for this game

Phillips comes through again for streaking Yankees

Jul 17, 2007 - 4:34 AM BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- On a night in which the New York Yankees produced plenty of power, it was another big hit from Andy Phillips that made the difference.

Phillips had a two-run single with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Yankees opened an important four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays with a 6-4 victory on Monday night.

The Yankees continued their recent power surge as Hideki Matsui, Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez each hit home runs. They have hit 14 homers in their last six games and Rodriguez's 496th career home run put the Yankees ahead 4-2 after three innings.

Rodriguez's major league-leading 32nd home run would have been the go-ahead run but Kei Igawa gave up a solo home run to Troy Glaus in the fifth and Scott Proctor allowed Alex Rios' 19th home run with one out in the sixth.

Proctor (2-5) picked up the win despite allowing four hits in two innings. That's because the Yankees had three straight two-out hits with two strikes in the sixth.

Jorge Posada lined a single to left field and went to third when Robinson Cano roped a double off the wall in right-center field. Phillips fell behind 1-2 but lined the next pitch from Josh Towers (4-6) up the middle to score Posada and Cano.

"Fall," Phillips said when asked what was going through his mind during the at-bat. "Fall, because there's no secret with Vernon out there and with what he's able to do. I'm just hoping that ball hurry up and get down there before he gets there."

"He's got a good look at the plate even when he's behind in the count right now," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "It may not always be pretty but the thing is he's got plate coverage. He's not trying to pull the ball, he's not getting homer happy or trying to hit the ball too hard."

The Yankees won for the ninth time in their last 12 games and Phillips produced the biggest hit for the second straight contest. In Sunday's 7-6 win at Tampa Bay, Phillips had an RBI single in the eighth inning after the Yankees blew a 4-3 lead.

"It's a crazy game," Phillips said. "We've had a lot of guys that have done a lot of big things this year. It just so happens that the last couple of days, I've been up in those situations and fortunately it went in my favor."

Phillips is the eighth first baseman used by the Yankees, who began the season with a platoon of Doug Mientkiewicz and Josh Phelps, who won a spring training position battle partly because Phillips missed most of the exhibition season when he mother was in a car accident. When Phelps was designated for assignment on June 19, Phillips was recalled and shortly thereafter was named the regular first baseman.

"He's a guy that's worked his way," Torre said. "He was a minor leaguer for a long time and this spring was the perfect example, he had a tough break in the spring. His mom had that terrible accident and he had to leave for an extended period of time and Josh Phelps got the inside track on him.

In his first opportunity at regular playing time in the majors, Phillips has thrived. He raised his batting average to .304 and is batting .333 (12-for-36) in his last 10 starts.

"He's been the ultimate underdog and if you know his story with the trials and tribulations he's had to deal with personally, how can you not cheer for this guy," Rodriguez said of Phillips. "He's been unbelievable. He's been a very good player for us."

Last season, Phillips appeared in 110 games but only had 246 at-bats. In his limited playing time, he had seven home runs and 29 RBI.

"We never knew," Torre said. "I know (bench coach) Donnie (Mattingly) liked him as a hitter but he never had an opportunity to play for an extended period of time, so you really couldn't put a number on it because it's so tough for a kid to come from the minor leagues where he played all the time and then work off the bench here. But I'm happy I'm seeing what I'm seeing and he works hard and he's the type of guy you want to pull for."

After Proctor's shaky outing, Luis Vizcaino worked a perfect eighth and Mariano Rivera came on in the ninth to record his 14th save in 16 opportunities. Rivera stranded Glaus at third as he struck out Frank Thomas and Lyle Overbay before getting Aaron Hill on a groundout to third.

Before Proctor squandered a one-run lead, Igawa was in line for his first victory since April 28 against Boston. That was because the Blue Jays stranded eight runners against the lefthander, who allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings.

"It's frustrating to lose," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "But it was a battle, it could have gone either way."

"We've been swinging the bats well," Thomas said. "We've had opportunities."

Glaus homered twice for the Blue Jays. He hit a two-run home run in the third, which forged a 2-2 tie and two innings after Rodriguez homered, Glaus hit a solo shot.

The Yankees opened a 2-0 lead as Matsui and Cano hit solo home runs in the second off Towers. They could have hit three straight home runs but Posada had a ball sail just foul of the right field foul pole.

Towers was lifted after Phillips' hit. He lasted 5 2/3 innings and allowed six runs and nine hits.

"I thought it was a pretty good pitch," Towers said. "I don't think he (plate umpire Marty Foster) would call it a strike. It could have been better and he probably was looking for it."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 0 0 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 4 12 0
    NY YANKEES 0 2 2 0 0 2 0 0 x 6 11 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TOR - JOSH TOWERS, SCOTT DOWNS (6TH), BRANDON LEAGUE (7TH), BRIAN
    TALLET (8TH) AND GREGG ZAUN
    NYY - KEI IGAWA, SCOTT PROCTOR (6TH), LUIS VIZCAINO
    (8TH), MARIANO RI

    Jul 16 10:24 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ANDY PHILLIPS SCORED JORGE POSADA AND ROBINSON
    CANO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A PHILLIPS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 4
    NY YANKEES 6 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: M CABRERA (.272, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesJul 16 9:29 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALEX RIOS (19) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF SCOTT PROCTOR.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 4, NY YANKEES 4
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: V WELLS (.254, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesJul 16 9:09 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY TROY GLAUS (14) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 5TH OFF KEI IGAWA.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3, NY YANKEES 4
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: F THOMAS (.253, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesJul 16 8:45 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ (32) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF JOSH TOWERS SCORED BOBBY ABREU.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2, NY YANKEES 4
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: H MATSUI (.280, 1-FOR-1, HR, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesJul 16 8:14 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY TROY GLAUS (13) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF KEI IGAWA SCORED VERNON WELLS.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2, NY YANKEES 2
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: F THOMAS (.254, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesJul 16 8:01 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ROBINSON CANO (7) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF JOSH TOWERS.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0, NY YANKEES 2
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: A PHILLIPS (.302, 1 HR, 7 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesJul 16 7:51 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY HIDEKI MATSUI (14) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF JOSH TOWERS.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0, NY YANKEES 1
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J POSADA (.330, 10 HR, 50 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesJul 16 7:47 PM