Struggling trio outshine Schilling

Jason Giambi and Bernie Williams homer and Mariano Rivera finally saves a game vs. Boston in the Yankees' 5-2 win.

Associated Press
Published April 14, 2005

BOSTON - Jason Giambi and Bernie Williams socked it to Curt Schilling, and Mariano Rivera stitched up the victory for the Yankees.

Giambi shook off a steroid controversy and a slump with a two-run homer to break a sixth-inning tie, and Williams added a homer Wednesday night to chase Boston's postseason hero and give New York a 5-2 victory over the Red Sox.

"I've been working hard. It's starting to pay off," said Giambi, who hit .208 last season and was batting .190 this season as he rebounds from an intestinal parasite and offseason reports that put him at the center of baseball's steroid scandal.

"I'm happy with the way everything has been going so far. I think it definitely felt good making a difference in a game. That's what I came here to do."

Rivera came on to a standing ovation from the Fenway fans, who remember him blowing four straight saves against the Red Sox, two in the playoffs as Boston came back from a 3-0 deficit to reach the World Series. This time, Rivera completed the job.

"I don't know if they're happy to see me come in," he said. "They're just being sarcastic. I've been struggling against them."

It was Schilling's first appearance since blood seeped through his sock in Game 2 of the World Series, when he had his right ankle stitched together and shut down the Cardinals to set the stage for Boston's first title since 1918.

The sock went to the Hall of Fame, but Wednesday's outing won't earn Schilling any honors. After holding the Yankees to three hits in the first four innings, he left with two outs in the sixth having given up five runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out five.

"It's a loss," Schilling said, dismissing the suggestion he would be happy to come out of the game healthy. "These count. I get paid to win, period. I don't take positives out of these."

Schilling led the majors with 21 wins in 2004 and did not lose at Fenway last year until Aug.9; that was his last regular-season loss.

Williams, dropped to ninth in the order for the first time since 1995, had three hits and his first two extra-base hits of the season.

Fenway has been bathed in good feelings since Monday's home opener, when the Red Sox handed out their World Series rings and raised the championship banner. So Giambi has been spared much of the heckling that was expected to haunt him after reports that he admitted, during grand jury testimony in 2003, that he used steroids.

Instead, there was just a smattering of "Steroids!" chants before his at-bat and a hearty "Boo!" to greet his drive into the rightfield seats to make it 4-2.