The Yankees opened the 2005 season with a 9-2 win. Randy Johnson led the way with six innings of stellar pitching, though Hideki Matsui should be credited with an outstanding defensive play that prevented the Red Sox from scoring more than one run in the top of the second.

Every Yankee starter contributed a hit or an RBI in the victory and Tanyon Sturtze added two innings of spotless relief while the outcome was still in question. Tom Gordon pitched into and out of trouble in the ninth to close the door on the Red Sox. The Yankees took the lead in the third inning when Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui drove in runs and David Wells balked in one. Matsui added a two-run homer in the eighth to pad the Yankee lead.

For the Yankees, this was a long awaited victory, they had spent the last five months stewing over their collapse against the Red Sox and Sunday night marked a small step toward redemption. These two teams will meet again Tuesday afternoon as Carl Pavano and Matt Clement get their first taste of this great rivalry.

Image by Vincent Laforet/NY Times