Blue Jays
Yankees
11 - 12 Final/10
  for this game

Cabrera singles home game-winner in 10th for Yankees

Sep 23, 2007 - 4:41 AM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- With the postseason fast approaching Melky Cabrera was struggling, but his manager and teammates never wavered in their confidence of the young center fielder and experienced the rewards for it.

In one of the strangest games ever played in franchise history, Cabrera singled home the game-winning run with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Yankees pulled out a 12-11 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.

Cabrera came into the game with three hits in his last 38 at-bats, and went 0-for-5 in Friday's 14-inning loss before being lifted for a pinch hitter. In this one, he went hitless in his first four at-bats, including one with the bases loaded in the second inning.

"Everybody supports me," said Cabrera, who used reserve catcher Jose Molina as his translator. "That's one of the reasons why I don't keep myself down because everybody helps him to keep him happy."

"He's important to this lineup," Yankees catcher Jorge Posada "He's been slumping a little bit and he comes out of it with a big hit today. It just tells you a lot about this kid, he keeps coming and it's good to see."

But when the five-hour marathon was over, Cabrera tied his career high with five RBI and the final one sent the Yankees to their 13th win in 16 games.

"He's a good player," Joe Torre said. "I have a lot of confidence in him. The only thing he suffers from is inexperience. He's got a big heart and he just competes really well."

The final rally was started by Posada, who had a ground-rule double to left field off Toronto reliever Josh Towers. Johnny Damon ran for Posada and following an intentional walk to Jason Giambi, moved to third on a flyout by Robinson Cano.

After Towers fanned Wilson Betemit on three pitches, Cabrera singled over second baseman Aaron Hill's head.

Cabrera's hit kept the Yankees (89-65) 2 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox (92-63) in the American League East, improved their lead in the wild card to 5 1/2 games over the Detroit Tigers (84-71) and reduced their magic number for clinching a postseason spot to three.

"It just means a lot," Cabrera said. "It means we are getting closer to our goal, that is making it to the playoffs and it was real important."

"It's a big win for us," third baseman Alex Rodriguez added. "It would have been a huge one for us to lose this game at home, especially after last night."

Before his hit, the 23-year-old Cabrera also recorded his major league-leading 13th outfield assist when Hill doubled over his head. Matt Stairs attempted to scored from first but Cabrera made a perfect throw to best friend Robinson Cano and the second baseman completed the relay with a strong throw to catcher Jorge Posada.

"The way I did it, throwing the ball like that, it was the easiest way and the quickest way to get it to Cano," Cabrera said.

"He (plate umpire Angel Hernandez) said he got him," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "Matty's reaction seemed like he got him. I thought he got him. I thought maybe he slid by him on the first base side a little bit. But you just go by Matt's reaction there."

Even before his defensive play, Cabrera ensured the game would continue with a two-run single in the eighth off Brian Wolfe. That tied the game at 11-11 after Kyle Farnsworth coughed up a 9-8 lead by allowing RBI singles to Alex Rios and pinch hitter Gregg Zaun, who homered in the 14th inning Friday off Brian Bruney.

"That's one of those games," Gibbons said. "It kept going back and forth. Both bullpens struggled but our guys battled, they really did. That's one of those games where if you have the last at-bat, you're feeling pretty good."

The Yankees used a franchise-record 10 pitchers and Cabrera's hit made a winner of Jeff Karstens, who allowed two hits in the 10th. Karstens pitched after Mariano Rivera struck out two in the ninth.

Rivera's outing was a rarity in a game that saw a combined 825 pitches. He appeared after Ron Villone, Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, Farnsworth, Chris Britton and Kei Igawa appeared.

Ramirez and Farnsworth were charged with blown saves as the Yankees' bullpen allowed eight runs and 11 hits over the final five innings.

The Yankees also had a big day from Rodriguez, who had four hits and drove in four runs.

The Blue Jays had a four-game winning streak snapped in which they were responsible for impacting the division race. They also lost three players to injuries as starter Shaun Marcum left the game after three innings with a sore right knee and two innings later Frank Thomas sustained the same injury after getting a single.

"It's just a freak thing," Thomas said. "I just caught the back of my spike. It's a twist or sprain."

The final injury occurred in the sixth when lefthanded reliever Scott Downs departed with a back injury after allowing Hideki Matsui's two-run single.

Matsui's hit put the Yankees ahead 6-3, but that lead quickly evaporated thanks to some spotty relief work by Veras and Ramirez in the top of the seventh.

Veras gave up two hits, two walks and threw two wild pitches while Ramirez allowed a two-run double to Russ Adams and an RBI single to Adam Lind that put Toronto ahead 8-6.

After the series opener lasted 4 hours, 45 minutes, the game was delayed 92 minutes by rain. Once it started, the Yankees fell behind, 3-1, when starter Phil Hughes gave up a two-run double to Curtis Thigpen in the third.

It stayed that way until Rodriguez sparked a four-run sixth with a two-run double.








  • AL
    FINAL 10
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 0 0 0 3 0 0 5 3 0
    NY YANKEES 0 1 0 0 1 4 3 2 0
    10 R H E
    -- - - -
    TORONTO 0 11 18 0
    NY YANKEES 1 12 17 1 (FINAL 10)

    BATTERIES: TOR

    Sep 22 7:37 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MELKY CABRERA SCORED JOHNNY DAMON.
    FINAL SCORE: NY YANKEES 12, TORONTO 11

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 7:37 PM
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    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 7:15 PM


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    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MELKY CABRERA SCORED JORGE POSADA AND ROBINSON
    CANO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, 0 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 11
    NY YANKEES 11 END BOTTOM, 8TH

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 6:50 PM
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    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 6:33 PM


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    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HECTOR LUNA SCORED ALEX RIOS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, 1 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 11
    NY YANKEES 9 END TOP, 8TH

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 6:33 PM


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    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GREGG ZAUN SCORED REED JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, G ZAUN ON FIRST, A RIOS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 10
    NY YANKEES 9 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A HILL (.282, 2-FOR-3, BB, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 6:23 PM


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    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALEX RIOS SCORED RAY OLMEDO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RIOS ON FIRST, R JOHNSON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 9
    NY YANKEES 9 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: J GRIFFIN (.000, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 6:22 PM
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    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ SCORED MELKY CABRERA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, A RODRIGUEZ ON FIRST, B ABREU ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 8
    NY YANKEES 9 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: H MATSUI (.290, 3-FOR-4, 3 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 6:08 PM


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    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MELKY CABRERA SCORED ROBINSON CANO AND BRONSON
    SARDINHA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M CABRERA ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 8
    NY YANKEES 8 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: D JETER (.320, 2-FOR-4)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 5:58 PM


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    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ADAM LIND SCORED RUSS ADAMS.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, A LIND ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 8
    NY YANKEES 6 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: C THIGPEN (.208, 1-FOR-3, 2 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 5:45 PM


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    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RUSS ADAMS SCORED JOHN-FORD GRIFFIN AND AARON
    HILL.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, R ADAMS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 7
    NY YANKEES 6 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A LIND (.231, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 5:40 PM


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    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AARON HILL SCORED REED JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J GRIFFIN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 5
    NY YANKEES 6 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: R ADAMS (.286, 0-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 5:37 PM


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    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    PASSED BALL BY JORGE POSADA ALLOWED RAY OLMEDO TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R JOHNSON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 4
    NY YANKEES 6 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: J GRIFFIN (.000, 0-FOR-0)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 5:33 PM


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    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HIDEKI MATSUI SCORED BOBBY ABREU AND ALEX
    RODRIGUEZ.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, H MATSUI ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3
    NY YANKEES 6 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J POSADA (.335, 1-FOR-2, BB, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 5:10 PM


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    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ SCORED DOUG MIENTKIEWICZ AND DEREK
    JETER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A RODRIGUEZ ON SECOND, B ABREU ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3
    NY YANKEES 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: H MATSUI (.288, 2-FOR-3, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 5:05 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY HIDEKI MATSUI SCORED BOBBY ABREU.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H MATSUI ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3
    NY YANKEES 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J POSADA (.335, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 4:29 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CURTIS THIGPEN SCORED AARON HILL AND ADAM LIND.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C THIGPEN ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3
    NY YANKEES 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: R OLMEDO (.158, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 3:55 PM


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    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY ADAM LIND SCORED ALEX RIOS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A LIND ON SECOND, A HILL ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1
    NY YANKEES 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: C THIGPEN (.200, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 3:49 PM


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    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JORGE POSADA SCORED ALEX RODRIGUEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J POSADA ON FIRST, H MATSUI ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0
    NY YANKEES 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J GIAMBI (.243, 14 HR, 36 RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. YankeesSep 22 3:09 PM
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