Yankees show no mercy

Posted: Tuesday, September 07, 2004

NEW YORK After a daylong wait for an afternoon doubleheader that got turned into a single night game, the New York Yankees found their 1-2 punch.

On another unusual day in the Bronx filled with talk of a forfeit, Hurricane Frances caused the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to arrive three hours after the scheduled start.

Alex Rodriguez then got shifted into the No. 2 spot in the batting order and stroked a three-run double for his first hit with the bases loaded in more than a year. Derek Jeter, batting leadoff for the second day in a row, scored a pair of runs and Orlando Hernandez won his seventh straight decision to lead the Yankees over the Devil Rays 7-4 Monday night, Tampa Bay's season-high eighth straight loss.

''It's kind of fun hitting behind Jete and in front of Sheff,'' Rodriguez said, referring to Gary Sheffield. ''It's a good spot to be in. Hopefully, we'll generate a lot of runs.''

Fouled up by the hurricane, which caused consecutive postponements against Detroit on Saturday and Sunday at Tropicana Field, the Devil Rays' charter didn't even take off from Florida until five minutes before the doubleheader was scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

Major league baseball then switched it to a single night game at 7 p.m., just one hour after the Devil Rays arrived at the ballpark.

The Yankees, with ''1G'' still up on the scoreboard to record the first-game score, asked the commissioner's office to award them a forfeit, a request commissioner Bud Selig made clear he would reject. Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, said the other game will be rescheduled soon, possibly during the remainder of the series, which runs through Thursday. The Yankees threatened to refuse to make up the game this week.

Orioles 4, Twins 1

BALTIMORE Daniel Cabrera pitched three-hit ball into the eighth inning, and Jose Leon and Melvin Mora had two RBIs apiece to lead surging Baltimore past Minnesota.

Tigers 7, Royals 3

DETROIT Craig Monroe homered and Omar Infante drove in three runs to back Wil Ledezma's six strong innings.

White Sox 7, Rangers 4

ARLINGTON, Texas Carl Everett homered and Chicago took advantage of Texas' season-high five errors. The White Sox won their fourth straight to move 7 1/2 games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins in the AL Central.

Indians 5, Mariners 0

SEATTLE C.C. Sabathia threw a five-hitter for his second career shutout and Omar Vizquel hit a two-run homer to lead Cleveland over Seattle.

Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-4, getting singles in the third and ninth innings to push his season hits total to 226 31 short of George Sisler's 1920 major league record. Suzuki has 25 games remaining.

Red Sox 8, Athletics 3

OAKLAND, Calif. David Ortiz homered and drove in four runs to lead Boston to its 12th win in 13 games, a wild victory over Oakland.

Manny Ramirez and Ortiz hit consecutive home runs in the fourth inning off Barry Zito, and Bronson Arroyo (8-9) won his third straight decision. Bill Mueller and Dave Roberts each hit RBI doubles in the seventh, and Ortiz added a three-run double in the ninth.

The Red Sox remained 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Yankees in the AL East.

Mark Kotsay homered twice for Oakland, but later erupted in anger when third-base umpire Brian Knight ruled Ramirez caught his sinking liner in left in the eighth. The ball appeared to bounce on the grass before Ramirez's backhanded stop, and replays showed the ball hitting the field.

When Kotsay fielded Kevin Millar's single on one hop in the ninth, he held the ball up in a sarcastic gesture as if he'd caught it. Fans then began throwing plastic bottles and garbage on the field from all directions, causing a short delay.

Zito (10-10) didn't let a baserunner past second until he gave up both home runs in the fourth.

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