for this game

Cano, Rodriguez power Yankees over Athletics

Jul 19, 2008 - 3:35 AM BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- The New York Yankees have spent most the season talking about consistency, and games like this one are exactly what they had in mind.

Robinson Cano began the second half of the season by hitting a three-run homer to power the New York Yankees to a 7-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the opener of a three-game series Friday night.

Mike Mussina pitched six innings for his 12th victory and Alex Rodriguez homered for the Yankees, who have 66 games remaining in their quest for a 14th straight playoff bid.

Richie Sexson made his debut with New York and contributed a run-scoring single and Bobby Abreu added an RBI double as the Yankees won for the sixth time in eight games.

The win came on a night in which the Yankees scored six of their seven runs with two outs, improving their league-leading mark to .274. The hits by Cano, Sexson and Abreu were part of a 5-for-11 showing with two outs that sent the Yankees to their fifth straight home win.

"When you score runs with two outs, it's huge," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "It's demoralizing to the other club. It's a big lift. A lot of times you're picking up teammates that didn't get the hit. I think it usually bodes well for the win column when you get two-out hits like that."

"It was a fun night," Sexson added. "Those are some of the hardest hits in baseball to get, two-out hits."

While two-out hits have been a problem at times, injuries and inconsistent individual performances also have held the Yankees back and saw them enter the break out of a playoff spot for the second straight season.

That description pertains to Cano, who batted .246 before the break, a 28-point drop from last season.

"He's grinding his way through it," Girardi said. "If you look at it, there's been a progression where he's gotten better each month. Over the last month, he's been at his best and we need him to continue to do that because he's a big bat in our order. He can drive in a lot of runs and he can do a lot of things."

Cano batted .343 after the break last campaign and came into this one with a career mark of .334 in the second half. He also entered the contest with one hit in his previous 14 at-bats, a slump that came shortly after a 20-game span that saw him bat .373 with 11 multi-hit games.

Cano showed more of the form from his 20-game hot streak as he singled to right in the first and would have had an RBI if Rodriguez had not been thrown out at the plate. Cano's second at-bat was even better as the second baseman drove a 1-2 fastball from Greg Smith into the right-center field bleachers.

It was Cano's seventh home run and first since the Yankees' 9-0 win at Shea Stadium three weeks ago. The home run also staked the Yankees to a 4-1 lead and they never looked back, scoring two in the fourth and one in the seventh, when Rodriguez hit his 20th home run.

"It's was just a well-played game, the kind of game you want to play more often than not," Mussina said.

Mussina benefited from the offense and won his second straight decision. This one was not as effective as his six scoreless innings against the Boston Red Sox on July 5 as he allowed one run and nine hits while striking out six without a walk in this one.

It was the eighth time this season that Mussina did not issue a walk and marked the seventh time he held an opponent to one run or less. That also surpassed his win total from last season as Mussina improved to 11-3 in his last 16 starts.

Mussina gave up his only run in the first inning when he allowed three hits. The Athletics opened the game with Mark Ellis' double and Kurt Suzuki's single and took a 1-0 lead on Ryan Sweeney's groundout.

With a three-run lead, the veteran righthander had runners at first and second with no one out in the fifth. He escaped out of the jam by fanning Jack Cust and getting Emil Brown to bounce into a double play.

"It was nice after I got through those first couple of innings, I think I threw more breaking pitches," Mussina said. "I got some more strikes and I got a little better rhythm. I had a good fastball, away to righties and in to lefties. I tried to use that a little bit."

The Yankees tied it in the bottom of the inning when Sexson lined an RBI single in his first at-bat. After Cano's homer, Abreu had an RBI double to left and scored on Rodriguez's single to left.

Rodriguez's home run capped the scoring for the Yankees.

Smith, who was pushed up a day due to Thursday's trade of Joe Blanton to the Philadelphia Phillies, lasted a career-worst 3 2/3 innings and surrendered six runs and a career-high eight hits while walking five and striking out just one.

"He seemed to keep just missing (spots)," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "He wasn't missing bad. They were taking pitches and the 1-2 pitch for the home run was not where he wanted it."








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

    BATTERIES: OAK - GREG SMITH, JERRY BLEVINS (4TH), DALLAS BRADEN (6TH), ANDREW
    BROWN (7TH), LENNY DINARDO (8TH) AND KURT SUZUKI
    NYY - MIKE MUSSINA, DAVID ROBERTSON (7TH), EDWAR

    Jul 18 9:55 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ (20) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF DALLAS BRADEN.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1, NY YANKEES 7
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J POSADA (.270, 0-FOR-1, 2 BB)

    Athletics 1, Yankees 7  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 18 9:15 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ SCORED BOBBY ABREU.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A RODRIGUEZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    NY YANKEES 6 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J POSADA (.270, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Athletics 1, Yankees 6  Bot 4, 0 OutsJul 18 8:38 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BOBBY ABREU SCORED DEREK JETER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B ABREU ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    NY YANKEES 5 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: A RODRIGUEZ (.314, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Athletics 1, Yankees 5  Bot 4, 0 OutsJul 18 8:37 PM
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    roots
    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Athletics 1, Yankees 4  Top 4, 0 OutsJul 18 8:17 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY ROBINSON CANO (7) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF GREG SMITH SCORED ALEX RODRIGUEZ AND JORGE POSADA.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1, NY YANKEES 4
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: M CABRERA (.244, 1-FOR-1)

    Athletics 1, Yankees 4  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 18 8:14 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RICHIE SEXSON SCORED BOBBY ABREU.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R SEXSON ON FIRST, A RODRIGUEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    NY YANKEES 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: R CANO (.246, 6 HR, 38 RBI)

    Athletics 1, Yankees 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsJul 18 7:33 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: OAK - GREG SMITH
    NYY - MIKE MUSSINA

    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: D JETER (.284, 5 HR, 42 RBI)
    B ABREU (.274, 10 HR, 59 RBI)
    A RODRIGUEZ (.312, 19 HR, 53

    Athletics 1, Yankees 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJul 18 7:20 PM
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    roots
    yankswon26 Added 5 roots

    Athletics vs. YankeesJul 18 3:44 PM
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    dukerulez911 Added 5 roots

    Athletics vs. YankeesJul 7 9:24 PM