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Curtis Granderson is fitting in just fine with the World Series champions.
Three games. Two homers. One solo shot in the 10th inning Wednesday night.
The Yankees' new centerfielder hit an 0-and-1 pitch into the right-field seats off Jonathan
Papelbon and New York beat the Boston Red Sox 3-1 on Wednesday night.
"I never go into a situation trying to hit home runs because I still don't consider myself a home run hitter," Granderson said, "but sometimes you look up and you're able to drive the ball out of the ballpark."
Granderson hit 30 homers last year for Detroit, which traded him to New York. He was moving to a team that lost World Series MVP Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon to free agency.
"There's always so many expectations and people want to compare you to the people that left," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "So far he's reacted really well, and that can't be said about everyone who come to New York."
Granderson said he just wants to be "a piece of the puzzle," but Derek Jeter said it can be important for newcomers to play well early in their careers with the Yankees.
"If someone scuffles a little bit, people start asking a lot of questions," he said. "Us, as players, we realize you're going to have ups and downs throughout the course of the year.
So we really don't pay much attention to it, but I'm sure if you're answering questions about it all the time, it probably gets annoying."
Granderson homered in the first game of the season but made the final out in Boston's 9-7 win on Sunday night. He scored a run Tuesday night when New York won 6-4. He has two homers against Papelbon in his career, the only player with more than one.
"I felt really good tonight," Papelbon said. "It's a classic situation where you make one mistake and you pay for it. ... It seems like I've mad a few mistakes to Granderson."
Papelbon (0-1) struck out the next batter. But, after three walks, Mark Teixeira drove in the final run against Scott Atchison on a groundout as the Red Sox wasted an outstanding performance by John Lackey in his first appearance since signing an $82.5 million, five-year contract as a free agent in December.
He allowed three hits in six innings and left with a 1-0 lead.
"I was able to make a couple of big pitches in tough spots," Lackey said. "I had a lot of things on my mind today. With added pressure and being here I wanted to make a good impression."
Andy Pettitte allowed one run in six innings. Then Chan Ho Park (1-1) allowed one hit in three scoreless innings and Mariano Rivera pitched the 10th for his second save.
Pettitte was knocked down trying to tag Jacoby Ellsbury after taking a throw at first base on the first at bat of the game. Ellsbury was safe and Pettitte was groggy.
"I got a little whiplash or something in my neck," he said. "I was in survival mode there for the first couple of innings, that's for sure, but after that I felt like I settled in pretty good."
The Yankees set a record for the modern era with their 17th straight win in regular-season games that were tied after seven innings. They equaled the 1906 New York Giants at 16 on Tuesday night.
David Ortiz had gone 0 for 7 in his first two games following the worst of his first seven seasons with Boston. And after Tuesday night's game, he responded with an expletive-filled tirade when asked about his slow start.
On Wednesday, though, with the crowd chanting "Papi! Papi! Papi!" he gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead in the third with his first hit in nine at bats. His two-out single scored Dustin Pedroia, who led off with a double. But in his other three at-bats, Ortiz ended innings with two strikeouts and a groundout.
The Yankees tied the game in the seventh after Scott Schoeneweis replaced Lackey. Jorge Posada doubled but Granderson struck out. Daniel Bard relieved and, on an 0-and-2 count, allowed Nick Swisher's tying single.
Kevin Youkilis was beaned in the fifth by Pettitte and went to first base without incident. That moved Victor Martinez, who had singled, to second with two outs. Then Ortiz struck out on a low pitch outside the strike zone.
Jeter led off the sixth and was hit by Lackey on a 2-2 pitch, prompting home plate umpire Paul Schrieber to issue warnings to both dugouts.
This program aired on April 8, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.
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