Johnson to face Beckett

Big Unit faces big assignment against Red Sox

After winning the longest nine-inning game in Major League history, the Yankees hope to be a little more economical on Saturday. But as long as the bottom line results in a win, no one in pinstripes will complain.

The Yankees had one of their most productive days of the year Friday, sweeping a day-night doubleheader from the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The twin killing expanded New York's first-place lead to 3 1/2 games over Boston in the American League East.

"Well, as long as it was a victory, I was proud of it," [m]anager Joe Torre said. "Especially in this ballpark, where every game seems like it was the longest game in history. I'm pretty emotional right now at the fact that even after these guys come out of the game, they're all up on the [dugout] railing. This was a meaningful game for us."

Captain Derek Jeter was on the field for all 18 innings Friday, totaling eight hours and 40 minutes of baseball.

"It's better than losing two, but we still have three more games," Jeter said. "We have to take it one game at a time. I think we've been playing pretty well. We didn't pitch as well as we'd like the second game, but hopefully [Saturday] we can keep it rolling."

While the Yankees beat up on the Red Sox's bullpen Friday, forcing everyone but Jonathan Papelbon into action, they too took a hit. Reliever Kyle Farnsworth is unavailable Saturday, and Torre said after Game 2 that he would likely be out several more days after taking a Wily Mo Pena liner off his lower right leg. X-Rays were negative, but he suffered a significant bruise to the calf area.

It's likely bullpen reinforcements will arrive before Saturday's middle game of the five-game weekend series with the Red Sox.

Friday's sweep at Fenway raised New York's record to 7-5 this season against its archrival.

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Josh Beckett (13-7, 5.02 ERA)
In his last start against Detroit, Beckett allowed five runs and six hits over six innings. He had not walked a batter in his last two starts, but gave free passes to four Tigers. He has not won since July 24 and has not pitched more than six innings in his last five starts. Beckett is 1-1 with a 10.80 ERA against the Yankees this year.

NYY: LHP Randy Johnson (13-9, 4.92 ERA)
Johnson recorded strikeout No. 4,500 in a seven-inning win against the Angels in his last start. He allowed eight hits, struck out five and walked just one batter. Johnson has had back-to-back solid outings. He got a win with a two-run, six-inning game against the White Sox on Aug. 9, in which he carried a no-hitter into the seventh.

Player to watch
Johnny Damon went 6-for-12 with a triple, two homers and seven RBIs in the two games Friday. Damon's 20 homers match his career high, set previously in 2004 with Boston. Damon is 14-for-30 (.467) with 11 RBIs in his last seven games against the Red Sox after starting the season just 1-for-16 in his first four games against his former mates.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• WCBS 880 AM, WKDM 1380 AM (Espanol) (Español)

Up next
• Sunday: Yankees (RHP Mike Mussina, 13-5, 3.54) at Red Sox (RHP Curt Schilling, 14-5, 3.83), 8:05 p.m. ET
• Monday: Yankees (RHP Cory Lidle, 9-9, 4.64) at Red Sox (LHP David Wells, 2-2, 6.06), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Yankees (RHP Jaret Wright, 9-7, 4.54) at Mariners (RHP Gil Meche, 9-8, 4.66), 10:05 p.m. ET

Mike Petraglia is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.