for this game

Pettitte, Rodriguez lift Yankees over Rangers

May 9, 2007 - 3:48 AM BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- The New York Yankees are inching closer to .500 and their starting pitching is a significant reason why. On Tuesday, they also had some help from their corner infielders.

Andy Pettitte pitched seven effective innings, Alex Rodriguez hit his major league-leading 15th home run and Doug Mientkiewicz scored a pair of runs to lead the Yankees to an 8-2 victory over the Texas Rangers.

Since losing two of three at home to the rival Boston Red Sox, the Yankees have won six of their last eight games and have received great starting pitching, a trend started a week ago in Texas when prized pitching prospect Philip Hughes took a no-hitter into the seventh before injuring his hamstring.

"It means everything," Rodriguez said of the good pitching performances. "We can swing the bats as well as we can but if we don't pitch and we don't play defense, we're not going anywhere.

"It really is a stabilizer for me, the way you can organize your bullpen," New York manager Joe Torre said. "That's the only way you're going to win games consistently, is to pitch a quality game."

Pettitte (2-1) was embarrassed by not being able to get out of the fifth in an 11-4 loss to the Red Sox on April 27 but his last two outings have been outstanding.

Five days after allowing two runs and five hits in six innings at Texas, the veteran lefthander was equally effective Tuesday night, allowing one run and seven hits.

"He had everything going good," Texas third baseman Hank Blalock said of Pettitte. "When he has that cutter and two-seamer working down in the zone, he can be pretty effective."

In his first victory since April 10 at Minnesota, Pettitte struck out four, issued one walk and threw 68 of 108 pitches for strikes.

"I felt good. Early I wasn't locating my fastball in the first few innings like I wanted to," Pettitte said. "But after the first couple of innings, I was able to start locating again. I felt good, it was a good night."

He also had tremendous support from Mientkiewicz at first base, both defensively and offensively. Mientkiewicz scored New York's first run on Derek Jeter's RBI double in the third and added another run in the in the fourth on Jeter's single.

The Yankees blew the game open with a four-run fifth that chased Texas starter Mike Wood (0-1). Jason Giambi opened the frame with a walk and, two pitches later, Rodriguez deposited an 0-1 pitch into the right-center field bleachers for a 6-1 edge.

It was the 479th home run of Rodriguez's career but the All-Star third baseman's first blast since April 23 in Tampa Bay.

"I just let the ball travel," Rodriguez said. "I've been about six inches off, reaching a little bit. I was a little more patient tonight and let the ball travel a little more."

Hideki Matsui followed with a walk and moved to third on Jorge Posada's single, which knocked out Wood. Lefthander Ron Mahay entered and gave up Robinson Cano's RBI double and Mientkiewicz's sacrifice fly.

Before the big inning, Mientkiewicz recorded all three putouts in the top of the fifth. After missing a tag on Gerald Laird's bunt attempt, he beat him to the bag for the first out.

"You just try to keep Andy out of the play because you don't need him getting hurt on a ball like that," Mientkiewicz said.

Texas scored its lone run off Pettitte in the third on Sammy Sosa's RBI single. The Rangers had a chance for more but Sosa was gunned down at the plate by right fielder Bobby Abreu as he tried to score on Blalock's double.

"That was a big lift," Pettitte said. "That was a great play. I kind of thought we were going to get him with a couple of good throws because he hit it so hard in the corners. I didn't think they would really try but it was closer than I thought."

The Yankees tied it in the bottom half on Jeter's double and took a 3-1 lead when center fielder Jerry Hairston Jr. misplayed Matsui's flyball for a three-base error.

Wood, who was filling in for Kevin Millwood, lasted just four-plus innings and was reached for eight runs - six earned - and nine hits.

"I thought Wood battled," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "He was just having problems with two outs trying to get the third but I thought he battled. I thought he left his heart out on the field. Once again, that's not an easy team to pitch to."

After sweeping Toronto at home over the weekend, the Rangers failed in their bid for a season-high fourth straight win. They also lost their seventh straight contest to the Yankees and managed just two hits in the final six innings.

"They did what they had to do and we didn't," Washington said. "They had two-out base hits, scored runs. We can beat the Yankees. We can beat the Yankees, what have we played them, four games? We haven't beat them yet, but it ain't over with yet."

Scott Proctor recorded two strikeouts in the eighth, including one of Sosa on a fastball clocked at 99 miles per hour. Sean Henn finished up in the ninth.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 9 1
    NY YANKEES 0 0 3 1 4 0 0 0 x 8 12 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TEX - MIKE WOOD, RON MAHAY (5TH), FRANK FRANCISCO (8TH) AND GERALD
    LAIRD, CHRIS STEWART (7TH)
    NYY - ANDY PETTITTE, SCOTT PROCTOR (8TH), SEAN HENN
    (9TH) AND JORGE P

    May 8 10:07 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CHRIS STEWART SCORED NELSON CRUZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C STEWART ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    NY YANKEES 8 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: J HAIRSTON JR (.220, 0-FOR-4)

    Rangers vs. YankeesMay 8 9:59 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY DOUG MIENTKIEWICZ SCORED JORGE POSADA.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, R CANO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    NY YANKEES 8 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J DAMON (.256, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Rangers vs. YankeesMay 8 8:45 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ROBINSON CANO SCORED HIDEKI MATSUI.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, R CANO ON SECOND, J POSADA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    NY YANKEES 7 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: D MIENTKIEWICZ (.233, 2-FOR-2)

    Rangers vs. YankeesMay 8 8:44 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ (15) TO RIGHT CENTER
    WITH 0 OUT IN THE 5TH OFF MIKE WOOD SCORED JASON GIAMBI.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1, NY YANKEES 6
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: H MATSUI (.263, 0-FOR-2)

    Rangers vs. YankeesMay 8 8:33 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DEREK JETER SCORED DOUG MIENTKIEWICZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, 1 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    NY YANKEES 4 END BOTTOM, 4TH

    Rangers vs. YankeesMay 8 8:23 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY JERRY HAIRSTON JR ALLOWED DEREK JETER AND ALEX
    RODRIGUEZ TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, H MATSUI ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    NY YANKEES 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J POSADA (.358, 1-FOR-1)

    Rangers vs. YankeesMay 8 8:06 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY DEREK JETER SCORED DOUG MIENTKIEWICZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D JETER ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    NY YANKEES 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J GIAMBI (.302, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers vs. YankeesMay 8 8:01 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SAMMY SOSA SCORED MICHAEL YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S SOSA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    NY YANKEES 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: H BLALOCK (.282, 1-FOR-1)

    Rangers vs. YankeesMay 8 7:52 PM