New York Yankees defeat Boston Red Sox, 20-11

As Brad Penny walked off the field, failure in his wake, boos suffused the hot, sticky air in Fenway Park.

He had just begun a meltdown that was far from over, an utter disaster of a game that damaged the Red Sox’ chances of inserting themselves back into the division race. It erased the memory of a just-finished sweep over clearly inferior competition, and left the Sox 7 1/2 games behind in the American League East.

In a game that started as a lovefest with the return ...

BOSTON - How did the Yankees ever lose eight in a row to these guys?

The Bombers beat up the Red Sox on their home turf Friday night, hammering Boston, 20-11, in the highest-scoring game in the history of the storied rivalry.

The win lengthened the Yankees' AL East lead over the Red Sox to 7 1/2 games, meaning their lead when they leave here Sunday night won't be less than 5 1/2 games regardless of what happens over the next two days. Of course, with A.J. Burnett and...

BOSTON - You have to keep in mind that it was Brad Penny the Yankees were pounding into submission. At this point the Red Sox probably would happily swap Penny for Sergio Mitre if given the chance.

Well, OK, perhaps Chad Gaudin.

In any case, Terry Francona then decided to save his bullpen arms by letting Michael Bowden, just up from Triple-A, absorb a rookie beating he won't soon forget.

So as gaudy as the numbers were in this 20-11 victory over the Red Sox Friday...

BOSTON - It is a critical moment in the season for the Red Sox. They are fading in the AL East and clinging to the wild-card lead. And Friday night they were counting on starter Brad Penny. Or at least he used to be Brad Penny.

The righthander who beat the Yankees twice in the 2003 World Series with Florida and then was a two-time All-Star with the Dodgers is no more. Now, Penny has won just once since mid-June, and was a disaster against the Yankees Friday night.

Pe...

BOSTON - Tinkering in the batting cage recently, Alex Rodriguez spread his legs wide and trimmed some of the movement out of his swing. Hitting coach Kevin Long told A-Rod he looked like Albert Pujols - little fidgeting, small leg kick, head centered. "He said, 'I love it, it feels great and I'm going to go out there with it,'" Long said.

Friday night, Rodriguez got some payoff on his Pujols-style stance, going 4-for-4 with a triple, a walk, two runs and an RBI in the Y...