Yankees pull off comeback on Angels bullpen

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2005

NEW YORK — Hideki Matsui's two-run double in the ninth inning capped a big comeback, and the New York Yankees took advantage of four walks by an exhausted Francisco Rodriguez to beat the Los Angeles Angels 8-7 Saturday.

Bernie Williams and Jason Giambi homered for the Yankees, who got a stellar debut from starter Shawn Chacon and defeated the Angels for only the third time in nine meetings this season.

Los Angeles' normally dependable bullpen blew a 7-3 lead in the last two innings. Giambi's two-run shot off Jake Woods in the eighth cut it to 7-5, and Angels manager Mike Scioscia brought in Rodriguez with one out.

Pitching for the third straight day, he got out of that inning with no trouble, but began to tire in the ninth. The hard-throwing right-hander walked his first two batters before striking out Robinson Cano. Gary Sheffield then walked, and another free pass to Alex Rodriguez made it 7-6.

Obviously gassed, Rodriguez (2-2) threw his 36th pitch of the game to Matsui, who lined it into left-center. It was Rodriguez's fourth blown save in 29 chances this season, and first in six opportunities against New York.

White Sox 9, Orioles 6

BALTIMORE — A.J. Pierzynski and Jermaine Dye hit successive homers in a four-run eighth inning, and Chicago rallied to beat Baltimore.

Joe Crede also connected for the White Sox, who made up deficits of 4-2 and 6-4 in handing the Orioles their 12th loss in 14 games. The defeat dropped Baltimore (51-52) under .500 for the first time since April 9.

Tadahito Iguchi led off the eighth with a walk off Chris Ray (0-3) and Paul Konerko singled with one out before Pierzynski hit his career-high 15th home run, a shot to right that made it 7-6. Four pitches later, Dye hit No. 21, the seventh time this season the White Sox have homered in consecutive at-bats.

Iguchi capped his second straight three-hit game with an RBI single in the ninth.

Neal Cotts (3-0) worked a perfect seventh, and Dustin Hermanson got three outs for his 24th save.

Rafael Palmeiro hit a two-run homer and Brian Roberts had a two-run double for Baltimore.

Athletics 9, Tigers 5

OAKLAND, Calif. — Jay Payton hit a grand slam and drove in five runs to help Barry Zito win his seventh straight start and Oakland won for the 10th time in 11 games.

Payton's homer was the big blow against Nate Robertson (5-9) in a six-run fourth inning that also featured the ejection of Detroit catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Scott Hatteberg added a two-run homer in the frame for the streaking A's, who have won 30 of 37 to move within 2 1/2 games of the Angels in the AL West — their smallest deficit since being two back after games of May 2.

Zito (10-8) gave up five runs and 10 hits in seven innings, benefiting from the run support he lacked when he started the season 3-8.

Red Sox 6, Twins 2

BOSTON — With Manny Ramirez taken out of Boston's lineup amid trade rumors, David Wells allowed two runs in seven-plus innings in a victory over Minnesota.

Ramirez was removed from Boston's lineup just five minutes before the game, though the Red Sox said they had no trade to announce.

John Olerud drove in three runs and Gabe Kapler had two hits and scored twice as Ramirez's replacement.

Wells (9-5) took a shutout into the eighth and gave up seven hits, struck out three and didn't walk a batter.

Olerud singled in a run off Kyle Lohse (7-10) in the first inning. Lohse pitched five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits.

Mariners 3, Indians 2

SEATTLE — Ichiro Suzuki hit a pair of solo home runs — breaking a 75-year-old major league record in the process.

Suzuki led off the fourth inning with a home run, his eighth this season and the first hit allowed by C.C. Sabathia (6-9). That gave him 1,058 hits in his career, the most ever for a player in his first five seasons, breaking the mark set by Paul Waner from 1926-30.

Waner reached 1,057 hits in 747 games, while Suzuki has played 737 games.

Rangers 3, Blue Jays 2

TORONTO — Joaquin Benoit and four relievers combined on a six-hitter and Adrian Gonzalez homered to the lead Texas to its fourth straight victory.

Phil Nevin didn't play for Texas. Acquired a day earlier from San Diego in a trade for Chan Ho Park, Nevin arrived at the Rogers Center just before game time. Manager Buck Showalter said Nevin will DH on Sunday.

Benoit (3-1) allowed two runs — one earned — on five hits, while striking out six and walking three in his third start of the season.

Gonzalez tied it with a solo shot off Jason Frasor (1-5) in the sixth. After Kevin Mench followed with a single, Gary Matthews Jr. hit a comeback to Frasor, whose throw to first hit Matthews on the back of the helmet. The ball ricocheted near the stands and Matthews collided with Hillenbrand at first, allowing Mench to score all the way from first.

Devil Rays 7, Royals 3

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jonny Gomes had the first three-homer game in Tampa Bay history.

Gomes hit solo shots off Zack Greinke (3-13) in the third and fifth innings and another solo homer off Mike MacDougal in the eighth. The rookie has 12 homers in 44 games. Doug Waechter (4-6) won for the first time since June 13 — a span of five starts, allowing three runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings.

The victory tied Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella (1,491-1,391) with Hall of Famer Clark Griffith for 18th place in career wins as a manager.

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