Johnny Damon has been in Boston long enough to know the Red Sox usually come up short against the Yankees.
Apparently his three seasons in Beantown haven't made him as pessimistic as most Red Sox fans.
In a topsy-turvy game that had Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter flying face-first into the stands after catching a popup, New York rallied for two runs in the 13th inning Thursday night to beat the Red Sox 5-4 and sweep the three-game home series.
``I'm sure it's already an instant classic,'' Damon said. ``We still believe we're going to win the World Series. It's never going to be easy in Boston.''
Not at all.
New York extended its AL East lead over Boston to 8 1/2 games. The Red Sox have lost eight of 11.
In other AL games, it was: Cleveland 7, Detroit 6 in 10 innings; Chicago 2, Minnesota 1; Toronto 14, Tampa Bay 0; Oakland 7, Anaheim 3; Seattle 8, Texas 4; and Baltimore 3, Kansas City 2.
The Red Sox haven't won the World Series since 1918, while the Yankees boast 26 championships that often came at the expense of Boston. Just last season, New York rallied in Game 7 of the AL championship series and beat the Red Sox in extra innings on Aaron Boone's homer.
``It was just as exciting, if not more exciting, than Game 7,'' Boston reliever Alan Embree said. ``Somebody had to lose, and it was us. It was incredible the way those guys made those plays.''
Jeter sacrificed himself to record the out that ended the 12th inning. He chased Trot Nixon's fly into left field and made the catch. Jeter's momentum carried him to the side wall, and he hurtled into the plastic seats _ leaving him with a bruised and bloodied face that required attention at a hospital.
``The stomach, the heart, there was no quitting,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre said. ``Jeter, of course, scared the hell out of everybody. Hopefully, he'll be all right.''
Despite his injuries, that included a bruised shoulder, catcher Jorge Posada said Jeter vowed to be back on the field Friday night at Shea Stadium when the Yankees open the second Subway Series of the season against the Mets.
``That's the way Derek is, he has that intensity,'' Posada said.
Manny Ramirez homered twice, including a leadoff shot in the 13th for Boston. But with two outs in the bottom half, Miguel Cairo hit a tying double and scored on pinch-hitter John Flaherty's single.
Tanyon Sturtze (3-0) earned the victory, and Curtis Leskanic (0-4) took the loss.
White Sox 2, Twins 1
At Minneapolis, Carlos Lee hit a two-run homer, Jon Garland pitched seven strong innings and Chicago completed a three-game sweep.
The White Sox won six of seven at the Metrodome this year and moved a season-high nine games over .500.
Garland (6-5) scattered seven hits and won for the first time in five starts. Damaso Marte earned his fourth save.
The Twins wasted an outstanding performance by Johan Santana (6-5), who fanned 12 in eight innings.
Indians 7, Tigers 6, 10 innings
At Detroit, Jody Gerut homered in the 10th inning and Cleveland snapped the Tigers' six-game winning streak.
Dmitri Young hit a grand slam for the Tigers, and Bobby Higginson tied it at 6 with a home run off David Riske in the ninth inning. But Riske (4-2) escaped a jam, and Rick White earned his first save.
Gerut connected off Ugueth Urbina (3-3) to deny the Tigers their first seven-game winning streak since 1993.
Blue Jays 14, Devil Rays 0
At St. Petersburg, Fla., Eric Hinske drove in three runs and had three of Toronto's season-high 20 hits.
Miguel Batista (7-5) has won seven of nine decisions after going winless in his first seven starts. The Blue Jays have posted shutouts in three of his last five outings.
The Devil Rays lost for just the fourth time in 21 games.
Athletics 7, Angels 3
At Oakland, Calif., Damian Miller hit two of Oakland's five home runs, and the Athletics completed a three-game sweep.
Kirk Saarloos (1-0) pitched five-plus shutout innings in a spot start. Saarloos hadn't won a start since Aug. 25, 2002.
Bobby Crosby, Jermaine Dye and Bobby Kielty also connected for Oakland.
Jarrod Washburn (8-4) failed to win for the seventh time in eight starts following a six-start winning streak.
Mariners 8, Rangers 4
At Seattle, Australian left-hander Travis Blackley won his major league debut, and Randy Winn drove in three runs for the Mariners.
Seattle had six doubles among 12 hits and split the four-game series with the AL West-leading Rangers.
The 21-year-old Blackley (1-0) allowed four runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. John Wasdin (1-1) allowed seven runs and eight hits in 2 2-3 innings.
Orioles 3, Royals 2
At Kansas City, Mo., Rafael Palmeiro homered and David Newhan drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh, leading the Orioles to their first series win since late May.
Rodrigo Lopez (6-4) survived a rough first inning and retired his last 15 batters. Jorge Julio earned his 11th save in completing the four-hitter. The Orioles retired the last 24 Kansas City batters.
Zack Greinke (1-5) allowed three runs on seven hits in 6 1-3 innings.