NEW YORK (AP) – Wearing a new number on his broad back, David Wells was in top form against his old team.

Wells emerged from an ugly slump by pitching into the ninth inning, and David Ortiz hit two long home runs to lead the Boston Red Sox over the New York Yankees 7-2 Sunday night.

Edgar Renteria also homered and got four more hits for the Red Sox, who took two of three at Yankee Stadium to leapfrog New York into second place in the AL East behind Baltimore. Boston begins a three-game series against the Orioles on Monday night at Fenway Park.

The Yankees had won six straight series since dropping three of four at Tampa Bay from May 2-5.

After the Red Sox got 27 hits in a 17-1 rout Saturday – their biggest blowout ever against their longtime rivals – they came out swinging again, piling up 14 hits against Mike Mussina (5-3) and three relievers.

Ortiz, the 2004 AL championship series MVP against New York, drove in four runs and matched a career high with four hits. Renteria went 10-for-12 in the series with two homers, six RBIs and five runs scored. Manny Ramirez added three hits, giving him seven in two days.

All that offense made things easier for Wells (3-4), who swapped uniform numbers with Renteria this week. Wells, who had been wearing No. 3 in tribute to Babe Ruth, had No. 16 on his back Sunday night.

Renteria, who wore No. 3 before he joined the Red Sox, said the idea came from both players. He said he and Wells had been talking about the switch for a while, and Wells finally agreed about three or four days ago. Renteria wouldn’t say how much he had to pay to get his favorite number back, but it was “a lot,” he said.

Wells was 0-2 with a 13.89 ERA in his previous three starts. After his last outing in Toronto, he said he didn’t expect Boston to keep him around much longer if he didn’t improve quickly.

But that’s exactly what he did. Pitching nine days after his 42nd birthday, the left-hander gave up homers to Derek Jeter and Gary Sheffield in the first inning before settling down for his first win since April 20 in Baltimore – he missed three weeks with a sprained right foot.

Wells allowed six hits, walked none and struck out two in 8 1-3 innings.

It was a much better performance than opening night at Yankee Stadium, when he lost 9-2 to Randy Johnson.

Though he was a fan favorite during two stints with the Yankees, the boisterous Wells again was booed by the crowd of 55,235. He responded by improving to 17-9 against the Yankees.

Renteria singled in the first inning and Ortiz sent a 3-2 pitch into the right-field upper deck, but Boston’s first lead didn’t last long.

Jeter led off the bottom half with his fifth homer, and Sheffield lined a shot to nearly the same spot in the left-field stands, tying it at 2.

The Red Sox opened the third with four straight solid hits. Renteria hit his second homer in two days, and Ortiz drove the next pitch into the black batter’s eye in center for his 12th home run.

That sent about six or seven fans scurrying out of the bleachers after the ball, and police soon arrived to clear the area.

Ortiz entered 4-for-34 without a homer against Mussina in the regular season before connecting in consecutive at-bats.

Ramirez then singled and scored on Trot Nixon’s ringing double to left-center, making it 5-2.

Mussina was lifted after throwing 83 pitches in three innings, his shortest start not cut short by injury since going 2 1-3 innings against Baltimore on July 1, 2003. He had won four decisions in a row and pitched 16 scoreless innings in his last two starts at home.

Chien-Ming Wang came on for his first major league relief appearance and gave up three straight hits with two outs in the fourth. Ramirez’s RBI single pushed the lead to 6-2 and gave him singles in seven consecutive plate appearances the past two days. It also made the 2-3-4 batters in Boston’s lineup 9-for-9 in the game. They finished 11-for-15.

Ortiz added an RBI single off Mike Stanton in the eighth.

Notes: Mussina had allowed only four homers in 64 innings this season. … It was Ortiz’s 13th career two-homer game, his second this season. The other was April 23 at Tampa Bay.


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