for this game

Mussina gives Yankees a lift in return from DL

May 4, 2007 - 5:46 AM ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker) -- Mike Mussina gave the New York Yankees exactly what they needed.

Mussina returned from the disabled list and pitched five outstanding innings as the Yankees completed a Thursday day-night doubleheader sweep of the struggling Texas Rangers with a 5-2 victory.

Slumping Doug Mientkiewicz belted a two-run homer for New York, which won the opener, 4-3, on Hideki Matsui's RBI double in the eighth inning and swept the three-game series.

"This was great for us, it really was," Yankees manager Joe Torre said of the sweep, which followed a stretch in which New York went 1-7. "I know this ballclub was struggling when we got here, but these two games were really tough.

"We blew them out the other day, but these two games were tough. Basically, everybody showed up. There was a great atmosphere in the clubhouse and on the field and the dugout."

"We needed that one bad," added Mientkiewicz. "It's nice after what we went through before we got here, to win all three, against a team that can swing the bats with the best of them. That was a big one for us right there. We had a little better attitude with us this week, which was nice to see."

The Yankees activated Mussina (1-1) in time to start the game, and he yielded just a run and four hits with no walks and three strikeouts. He threw 49 of 64 pitches for strikes.

"I would consider it successful," Mussina said of his performance. "I was hoping five innings was about what I would be able to do. I was hoping I wouldn't have any long innings of 25 pitches or so. I had better command than I expected. I might have had a little better velocity than I expected the first day back. It was a good day. Obviously, I wished I would have pitched longer, but considering I've been off for a while, it's not bad."

"He gave us all we could have asked," Torre said. "He threw a lot of strikes, and his stuff was high-quality, I thought. His breaking ball, his command was terrific. He obviously used his time (on the DL) wisely."

The 38-year-old was placed on the DL on April 12 with a left hamstring injury suffered against the Minnesota Twins one day earlier. The righthander was 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in his first two starts.

"I was pretty tired," Mussina said. "Throwing 60 pitches in the tunnel, you try to simulate full speed, is not the same as throwing 60 pitches in the game. I'm glad I was able to do what I was able to do, but I could tell I had some time off. I've got to get my arm and my legs back in shape, and be able to be out there longer than that."

Mussina's injury was one of a number of early setbacks that forced the Yankees to use five rookie starters already this season - the most in a campaign for the famed franchise.

Texas scored its lone run off Mussina in the fourth, when Sammy Sosa singled, advanced to third on a double by Hank Blalock and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ian Kinsler.

Three relievers combined for two scoreless innings and Kyle Farnsworth yielded a solo homer to Mark Teixeira - his third of the season - in the eighth before Mariano Rivera worked around a pair of inning-opening singles in the ninth for his second save of the day and third this season.

"The bullpen was great both games, and that's the kind of stuff we need to be able to be successful," Mussina said.

Mientkiewicz, who entered the day hitting .158 in 60 at-bats, drilled his third homer of the season to right field in the second inning off Texas starter Robinson Tejeda (3-2) to give New York a quick 2-0 lead. After that, Tejeda kept the Yankees off the board until the seventh.

"I'm starting to feel like I'm starting to get it again," Mientkiewicz said. "It's hard to explain. One night I'll have it, one night I won't, one at-bat I'll have it, one at-bat I won't. I'm starting to get some consistency again."

"I threw a couple of fastballs to him," Tejeda said. "I was trying to get a fly ball. But he cheated on the next one and he got me."

Melky Cabrera singled home Matsui, who led off the seventh with a double, and Derek Jeter extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a run-scoring single for a 4-1 lead. Jeter added an RBI double in the eighth.

Tejeda yielded three runs on six hits in 6 1/3 frames.

"I feel pretty good, I threw hard and pitched where I was supposed to," Tejeda said. "I thought I did a pretty good job, but am sad we lost the game. I don't care how I pitch when we lose the game."

Blalock had two hits for the Rangers, who have lost a season-high five straight.

"We had plenty of opportunities to put runs on the board, we just couldn't cash in," RangerS Manager Ron Washington said. "We're working hard. Our mood is fine. All we can do is keep playing. Every day you've got to show up. We're going to keep fighting, start to catch some breaks and get hits in key situations."








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

    BATTERIES: NYY - MIKE MUSSINA, BRIAN BRUNEY (6TH), SEAN HENN (6TH), SCOTT
    PROCTOR (7TH), KYLE FARNSWORTH (8TH), MARIANO RIVERA (9TH) AND
    WIL NIEVES, JORGE POSADA (7TH)
    TEX -

    May 4 12:07 AM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    DOUBLE BY DEREK JETER SCORED JORGE POSADA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D JETER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 5
    TEXAS 2 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: B ABREU (.238, 1-FOR-4)

    Yankees vs. RangersMay 3 11:52 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MARK TEIXEIRA (3) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF KYLE FARNSWORTH.
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 4, TEXAS 2
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: V DIAZ (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Yankees vs. RangersMay 3 11:37 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SINGLE BY DEREK JETER SCORED JORGE POSADA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D JETER ON FIRST, M CABRERA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 4
    TEXAS 1 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: B ABREU (.240, 1-FOR-3)

    Yankees vs. RangersMay 3 11:00 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SINGLE BY MELKY CABRERA SCORED HIDEKI MATSUI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M CABRERA ON FIRST, J POSADA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 3
    TEXAS 1 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: D JETER (.337, 1-FOR-3)

    Yankees vs. RangersMay 3 10:58 PM
  • 5
    roots
    AFaust3 Added 5 roots

    Yankees vs. RangersMay 3 10:35 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SACRIFICE FLY BY IAN KINSLER SCORED SAMMY SOSA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H BLALOCK ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 2
    TEXAS 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: B WILKERSON (.241, 0-FOR-1)

    Yankees vs. RangersMay 3 9:53 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY DOUG MIENTKIEWICZ (3) TO RIGHT WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 2ND OFF ROBINSON TEJEDA SCORED JASON GIAMBI.
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 2, TEXAS 0
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: W NIEVES (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Yankees vs. RangersMay 3 9:12 PM