for this game

Rodriguez homers in fifth straight game; Wang wins 18th

Sep 9, 2007 - 10:56 PM By Marc Bowman Special to PA SportsTicker

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- Alex Rodriguez homered for the fifth straight game and Chien-Ming Wang joined Josh Beckett as the first to win 18 games in the majors this season, as New York Yankees beat the Kansas City Royals, 6-3, on Sunday afternoon.

The Yankees (81-62) won their fifth straight game to expand their lead in the American League wild card race to four games over the Detroit Tigers (77-66), who lost, 14-7, to the Seattle Mariners.

Rodriguez's five-game homer streak matches his career best and New York has won each of the last seven games in which he has hit a home run.

"He's having a good time, and he's really in a zone," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "He seems to be having fun. We hope we can keep him right where he is and keep him in that situation."

"He's a machine," first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz said. "Baseball's in his mind 24 by 7. He keeps his focus every day, day in and day out. That's what makes him so great. He may be the best player in the history of the game.

"He always challenges himself to get better. He just wants to be the best player ever. The game's not that easy and he's making it look ridiculous. That's not normal."

With two out in the first, Rodriguez gave New York a 2-0 lead with a blast into the left field bullpen off Zack Greinke.

"If it wasn't on the corner, it was an inch over the plate," Greinke said of the pitch to Rodriguez. "It was a good pitch, to a normal person, but to him it was probably too good. I wasn't trying to throw a strike and it was a strike. He's hot right now. He's the best player and he's hot, so this is what happens."

Rodriguez's 52nd home run of the season tied Mickey Mantle for third-most in a season for the Yankees.

"It's been a magical season," Rodriguez said. "And I'm enjoying it. The protection I'm getting behind me is the reason I'm getting a chance to hit. I just want to finish strong."

"I used to marvel at what Bernie Williams was doing, passing all those players on the career lists," Torre said. "But what Alex has done in such a short period is amazing."

Wang (18-6) allowed five hits and three runs over seven innings, walking four and striking out four. Just minutes earlier, Beckett got the win in Boston's 3-2 win over Baltimore.

"I don't think too much about my wins," Wang said. "If I win it means the team wins."

"Anytime you pitch with the urgency to win that he has shown it's pretty impressive," Torre said. "He's quickly become somebody you count on."

It was Wang's fourth win in six career starts against the Royals. Wang is 15-1 in 21 career starts against the AL Central.

"He's our horse. He's our number one," catcher Jorge Posada said. "He can get away with stuff. He can get away with not having a changeup or a sinker because he can throw the slider for strikes and he can expand the strike zone with his fastball.

"He's proven a lot and he get better and better each time out. He's low key, so he probably doesn't get enough credit. He deserves all the credit in the world."

Wilson Betemit extended New York's lead to 3-0 with an RBI double in the second inning.

Kansas City tied the game with one swing in the fourth as Alex Gordon hit a two-out double to clear the bases.

"The killer in that inning was walking (Mark) Teahen after we got ahead (in the count) 1-2," Torre said. "And then we got behind Gordon. (Wang) was a little bit Jekkyl and Hyde today. It look like he just lost his zone a bit here and there. It looked like he had trouble locating and part of that is he has so much movement the ball was moving out of the zone."

"He left a ball up to (Ross) Gload, and then we wanted to get a sinker away to Gordon, but he left it over the plate," Posada said. "He might have been a little too strong. He wanted to go really fast and had some problems early. It took time to adjust."

The Yankees quickly responded as Posada doubled off the right field wall in the fifth to score Rodriguez and Hideki Matsui and recapture the lead, 5-3.

"When we got some guys on base I just wanted to stay in the middle of the field and I got a good pitch to hit," Posada said. "I'm really enjoying everything and I hope it continues."

"Even when we came back and tied the score, they were still pretty much in control," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "When we tied the score we felt pretty good, but they are just on fire right now."

Robinson Cano's one-out single in the eighth drove in Posada to cap the scoring.

"We know Cano has the ability," Torre said. "He's got great hands and the pressure of the game doesn't bother him. Sometimes it's so easy for him that he doesn't pay enough attention. It's been (third base coach Larry) Bowa coming on board that has helped him so much."

Kyle Farnsworth pitched a perfect eighth before Mariano Rivera closed out Kansas City for his 25th save.

Five of the first nine New York batters hit safely against Greinke. The righthander went 3 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and three runs while walking two and striking out one.

"(This start) wasn't as good as the others," Bell said. "His command wasn't as good. His stuff was good. At times he was out of the strike zone, maybe he was giving the hitters too much credit."

Brandon Duckworth (2-5) was the first of three Royals relievers who combined for 5 1/3 innings, limiting the Yankees to three hits.








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

    BATTERIES: NYY - CHIEN-MING WANG, KYLE FARNSWORTH (8TH), MARIANO RIVERA (9TH)
    AND JORGE POSADA
    KAN - ZACK GREINKE, BRANDON DUCKWORTH (4TH), JOHN BALE
    (5TH), JOAKIM SORIA (9TH

    Sep 9 5:00 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ROBINSON CANO SCORED JORGE POSADA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R CANO ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 6
    KANSAS CITY 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: W BETEMIT (.230, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Yankees vs. RoyalsSep 9 4:34 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JORGE POSADA SCORED ALEX RODRIGUEZ AND HIDEKI
    MATSUI.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J POSADA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 5
    KANSAS CITY 3 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J GIAMBI (.244, 0-FOR-2)

    Yankees vs. RoyalsSep 9 3:54 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALEX GORDON SCORED DAVID DEJESUS, ROSS GLOAD AND
    MARK TEAHEN.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, A GORDON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 3
    KANSAS CITY 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J SMITH (.196, 0-FOR-1)

    Yankees vs. RoyalsSep 9 3:32 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY WILSON BETEMIT SCORED ROBINSON CANO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, W BETEMIT ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 3
    KANSAS CITY 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J DAMON (.258, 0-FOR-1)

    Yankees vs. RoyalsSep 9 2:40 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    NY YANKEES 2 2 3 0
    KANSAS CITY 0 0 1 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: NYY - CHIEN-MING WANG
    KAN - ZACK GREINKE

    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J GATHRIGHT (.313, 0 HR, 16 RBI)
    D DEJESUS (.267, 6 HR, 54 RBI)
    R GLOAD (.300, 7 HR

    Yankees vs. RoyalsSep 9 2:26 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Yankees vs. RoyalsAug 25 3:27 AM