The Yankees downed Boston 5-3 last night in the first of a crucial three-game series. Andy Pettitte was masterful for New York, surrendering six hits in seven innings, while the Bombers hammered Boston hurler Daisuke Matsuzaka. Johnny Damon's tie-breaking homer in the seventh handed closer Mariano Rivera a two-run lead, and the Yankee ace blanked Boston for his 21st save.
The win lifts the Yanks to seven games back of Boston in the American League East, a margin they're hoping to narrow before the Sox skip town on Thursday. Meanwhile, New York's Derek Jeter, dogged recently by a knee injury, blasted out of his recent hitting slump with a solo homer in the fifth inning. (Read more New York Yankees stories.)