Yankees appease The Boss

Posted: Tuesday, June 28, 2005


  Boston Red Sox rightfielder Trot Nixon leaps but can't catch this deep fly which falls over the fence for a two-run homer by Cleveland Indians Grady Sizemore during the seventh inning at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, June 27, 2005. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Boston Red Sox rightfielder Trot Nixon leaps but can't catch this deep fly which falls over the fence for a two-run homer by Cleveland Indians Grady Sizemore during the seventh inning at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, June 27, 2005.

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

BALTIMORE — The New York Yankees found an appropriate response to a verbal bashing from The Boss.

After owner George Steinbrenner openly questioned the desire of the richest team in baseball, the Yankees rallied from a three-run deficit Monday night to hand the Baltimore Orioles their sixth straight defeat, 6-4.

Pinch-hitter Bernie Williams drove in the tiebreaking run with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly to give New York its second straight comeback win. On Sunday night, the Yankees also trailed by three runs before beating the New York Mets.

''It's not healthy to do that. But it feels good when it's over with,'' New York manager Joe Torre said. ''We're fighting our way back.''

Before the game, Steinbrenner issued a statement expressing his dissatisfaction with the inconsistent play of his club, which started the night 38-37 and 6 1/2 games behind first-place Boston in the AL East.

''My patience is a little short by the fact that the team is not performing up to its great capabilities,'' Steinbrenner said. ''The players have to want to win as much as I do.''

New York showed its mettle by pulling out of a 4-1 hole after being held to two hits through five innings by Baltimore starter Daniel Cabrera. The Yankees used a three-run sixth to pull even, then went ahead for the first time in the eighth.

It was the ninth time this season New York won after trailing by three runs. But the Yankees are in third place, and that obviously isn't good enough for Steinbrenner.

''He's the owner. He has all the right to say whatever he wants,'' closer Mariano Rivera said. ''I take it as an inspiration. I take it as a challenge.''

With the score 4-all, Jorge Posada led off the eighth with a single off Steve Kline (2-3). With Jason Giambi at the plate, Kline was called for a balk by home plate umpire Marty Foster. Kline vigorously protested the call, and was ejected by Foster as Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli joined the argument, standing between Foster and the charging Kline.

''He should be upset. There was no balk there,'' Mazzilli said.

Third base umpire Dana DeMuth, the crew chief, said, ''He started and he stopped. Once you start to take your set position, it has to be uninterrupted.''

Jorge Julio then issued an intentional walk to Giambi and Posada took third on a grounder by Ruben Sierra before Williams hit a fly ball to center.

Gary Sheffield added an RBI single in the ninth.

Tanyon Sturtze (2-1) pitched the seventh, Tom Gordon worked the eighth and Rivera got three outs for his 17th save.

Larry Bigbie went 3-for-4 with a homer for the Orioles, whose six-game skid is a season-high.

''It's disappointing, just because we want to get out of this funk and get to winning again,'' Bigbie said. ''We had a chance to win the game and just weren't able to pull it off.''

Baltimore's Rafael Palmeiro went 2-for-2 with two walks, moving within 11 hits of becoming fourth player in major league history with 3,000 hits and 500 homers. His fourth-inning single thrust him past Sam Rice into sole possession of 26th place on the career hits list.

Down 4-1, the Yankees tied it in the sixth. After Sierra hit a two-out RBI single, Cabrera walked pinch-hitter Tino Martinez to load the bases. Rookie Chris Ray then walked Derek Jeter to force in a run, and a passed ball by Sal Fasano let in the tying run.

Indians 7, Red Sox 0

BOSTON — Kevin Millwood pitched six innings of three-hit ball and Travis Hafner had three extra-base hits to help Cleveland snap Boston's seven-game winning streak.

A week after the Red Sox went to Cleveland and stopped the Indians' nine-game win streak, Millwood (3-5) allowed three hits, two walks and struck out six.

Hafner started a three-run rally in the fourth with the first of his two doubles, then hit a solo homer in the seventh, one out after Grady Sizemore hit a two-run shot. Bobby Howry pitched two perfect innings and Scott Sauerbeck completed the three-hitter.

Bronson Arroyo (6-4) gave up seven runs — five earned — in 6 2-3 innings.

Devil Rays 4, Blue Jays 3

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Hideo Nomo pitched seven strong innings and Aubrey Huff hit a three-run homer, leading Tampa Bay past Toronto.

Nomo (5-6) allowed two runs and eight hits for just his third win in 13 starts.

The victory moved Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella (1,479-1,375) within one win of tying Earl Weaver for 19th place on the career list. The Devil Rays snapped a six-game skid at home.

Danys Baez got four outs for his 13th save in 19 opportunities, despite allowing an RBI single to Alex Rios in the eighth.

Carl Crawford and Julio Lugo drew two-out walks from Pete Walker (3-1) before Huff's homer in the third snapped a 14-inning scoreless streak for Tampa Bay.

Twins 3, Royals 1

MINNEAPOLIS — Joe Mays pitched eight sharp innings and Minnesota sent Kansas City to its seventh straight loss.

Mays (4-3) allowed six hits, struck out three and did not walk a batter for Minnesota, which won consecutive games for first time since taking three straight June 5-8. The right-hander had been winless in six starts since shutting out the Blue Jays 4-0 on May 19.

Joe Nathan worked a scoreless ninth for his 19th save in 21 opportunities.

David DeJesus homered and Emil Brown extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games for the Royals, who are 0-7 on their nine-game road trip. Kansas City has scored just 21 runs on the trip.

Zack Greinke (1-9) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings.

Angels 13, Rangers 3

ARLINGTON, Texas — Bartolo Colon won his 10th straight start against Texas, and Vladimir Guerrero homered to help Los Angeles extend its winning streak to seven.

Adam Kennedy hit his first homer of the season and Juan Rivera had four hits for the Angels, who have a 7 1/2-game lead in the AL West over Texas, their largest since Aug. 31, 1995.

Colon (10-4) beat Texas for the ninth time since joining the Angels last season. He scattered eight hits over eight innings, improving to 15-5 lifetime against the Rangers.

Guerrero also had two RBI doubles and has hit in all 28 games he's played against the Rangers — the longest active hitting streak by any player against one team. He is batting .431 (50-for-116) in his career against Texas, all the games coming since he left Montreal to join the Angels last season.

Los Angeles matched its season high with 20 hits. Eight starters had at least two, with Rivera going 4-for-5 with three doubles and an RBI single.

Hank Blalock homered twice for Texas, which has lost seven of eight. Rookie C.J. Wilson (0-2) gave up seven runs — five earned — in 4 2-3 innings.

National League

MIAMI — Julio Franco hit his eighth career grand slam, a pinch-hit shot, and Horacio Ramirez pitched the streaking Atlanta Braves past the Florida Marlins 7-2 Monday night in a game called during the eighth inning because of rain.

Brian Giles, Adam LaRoche and Johnny Estrada — celebrating his 29th birthday — also drove in runs for Atlanta, which has won nine of 11 to move within 2 1/2 games of first-place Washington in the NL East. Rafael Furcal tripled and doubled for his third multihit effort in his last five games.

Ramirez (7-4) yielded one run and five hits in seven innings to win his fourth straight decision. He has beaten the Marlins twice in a week; Florida has managed just one run and eight hits in 12 innings against him this season.

Marlins starter Brian Moehler (2-6) allowed seven hits and three earned runs in seven innings. His ERA rose to just 3.05, yet he's winless in his last eight starts.

Astros 11, Rockies 5

DENVER — Lance Berkman homered and drove in three runs, Wandy Rodriguez was strong into the seventh inning, and Houston beat Colorado pitcher Jamey Wright for the 12th straight time.

Light-hitting Raul Chavez hit his first homer in two years, the third of his career. Jason Lane added a three-run shot for the normally punchless Astros, who had a season-high 18 hits to win for the eighth time in 11 games. Every starter, including Rodriguez (3-3), had a hit by the fourth inning in Houston's seventh straight victory over Colorado.

Most of the offense came against Wright (4-8). He allowed eight runs and a team record-tying 15 hits in seven innings, becoming the first pitcher to lose his first 12 decisions against one team since Don Sutton dropped 13 straight against the Cubs from 1966-69.

Dodgers 5, Padres 4

LOS ANGELES — Jeff Kent was 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs, J.D. Drew and Mike Edwards hit run-scoring doubles and Los Angeles beat San Diego.

Rookie right-hander D.J. Houlton (4-1) allowed four runs — three earned — and five hits with five strikeouts in seven innings, helping trim San Diego's division lead to three games over idle Arizona and 5 1/2 over the Dodgers.

Yhency Brazoban got the last three outs for his 14th save in 17 attempts.

Xavier Nagy homered for the fourth consecutive game and Damian Jackson hit his third in two days for San Diego.

Tim Stauffer (1-4) squandered an early 4-0 lead and remained winless in eight starts since beating Cincinnati in his major league debut on May 11.

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