Saturday, August 19, 2006

Yankees Offense Dominance Continues

During a span of roughly 28 hours, the Yankees managed to turn Fenway Park into their own personal batting cage.
New York continued its domination over Boston's pitching, rapping Josh Beckett and a trio of relievers around the yard in a 13-5 victory.

The win was the third in a row for the Yankees, who extended their lead in the American League East to 4 1/2 games over the Red Sox.

Jorge Posada's three-run triple capped a five-run sixth inning for New York, which has scored 39 runs in the first three games of the five-game series. Robinson Cano put the game away with a three-run homer in the eighth.

Johnny Damon continued to torch his former team, going 3-for-5 with three doubles. Damon is 9-for-19 with six extra-base hits, five runs scored and eight RBIs in the three games.

Randy Johnson wasn't at his best, allowing five runs on four hits in seven innings, but he was worlds better than Beckett, who was charged with nine runs on seven hits and a career-high nine walks in 5 2/3 innings. In three starts against New York this year, he is 1-2 with a 12.21 ERA; in his last two, he is 0-2 with a 20.57 ERA.

The Yankees jumped out to a 3-0 lead after three innings, scoring twice in the second and once in the third. New York worked Beckett's pitch count, which reached 64 by the end of the third.

Johnson cruised through the first three innings without allowing a hit, and he erased his only walk with a double-play ball. But things fell apart in the fourth, as the Sox hit the Big Unit for four runs, three on Manny Ramirez's 34th homer of the year -- which also happened to be Boston's first hit of the game.

The Yankees regained the lead in the fifth with a pair of runs against Beckett, who needed 25 more pitches to get through the inning, bringing his total to 97. Boston tied it at 5 in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI sacrifice fly by David Ortiz.

Beckett couldn't hold the game there in the sixth, though, losing whatever limited control he may have had. After Damon doubled with one out, Beckett walked Jeter. Bobby Abreu grounded out to first, moving the runners to second and third, then Beckett walked Jason Giambi to load the bases.

Alex Rodriguez, who hit into a double play with the bases loaded in the first, drew a walk to bring Damon home and give the Yankees a 6-5 lead. The walk, which was Beckett's ninth of the game, was all Terry Francona could take, as he pulled his starter in favor of Manny Delcarmen.

Unfortunately, Delcarmen was no better, as he walked Cano to force in another run. That brought up Posada, who worked the count to 3-1 before drilling a triple to center, clearing the bases to give the Yankees a 10-5 lead.

Johnson retired the side in order in the sixth, striking out Gabe Kapler to end the inning. That brought a big fist pump from the Big Unit, who was able to keep the momentum on his team's side. Johnson posted another zero in the seventh, striking Ortiz out with a runner on second to end the frame -- and his day.

Cano's homer was the icing on the cake, stretching the lead to 13-5. Cano crushed his shot into the batter's eye seats in center field, his eighth homer of the year.

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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 6:48 PM


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