for this game

Jeter's homer lifts Yankees over Astros

Jun 14, 2008 - 5:11 AM By Gene Duffey PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Derek Jeter is the all-time leader in hits in interleague play. He came up with a big one on Friday.

Jeter belted a solo homer in the top of the eighth inning, snapping a tie and leading the New York Yankees to a 2-1 win over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.

Jeter hit the second pitch from reliever Doug Brocail (2-1) 390 feet to right field, breaking a 1-1 deadlock. The blast, his fourth of the season, was his 259th hit in interleague action.

"To me it's just a matter of what pitches I swing at," said Jeter, who appears to be coming out of a mini-slump. "I haven't been swinging at too many bad pitches. I just haven't been getting a lot of hits. You swing at good pitches, then the results will be better."

The home run was the 199th of Jeter's career.

"It was a fastball, middle away," he said. "It was a strike."

Jose Veras (1-0) notched the victory with two innings of hitless relief that included three strikeouts and Kyle Farnsworth picked up his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth. It was Farnsworth's first save since September 19, 2006, at Toronto.

"We'd used Mo (Mariano Rivera) five out of six games and felt like I couldn't use him tonight," manager Joe Girardi said of his decision to call on Farnsworth for the ninth.

The Yankees were playing their first regular-season game here, although they did help open the stadium with an exhibition game in 2000, when it was known as Enron field.

New York rookie Joba Chamberlain, making only his third career start, worked six strong innings. The portly righthander allowed one run and six hits while throwing a career-high 88 pitches - 10 more than in his previous outing against Kansas City.

"I thought he did an excellent job," Girardi said of Chamberlain. "(Houston) is a pretty potent offense. They have a lot of guys who can hit the ball out of the park and they have speed. He used all his pitches, his changeup, curveball, slider and sinker. We've always projected him as a starter because he's a four-pitch guy."

Chamberlain, the former reliever, struck out only two, which was fine with Girardi.

"That's how you keep your pitch count down," Girardi said. "Strikeout pitchers sometimes get their pitch count up, because guys don't put the ball in play on the first or second pitch. If his spot (to bat) doesn't come up, he's going back out for the seventh."

"I threw every pitch well for a strike," Chamberlain said. "I continue to get better and can build off this. I've faced three great lineups (in three starts).

"You can't worry about that short porch in left field," Chamberlain said. "You have to continue to attack the hitters. But it's definitely a hitters' ballpark."

Houston's Hunter Pence led off the first inning with a flyout to deep left-center field, the hardest-hit ball of the night off Chamberlain.

"It was a fastball right down the middle," Chamberlain said. "Good thing the ballpark's big out there."

The Astros were able to run on the combination of Chamberlain and Jorge Posada, however, stealing four bases. Posada did throw out Michael Bourn trying to steal third in the sixth inning, after Bourn already had stole second.

"He's a little slow (to the plate)," Posada of Chamberlain. "We're working on getting the hitters first, and work on that later."

"We just knew the guy on the other side was a little slow to the plate," Houston manager Cecil Cooper said of Chamberlain. "We don't get many chances (to run like that)."

Jose Molina entered the game for Posada in the seventh and shut down the running game, squashing a potential threat in the ninth by throwing out Ty Wigginton at second base for the second out.

"Jose Molina's one of the best throwers in the game," Girardi said. "This is an aggressive club that runs a lot. I just thought it was the right thing to do."

"That's my job," Molina said. "That's what I do."

Former Yankee Shawn Chacon lasted 6 1/3 innings, giving up a run and three singles. He was pulled after walking Posada to put runners on first and second with one out in the seventh.

"I had a pretty good night," said Chacon, who battled leg cramps for a couple of innings and yielded the lone run on a single by Alex Rodriguez. "I had a real good sinker. And I guess you could say I was effectively wild. Looking back, I would have challenged Alex again. It was so early in the game. But he's a tough hitter."

"Shawn pitched well," Cooper said. "His ball was running all over the place. This is more like the guy who started the season (well) for us."

Lefthander Wesley Wright came on to get Melky Cabrera to pop up and pinch hitter Wilson Betemit to fly out, ending the Yankee threat in the seventh.

The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the first when Bobby Abreu stole second with two outs, went to third on catcher Brad Ausmus' throwing error and scored on Rodriguez's single.

Houston tied the game in the fourth on an RBI base hit to left by Wigginton.






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    Yankees 2, Astros 1  FinalJun 14 12:23 AM


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    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    NY YANKEES 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 5 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: NYY - JOBA CHAMBERLAIN, JOSE VERAS (7TH), KYLE FARNSWORTH (9TH) AND
    JORGE POSADA, JOSE MOLINA (7TH)
    HOU - SHAWN CHACON, WESLEY WRIGHT (7TH), DOUG BROCAIL
    (8TH), JO

    Jun 13 11:03 PM
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    Yankees 2, Astros 1  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 13 10:38 PM
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    Yankees 2, Astros 1  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 13 10:36 PM


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    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DEREK JETER (4) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF DOUG BROCAIL.
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 2, HOUSTON 1
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: R CANO (.218, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Yankees 2, Astros 1  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 13 10:24 PM
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    Yankees 2, Astros 1  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 13 10:24 PM
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    Yankees 1, Astros 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 13 9:29 PM


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    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY TY WIGGINTON SCORED CARLOS LEE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T WIGGINTON ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 1
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M BOURN (.227, 0-FOR-1)

    Yankees 1, Astros 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsJun 13 9:15 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: NYY - JOBA CHAMBERLAIN
    HOU - SHAWN CHACON

    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.284, 8 HR, 35 RBI)
    K MATSUI (.281, 1 HR, 13 RBI)
    M TEJADA (.302, 9 HR, 41 RBI)

    Yankees 1, Astros 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJun 13 8:16 PM