for this game

Mussina sharp as Yankees hold off A's

Jun 30, 2007 - 3:31 AM BRONX, New York (Ticker) - The New York Yankees continued to struggle at the plate and left little margin of error on the mound. But on Friday, it was enough for an important win.

Mike Mussina tossed seven solid innings as the Yankees scored both of their runs in the first inning en route to a 2-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the opener of a 10-game homestand.

The righthander was stellar throughout, allowing just one run and six hits, while striking out three and walking one. Mussina threw 84 pitches and allowed three runs or less for the fifth consecutive start.

"I feel pretty good about it," Mussina said. "We found a way to win a ballgame. We did it the old-fashioned way, we played some good defense, did some decent pitching. It's been a tough last 10 days or so and it's nice to get in here (and win)."

"Even though he may not be throwing them a 90 mile-per-hour fastball when he has as many weapons as he has, he can do some things when he's ahead in the count," New York manager Joe Torre said of Mussina. "I thought he did that better tonight than he's done all year."

The Yankees (37-39) won for just the second time in their last nine games but their bats also remained cold. Before Thursday's game in Baltimore was suspended in the eighth inning and with the Yankees holding an 8-6 lead, their lineup had averaged 2.6 runs during that poor span.

Friday also was the rare instance in which they won when scoring three runs or less. New York had dropped its previous 18 games when failing to score more than three but also won for just the second time in 22 games when doing so.

"Today was a big day," Mussina said. "We only got two runs but we found a way to win a game with two runs, so you have to do that once in a while and, if you're going to be a good team in the end, you need to win games like this."

With the win, the Yankees improved to just 5-13 in one-run games.

"I know we've struggled out of the bullpen, but one run has to be enough," Torre said. "Winning clubs make that stand up, and I know our numbers are awful in one-run games."

Mussina (4-5) pitched twice on the the Yankees' 1-7 road trip and his offense scored just three times for him in losses at Colorado and San Francisco.

New York nearly matched that total in the first as Alex Rodriguez lined an RBI double with two outs and scored on Jorge Posada's base hit to left to take a 2-0 lead in the opening frame.

The Yankees also may have been facing the right opponent. Oakland has lost eight of its last nine games and has scored 13 runs in its last seven losses.

"We played good enough, hit the ball good enough and pitched pretty well," Athletics manager Bob Geren said. "But we didn't win."

The night did not begin well for Mussina as he walked Shannon Stewart. But he retired the next seven hitters and 17 of the next 21 before running into some trouble in the seventh.

Eric Chavez opened the inning with a double off first baseman Andy Phillips' glove and went to third on Mark Ellis' single. Chavez scored when Dan Johnson hit into a double-play but after the ball went off Mussina's left leg, the righthander retired Bobby Crosby on a long fly out to center field.

Kyle Farnsworth struggled through the eighth, allowing one-out hits to Stewart and Mark Kotsay. Closer Mariano Rivera began warming up and came into the game after Nick Swisher struck out.

Before Rivera finished his warmups, Farnsworth was caught by television cameras throwing his glove against the dugout wall and slamming his hat down.

Rivera worked the count full on Jack Cust but escaped the jam by fanning Oakland's designated-hitter and still held the one-run lead in the ninth as he notched his 10th save.

Oakland put the tying run on as Dan Johnson was hit by a pitch, but pinch runner Donnie Murphy was stranded when Crosby struck out.

"It was awesome," Rodriguez said of Rivera's performance. "He just reminded you why he's the greatest closer of all-time."

While Mussina was effective, so was Oakland starter Joe Kennedy, (2-6) who is winless in his last four starts. The lefthander allowed two runs and just six hits in six innings.

"I left a pitch middle in to A-Rod and he hit it off the wall," Kennedy said. "And Posada hit a changeup. I had guys on base the whole game and was able to make good pitches and get big outs."








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

    BATTERIES: OAK - JOE KENNEDY, DALLAS BRADEN (7TH) AND JASON KENDALL
    NYY - MIKE MUSSINA, KYLE FARNSWORTH (8TH), MARIANO
    RIVERA (8TH) AND WIL NIEVES

    HOME RUNS: OAK - NONE
    NYY

    Jun 29 9:49 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Athletics vs. YankeesJun 29 9:39 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DAN JOHNSON HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING ERIC CHAVEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    NY YANKEES 2 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: B CROSBY (.233, 0-FOR-2)

    Athletics vs. YankeesJun 29 9:02 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JORGE POSADA SCORED ALEX RODRIGUEZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J POSADA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0
    NY YANKEES 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: B ABREU (.252, 4 HR, 35 RBI)

    Athletics vs. YankeesJun 29 7:31 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ SCORED HIDEKI MATSUI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RODRIGUEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0
    NY YANKEES 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J POSADA (.339, 9 HR, 44 RBI)

    Athletics vs. YankeesJun 29 7:30 PM