yankees.
``We’ve got to put one in the win column,″ he said with a laugh before Tuesday’s exhibition game. ``You know we have to beat the Yankees.″
They did as they won 1-0, their first victory in five spring games. New York, 3-3, had its three-game winning streak broken.
``It feels good. Moby Dick was a minnow the last time I won a game,″ said Kennedy, fired as Texas’ manager after last season. ``I lost six straight games in Texas at the end.″
The rivalry that brought you Ted Williams vs. Joe DiMaggio on Tuesday brought Randy Brown vs. Jeff Yurtin.
Brown hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning for the Red Sox. Yurtin, New York’s third baseman, also came up with a man on third, but there were two outs in the ninth and his popup to shortstop Brown ended the game.
The Red Sox had just six hits but four pitchers held the Yankees to three, all singles. With replacement players, it was hardly a typical New York-Boston matchup even though it was exciting.
``As long as the Red Sox are on top, I don’t care what the score is, typical or not,″ Kennedy said.
The crowd of 4,287, Boston’s largest of the spring, included many fans who bought tickets the day of the game. There were lines to enter the stadium as late as the third inning.
For the third straight day, the game was on the line until the final at bat for the Red Sox.
Calvain Culberson (1-0) got the win and Keith Seiler (0-1) took the loss.
Boston got a boost from five players who participated in their first game of the spring _ Brown, catcher Jeff Martin, right fielder Ron Mahay and pitchers Bill Wengert and Steve Hoeme. They had wrestled with the decision of whether to play in exhibition games.
Two pitchers _ Joe Ciccarella and Jason Satre _ said they wouldn’t play and were ordered to leave camp. Second baseman Lou Merloni, surprised to see his name in the starting lineup for the first time, was removed at his request but said later he would play if asked.
Martin also was shocked to be starting after leaving blank a questionnaire asking if he would play in exhibition games.
``I’ve been a little reluctant but I don’t feel I have much of a choice″ considering the alternative was being sent out of camp, he said. ``What could I do? What option would I have?″
He got Boston’s biggest hit, a leadoff double in the fifth. He took third on John Malzone’s sacrifice bunt and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Brown, who hit .224 at Class AA last year.
Wengert, whose brother Don is on Oakland’s 40-man major-league roster, shut out the Yankees on one hit in the seventh and eighth innings.
``I knew it was going to come sooner or later,″ Wengert, 28, said of the team’s request that he play. ``I really don’t think this is going to jeopardize my career to pitch in a few games here.″
Hoeme walked John DiGirolamo leading off the ninth. DiGirolamo advanced to third on a groundout and passed ball before the game-ending popup by Yurtin, whose pinch-hit two-run single helped the Yankees beat Montreal 10-6 Monday.
``I’d been throwing real well″ in the minor-league camp, said Hoeme, who told the Red Sox last week he wouldn’t pitch in exhibition games then changed his mind Monday. ``They said it would be good to get some work up here.″
Mahay made an outstanding catch near the right field fence and doubled and walked in four at bats.