for this game

Rodriguez homers again as Yankees beat Rays

Jun 14, 2007 - 3:54 AM BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- After three big swings, the New York Yankees can officially start talking about being in contention.

Jorge Posada, Alex Rodriguez and Hideki Matsui homered as the Yankees stretched their season-high winning streak to eight games with a 7-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday night.

Just two weeks removed from a 21-29 record and a 14 1/2 deficit in the American League East Division, the Yankees moved over the .500 mark (32-31) for the first time since April 20 when they were 8-7.

"You knew it was going to be, but you just hoped that the streak would come sooner than later because at the point where we were where our record was that we needed to do something," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "We needed something to start jelling for us because we were all over the place."

That was the first of three straight losses at Boston and the start of a seven-game losing streak that contributed to the Yankees' 9-14 April. The Yankees recovered to reach .500 (16-16) on May 9, but a 14-2 loss to Texas triggered a stretch of 13 losses in 18 games.

But starting with a 10-5 win at Toronto in which New York skipped batting practice in an effort to make the mood in the clubhouse lighter, they have looked like the team that made 12 straight postseason appearances.

"We had gotten to .500 early on one other time in the season and then we sort of tumbled," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "But we're a different team then we were then. But it's a big win for us."

Just like Tuesday's 4-1 win, the Yankees struck early. Posada tied it in the second and Rodriguez hit a two-run blast in the third for a 3-1 lead.

"You never have to look twice," Torre said. "He killed that ball."

It was Posada's eighth home run and 206th career, moving him past former right fielder Dave Winfield into sole possession of ninth place on the franchise's all-time list.

Rodriguez's June tear has been instrumental in getting the Yankees back on track and with one out in the third, he crushed the first pitch from Livan Hernandez (5-4) into the left field seats. It was his major-league leading 25th home run and gave him six home runs and 20 RBI in June.

"I didn't see it where it landed when I swung but I knew I hit it well," Rodriguez said. "It felt good off the bat."

Rodriguez added to that figure in the fourth. After Bobby Abreu extended his hitting streak to 12 games and stole second, Rodriguez singled just under shortstop Stephen Drew's glove and Abreu scored his 1,000th career run.

"(It feels) much different," Rodriguez said. "April was a lot of highs and lows but this is a lot more enjoyable."

Two batters later, Matsui gave the Yankees a six-run lead, when he crushed a 1-2 pitch into the right-center field bleachers for his seventh home run.

"I don't know how high it was, but it was definitely out of the strike zone," Matsui said through his interpreter. "The ball is high but I was able to get on top of it and put a good swing on it."

Matsui's home run marked the first time in nearly two months the Yankees had three at Yankee Stadium. That also made Arizona's fifth loss in six games a little more inevitable.

"The longball hurt us," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "Obviously the Matsui (home run) hurt the most.

"Everybody knows offensively this team is very good. They're on one of those rolls."

The three blasts were more than enough for Mike Mussina (3-3), who picked up his first win since May 9. He had not recorded a decision in his previous three outings but was sharp Wednesday, allowing just two run and six hits in 7 2/3 innings.

"I felt like I had more than one or two or three weapons to go with tonight," Mussina said. "Some days you don't feel like you have one or two but today I felt like I had at least three.

"He was really good tonight," Torre said. "Pitch count was great. I took him out and I said I got you tired this time. He was great. I'm really happy for him because he's such a perfectionist that when it's not going the way he feels it should, with his stuff he really fights himself."

In his last start at Chicago on Thursday, Mussina was lifted from a 1-0 game after six-plus innings and 79 pitches. He thought he could longer and proved that he could by throwing a season-high 101 pitches in his longest outing since a complete game on May 31, 2006 at Detroit.

"You got to get to 100-105, 110 once in a while," Mussina said. "I hope I'm not an 85 or 90 pitch pitcher. But you need to stretch out once in a while for the sake of your health and arm strength."

Mussina had his family in the stands and impressed them along with the other 53,891 fans at Yankee Stadium by recording a season-high seven strikeouts without issuing a walk. That led to his 20th win in interleague play - the most among any active pitcher.

The righthander was pulled after allowing a single to Eric Byrnes. He left to a standing ovation from the fans and tipped his hat to the crowd.

"The crowds are fun," Mussina said. "They know we're playing well. They know we got it the way we want to get it going. It's just part of the excitement that we've kind of created. It wasn't like this a month ago."

Brian Bruney recorded the final out of the eighth and struck out Reynolds with two men on. Lefthander Mike Myers finished up as Mariano Rivera warmed up and the Yankees won for the 11th time in 13 games.

Arizona scored its first run in the second as rookie Mark Reynolds doubled and scored on Chris Young's sacrifice fly. After Reynolds' double, Mussina retired the next 12 of the next 13 hitters before Conor Jackson homered with two outs in the sixth.

Hernandez dropped his second straight decision. He was ripped for seven runs and nine hits in four innings, equaling his shortest start of the season.






  • bones it's like 2005 all over again, complete with extended winning streak to climb back to .500 ...
    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/teams/schedule?team=nyy&season=2005&seasonType=2&half=1

    Diamondbacks vs. YankeesJun 13 10:41 PM


  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ARIZONA 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 7 0
    NY YANKEES 0 1 2 4 0 0 0 0 x 7 10 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: ARI - LIVAN HERNANDEZ, EDGAR GONZALEZ (5TH), JAILEN PEGUERO (8TH)
    AND MIGUEL MONTERO
    NYY - MIKE MUSSINA, BRIAN BRUNEY (8TH), MIKE MYERS
    (9TH) AND WIL NIEVES

    HOME

    Jun 13 10:11 PM


  • ML
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CONOR JACKSON (5) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF MIKE MUSSINA.
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 2, NY YANKEES 7
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: O HUDSON (.292, 1-FOR-2)

    Diamondbacks vs. YankeesJun 13 8:57 PM
  • AFaust3 Cool stuff, another Yankess rout :)

    Diamondbacks vs. YankeesJun 13 8:56 PM


  • ML
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY HIDEKI MATSUI (7) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 4TH OFF LIVAN HERNANDEZ SCORED ALEX RODRIGUEZ AND JORGE
    POSADA.
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1, NY YANKEES 7
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: R CANO (.272, 1-FOR-2)

    Diamondbacks vs. YankeesJun 13 8:35 PM


  • ML
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ SCORED BOBBY ABREU.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RODRIGUEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1
    NY YANKEES 4 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J POSADA (.356, 1-FOR-1, BB, HR, RBI)

    Diamondbacks vs. YankeesJun 13 8:30 PM


  • ML
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ (25) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF LIVAN HERNANDEZ SCORED BOBBY ABREU.
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1, NY YANKEES 3
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J POSADA (.356, 1-FOR-1, HR, RBI)

    Diamondbacks vs. YankeesJun 13 8:03 PM


  • ML
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JORGE POSADA (8) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF LIVAN HERNANDEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1, NY YANKEES 1
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: H MATSUI (.284, 6 HR, 33 RBI)

    Diamondbacks vs. YankeesJun 13 7:41 PM


  • ML
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY CHRIS YOUNG SCORED MARK REYNOLDS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1
    NY YANKEES 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: M MONTERO (.213, 4 HR, 15 RBI)

    Diamondbacks vs. YankeesJun 13 7:35 PM