Archive for Monday, April 29, 2002

American League Roundup: Yankees win series with Mariners

Johnson’s double in ninth helps New York take two of three with Seattle

April 29, 2002


— In their first trip West this season, the New York Yankees repeated their success from last year's playoffs.

Rookie Nick Johnson's two-out RBI double in the ninth inning broke a tie and gave the Yankees a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

New York won two of three in Seattle to complete a 4-2 trip that began in Oakland. The Yankees beat the Athletics and Mariners in the past two postseasons en route to winning four straight AL pennants.

"These are the clubs that have played well over the last couple of years. So that's how you measure yourself," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "They measure themselves against us and we do the same thing against them."

The Yankees bounced back after losing a heartbreaker on a one-hitter Saturday night, when Desi Relaford's eighth-inning RBI single spoiled young left-hander Ted Lilly's no-hit bid for a 1-0 Mariners' victory.

"It's great to win ball games," Johnson said. "This is a pretty good team. It's great to keep winning games."

Orlando Hernandez and three relievers limited the Mariners to five hits. Mariano Rivera hit a batter and walked another with one out in the ninth before striking out pinch-hitter Ichiro Suzuki and retiring Mark McLemore on a groundout for his eighth save in 10 chances.

The Yankees held the Mariners to five runs and a .140 (12-for-86) batting average in the three games. Seattle came in as the No. 2 hitting team in the AL at .300. The Yankees lead the AL with a 3.45 ERA.

"We need to get a few guys started," Mariners manager Lou Piniella said.

With the score tied at 3, Jorge Posada led off the ninth by drawing a walk against Arthur Rhodes (1-1) and was sacrificed to second by Ron Coomer. Ex-Yankee Jeff Nelson came in and threw a wild pitch that moved Posada to third.

With the infield in, Rondell White hit a popup to shallow right that rookie second baseman Luis Ugueto caught with an outstanding back-to-the-infield catch.

Johnson followed with an opposite-field double off the left-field wall on a 3-1 pitch to score the go-ahead run.

"It's awesome," said Johnson, who snapped out of a 2-for-24 slump. "I haven't been swinging the bat too good. To get a hit to put us ahead feels great."

Steve Karsay (1-0) got Bret Boone to ground out with a runner at third in the bottom of the eighth for the win.

Rhodes had a 10-game regular season winning streak broken, the longest ever by a Mariners' reliever. It was his first defeat since Oakland beat him 8-2 on Sept. 23, 2000.

The Mariners had tied the score at 3 in the sixth on Ruben Sierra's RBI single and John Olerud's sacrifice fly. Jason Giambi gave the Yankees a 3-1 lead with a two-run double in the top of the inning.

Giambi was 8-for-25 (.320) with three doubles and five RBIs on the Yankees' roadtrip, raising his average to .277.

"Now, I'm letting the ball get to me and hitting line drives to left and left-center," said Giambi, who signed a $120 million deal with the Yankees in the offseason. "So things are definitely starting to come around."

Athletics 10, White Sox 0

Oakland, Calif. Tim Hudson (3-2) allowed three hits in eight innings and Billy Koch pitched a 1-2-3 ninth as Oakland complete a three-game sweep. Eric Chavez homered and had four RBIs, and the A's took advantage of three errors to score four unearned runs in winning their season-high fourth straight. Oakland outscored Chicago 32-5 in the series.

Tigers 5, Twins 4

Detroit Bobby Higginson singled home the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth as Detroit completed its first series sweep in 34 tries since last July. Minnesota trailed 4-1 before Corey Koskie's two-run homer off Jose Paniagua in the eighth and Cristian Guzman's RBI grounder in the ninth.

Angels 8, Blue Jays 5, 14 innings

Anaheim, Calif. David Eckstein hit his second grand slam in two days with two outs in the bottom of the 14th inning off Pedro Borbon (1-2) as Anaheim rallied three times to complete a three-game sweep and extend Toronto's losing streak to five games. Garret Anderson went 4-for-6 with a triple and two doubles for the Angels. The victory went to the last of Anaheim's seven relievers, Mark Lukasiewicz (1-0).

Rangers 2, Indians 1

Arlington, Texas Ismael Valdes (2-3) pitched six strong innings, and Rusty Greer drove in the go-ahead run as Texas beat Bartolo Colon and Cleveland. John Rocker, who faced just one batter in each of his two previous outings since being recalled from the minors, got out of a jam in the seventh.

Devil Rays-Red Sox ppd

Boston Sunday's game between the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Boston Red Sox was postponed because of rain. It has been rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader on July 23.

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