Jose Contreras; Photo: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

The Yankes got exactly what they needed last night from Jose Contreras. Contreras pitched six and two-thirds of three hit, one earned run innings. The Yankees beat Tampa Bay 7-1 and maintained their 6 game lead over the Boston Red Sox.

Pitching was the key to the Yankee win last night. After Contreras left the game, Paul Quantrill (who is on pace to pitch in every Yankee game this season) pitch 2/3 of an inning before handing over the reigns to Mariano Rivera for the final five outs. The Devil Rays were held to one run on six hits.

Derek Jeter, Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui provided the offensive firepower for the Bronx Bombers. Sheffield blasted his 15h homerun of the year and drove in two runs. Jeter doubled twice and knocked in 2 and Matsui added 2 RBI.

The Yankees continue the four game series tongiht at the Stadium. New York will pitch, Javier Vasquez (9-5, 3.50) and Tampa Bay sends journeyman John Halama (403, 3.88) to the hill. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.