for this game

Mussina sharp as Yankees top Rangers

May 10, 2007 - 3:24 AM BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- While the impending arrival of Roger Clemens has been getting most of the attention, the return of a healthy Mike Mussina is just as important for the New York Yankees.

Mussina won for the second time in as many starts since coming off the disabled list and Derek Jeter drove in three runs as the Yankees rolled to a 6-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.

Clemens has been the center of attention since signing with the Yankees on Sunday, but Mussina's return to form has been a key to New York bouncing back from a shaky start to the season.

After a stint on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, Mussina (2-1) was activated last Thursday and posted victory in Texas, allowing just one run in five innings. He continued to baffle the Rangers in his return to the mound, yielding just two runs and three hits in a season high six innings.

"I've been out there twice and pitched pretty well both times," he said. "It's gratifying. It can come and go in a hurry so you don't take it for granted, but for the first two games out there I feel pretty good about it."

"Any time you have someone coming off the disabled list, you just want to make sure they are healthy," Jeter said. "We know he has a pitch count. But we know he has great stuff and is going to give us an opportunity to win so it's a big plus."

The Yankees provided an early cushion for the veteran righthander, scoring four runs in the first inning as Rangers starter Robinson Tejeda (3-3) allowed the first five batters he faced to reach base.

Jeter - batting third for the first time this season - hit an RBI single and scored in the opening frame and added a two-run single in the fourth.

The Yankees have won eight straight against the Rangers, including all five meetings this season.

Johnny Damon had two hits, a walk and scored twice as New York won for the seventh time in nine games and improved to .500 for the first time since it was 8-8 on April 21.

"We're playing so much better this month than we were last month," Mussina said. "Once you get winning ball games it gets contagious. We're playing the way we should have been playing from the beginning and it's good to see."

Brad Wilkerson homered for the struggling Rangers, who have lost five consecutive games on the road, where they are just 4-13 this season.

Tejeda got an extra day of rest due to tightness in his left hamstring but struggled from the start, throwing 36 pitches in the first inning. He surrendered six runs, six hits and three walks in just 3 2/3 innings.

"After (the first inning) I thought he settled down," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "You have a kid who doesn't have a lot of confidence unless he knows everything is right. You didn't really know what was coming out of his arm."

The Rangers may be dealing with another leg injury after star shortstop Michael Young left the game with tightness in his right hamstring.

Mussina retired the first six batters he faced and allowed just one baserunner after the third. Mark Teixeira singled with two outs in the sixth and was caught trying to stretch it into a double on a strong throw by right fielder Bobby Abreu.

"He was Mike Mussina," Washington said. "He was good. He changed speeds, put a little on, took a little off, moved it around. That's what he does. He just knows how to pitch." Mussina, who is on a strict pitch count as he makes his way back from the injury, did not return for the seventh. He threw 85 pitches, including 59 strikes.

"To have command of the ball like that, it's a little surprising," Mussina said. "It's obviously great that I can change speed and throw strikes - all the things you want to do when you are out there."

New York jumped on Tejeda early as Damon singled and scored on a double by Abreu before Jeter's single made it 2-0. Alex Rodriguez walked and Hideki Matsui plated Jeter with a double and a run-scoring grounder from Robinson Cano gave the Yankees a 4-0 edge.

Mussina ran into his only trouble in the third, allowing a leadoff homer to Wilkerson. Nelson Cruz followed with a double and Chris Stewart walked before Kenny Lofton advanced the runners with a sacrifice.

Michael Young's grounder brought Texas within 4-2, but Mussina retired Teixeira on a fly ball to left field and allowed just one runner thereafter. New York used five relievers in the final three innings, including the struggling Mariano Rivera, who pitched a scoreless ninth.








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

    BATTERIES: TEX - ROBINSON TEJEDA, C.J. WILSON (4TH), JOAQUIN BENOIT (8TH) AND
    CHRIS STEWART
    NYY - MIKE MUSSINA, BRIAN BRUNEY (7TH), MIKE MYERS
    (7TH), SCOTT PROCTOR (7TH), KYL

    May 9 10:11 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DEREK JETER SCORED DOUG MIENTKIEWICZ AND JOHNNY
    DAMON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D JETER ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    NY YANKEES 6 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: A RODRIGUEZ (.358, 0-FOR-0, BB, HBP)

    Rangers vs. YankeesMay 9 8:43 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY MICHAEL YOUNG SCORED NELSON CRUZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C STEWART ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    NY YANKEES 4 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M TEIXEIRA (.261, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers vs. YankeesMay 9 8:07 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRAD WILKERSON (4) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF MIKE MUSSINA.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1, NY YANKEES 4
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: N CRUZ (.200, 0 HR, 6 RBI)

    Rangers vs. YankeesMay 9 7:58 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY ROBINSON CANO SCORED ALEX RODRIGUEZ.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, H MATSUI ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    NY YANKEES 4 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: M CABRERA (.232, 0 HR, 10 RBI)

    Rangers vs. YankeesMay 9 7:33 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY HIDEKI MATSUI SCORED DEREK JETER.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, H MATSUI ON SECOND, A RODRIGUEZ ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    NY YANKEES 3 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: R CANO (.267, 1 HR, 14 RBI)

    Rangers vs. YankeesMay 9 7:30 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DEREK JETER SCORED BOBBY ABREU.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D JETER ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    NY YANKEES 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: A RODRIGUEZ (.358, 15 HR, 39 RBI)

    Rangers vs. YankeesMay 9 7:23 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BOBBY ABREU SCORED JOHNNY DAMON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B ABREU ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    NY YANKEES 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: D JETER (.354, 2 HR, 15 RBI)

    Rangers vs. YankeesMay 9 7:21 PM