Saturday, July 22, 2006
Yanks Comeback a Winner
Once again, Joe Torre seems to have the magic touch.
Torre held a pregame meeting with the Yankees on Saturday, urging his players not to let their three-game losing streak snowball into something much worse.
New York responded to Torre's words, as the Yankees grinded their way to a 5-4 win over the Blue Jays, snapping the losing streak.
The win, combined with Boston's loss in Seattle, moved the Yankees within 2 1/2 games of the Red Sox in the American League East.
The game-winning run didn't come in the most dramatic of fashions, as Derek Jeter worked a bases-loaded walk against Justin Speier in the seventh inning. But it got the job done.
Chien-Ming Wang earned his 11th win of the season, tying Mike Mussina for the team lead in victories. Wang didn't have his best stuff, but his six innings of four-run ball proved to be enough.
If there was any down side for the Yankees in the game, it was another tough day for Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod, who started as the designated hitter, went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. It was just the second time in his career that he K'd four times, the first since June 22, 1995, against the White Sox.
The Yankees got things started in the second, as Jorge Posada -- who got into a heated exchange with Lilly after a pitch came near his head -- tripled for the first time in more than four years.
Bernie Williams followed with a two-run home run, his seventh, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
Toronto tied the game with a run in the second and a run in the fourth, as Eric Hinske's solo shot off Wang made it a 2-2 game. Lyle Overbay gave Toronto its first lead of the game in the fifth with a two-out, two-run double.
With runners at the corners and two outs in the sixth, Jeter and Johnny Damon tried a double steal. The play caught Lilly off-guard, prompting a balk, which allowed Damon to score to cut the lead to one.
Down 4-3, New York rallied in the seventh, putting runners at first and second with one out. Giambi, pinch-hitting for Nick Green, pulled a one-out RBI double inside the first-base line against Scott Downs to tie the game.
After an intentional walk to Damon to load the bases, Downs was removed in favor of Speier, who struck out Miguel Cairo for the second out. But Jeter worked a walk against Speier, forcing Melky Cabrera home to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead.
Scott Proctor pitched the seventh, overcoming a one-out double by Frank Catalanotto by striking out Vernon Wells and Troy Glaus, getting the final out on a 98-mph fastball that froze Glaus for a called third strike.
Kyle Farnsworth struck out the side in the eighth, hitting 101 mph on the radar gun. Mariano Rivera closed out the game with a scoreless ninth, earning his 23rd save.
The Yankees will try to salvage the series split on Sunday, looking to leave town on a high note before heading to Texas. Stopping the losing streak was important, but now they hope to begin a winning streak.
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Posted by Steve Kenul at 11:32 PM