for this game

Damon powers Yankees past Tigers

Aug 19, 2007 - 9:57 PM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- No longer a lock to be penciled into the leadoff spot on a regular basis, Johnny Damon still is an important piece for the New York Yankees.

Damon hit a go-ahead solo home run with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Yankees closed out their four-game series against the Detroit Tigers with a 9-3 victory on Sunday afternoon.

After belting 24 home runs in his first season as the Yankees' leadoff hitter, Damon is part of rotation of players that sees time action as reserves and as starters. Injuries, which have led to a low batting average, combined with the emergence of Melky Cabrera as a solid starting center fielder have led to Damon's decline in playing time.

"Johnny Damon's been great," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "He's been all over this thing, understanding this situation, not playing centerfield on a regular basis and he'll play from time to time, playing left field for us, not playing some days.

"You can't do what we've been doing without the cooperation of the players and having them understand what we're trying to accomplish and somebody has to make decisions. I appreciate the respect they're showing me and my staff by doing it."

The low point for Damon was an 0-for-20 skid. Since snapping it on July 20, the 33-year-old outfielder is hitting .368 (32-for-87) with two home runs, 17 RBI and 23 runs scored.

Damon deposited a 1-1 pitch from Jeremy Bonderman into the right field upper deck in the sixth, snapping a 3-3 tie.

"It means a lot," Damon said. "Obviously I want to be in there as much as possible and get in some at-bats, so I can find my groove a bit more. But it was a big moment for us. But I expect that of myself and I expect to have more of those kind of hits as the season winds down."

Damon's seventh home run came after Andy Phillips hit a long fly ball to the warning track in center field. It also came after the Yankees tied it in the sixth on Hideki Matsui's second sacrifice fly and third RBI of the contest.

The blast made a winner out of Chien-Ming Wang (14-6), who like Roger Clemens on Saturday worked in and out of trouble through six innings. Coming off two awful outings, Wang allowed three and nine hits while also throwing two wild pitches.

"(I had) more control," Wang said. "I threw more strikes."

One of those wild pitches allowed former Yankee Gary Sheffield to give Detroit a short-lived 3-2 lead. Sheffield drew a two-out walk, took second on Magglio Ordonez's RBI single and the two sluggers executed a double steal.

Ordonez was stranded at third when Wang struck out Carlos Guillen and retired Ryan Raburn on a groundout. After the Yankees tied it, Detroit had rookie Cameron Mayin at third and Curtis Granderson at second with two outs but Casey, who got ahead on a 3-0 count grounded out to second and the Tigers did not have another baserunner.

"We had opportunities," Ordonez said. "We didn't take advantage. We didn't come through when we had the chance. You don't score runs, you don't win. It's that simple."

Wang came out and warmed up for the seventh but manager Torre replaced him with Joba Chamberlain, who worked the ninth in Friday's 6-1 win. Chamberlain tossed a nine-pitch inning as he struck out Ordonez and Guillen.

After Chamberlain's fifth appearance, the Yankees added a pair in the bottom of the frame off Zach Miner. Wilson Betemit, who spelled Derek Jeter at shortstop lined an RBI single and Phillips added another run-scoring hit.

"We were able to sit Derek today and the guy who takes his place has four RBI," Damon said. "So that was pretty cool."

New York (70-54), which took three of four games from Detroit, moved within 4 1/2 games of first place Boston in the American League East.

The Yankees handed their three-run lead to rookie Edwar Ramirez, who struck out the side on just 14 pitches and also finished up New York's 12th win in 15 games. Since Ramirez entered with a three-run lead, he was credited with his first career save.

Mariano Rivera warmed up but was not needed after Betemit had a three-run double in the eighth off Aquilino Lopez.

Bonderman (10-6) fell to 0-5 in his last six starts as he allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings.

"He had trouble controling his sinker," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "His control wasn't good."

Backup catcher Mike Rabello tied a career high with three hits for Detroit. One of those hits was an RBI double in the fourth, which opened the scoring for the Tigers.

Detroit has lost eight of its last 12 games and is 15-23 since the All-Star break. After opening the series with an 8-5 victory, the Tigers scored six runs the rest of the weekend but will head into its three-game series with Cleveland two games out of first place in the AL Central.

"We're getting some chances and not taking advantage of it," Leyland said. "We're getting some opportunities. We're just not taking advantage of them."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    DETROIT 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 3 9 1
    NY YANKEES 1 0 1 0 1 1 2 3 x 9 13 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: DET - JEREMY BONDERMAN, ZACH MINER (7TH), AQUILINO LOPEZ (8TH) AND
    MIKE RABELO
    NYY - CHIEN-MING WANG, JOBA CHAMBERLAIN (7TH), EDWAR
    RAMIREZ (8TH) AND JORGE POSADA

    Aug 19 4:28 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY WILSON BETEMIT SCORED ALEX RODRIGUEZ, JORGE
    POSADA AND ROBINSON CANO.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, W BETEMIT ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3
    NY YANKEES 9 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: A PHILLIPS (.293, 2-FOR-3, BB, RBI)

    Tigers vs. YankeesAug 19 4:22 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ANDY PHILLIPS SCORED ROBINSON CANO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A PHILLIPS ON FIRST, W BETEMIT ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3
    NY YANKEES 6 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J DAMON (.260, 2-FOR-3, BB, HR, RBI)

    Tigers vs. YankeesAug 19 3:56 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY WILSON BETEMIT SCORED ALEX RODRIGUEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, W BETEMIT ON FIRST, R CANO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3
    NY YANKEES 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: A PHILLIPS (.288, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Tigers vs. YankeesAug 19 3:54 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOHNNY DAMON (7) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF JEREMY BONDERMAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3, NY YANKEES 4
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: M CABRERA (.295, 0-FOR-3)

    Tigers vs. YankeesAug 19 3:22 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY HIDEKI MATSUI SCORED BOBBY ABREU.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RODRIGUEZ ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3
    NY YANKEES 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J POSADA (.334, 0-FOR-2)

    Tigers vs. YankeesAug 19 3:02 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY CHIEN-MING WANG ALLOWED GARY SHEFFIELD TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M ORDONEZ ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3
    NY YANKEES 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C GUILLEN (.305, 1-FOR-2)

    Tigers vs. YankeesAug 19 2:51 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MAGGLIO ORDONEZ SCORED CURTIS GRANDERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M ORDONEZ ON FIRST, G SHEFFIELD ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 2
    NY YANKEES 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C GUILLEN (.305, 1-FOR-2)

    Tigers vs. YankeesAug 19 2:47 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MIKE RABELO SCORED CARLOS GUILLEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M RABELO ON SECOND, R RABURN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1
    NY YANKEES 2 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: B INGE (.244, 0-FOR-1)

    Tigers vs. YankeesAug 19 2:19 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HIDEKI MATSUI SCORED BOBBY ABREU.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H MATSUI ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    NY YANKEES 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J POSADA (.335, 0-FOR-1)

    Tigers vs. YankeesAug 19 2:06 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY HIDEKI MATSUI SCORED JOHNNY DAMON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RODRIGUEZ ON FIRST, B ABREU ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    NY YANKEES 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J POSADA (.336, 15 HR, 70 RBI)

    Tigers vs. YankeesAug 19 1:27 PM
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    Tigers vs. YankeesAug 11 4:12 PM
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    roots
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