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Archive for Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Yankees win, lose another starter

New York rallies past Toronto, 7-4, but Hernandez departs in second inning

July 28, 2004

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— The New York Yankees overcame the loss of yet another starting pitcher to an injury.

Jorge Posada hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning, Gary Sheffield connected for his 400th career home run, and the Yankees rallied for a 7-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.

Orlando Hernandez became the latest Yankees starter with an injury, leaving after the second inning because of tightness in his left hamstring. Mike Mussina and Kevin Brown are on the disabled list, and Tanyon Sturtze injured his right pinky in the brawl with Boston on Saturday.

"I don't even want to think about it. We've been lucky," New York manager Joe Torre said. "There's not a whole lot of skill involved. We've been able to dance around this thing right now, but you certainly don't want to make a living doing that."

Hernandez thinks he'll be able to make his next start. He first noticed the tightness two days ago.

"I didn't feel it before the game, but in the second inning I felt it," Hernandez said. "I wanted to keep pitching, but the manager said no."

New York managed just two hits through seven innings, but Toronto reliever Kerry Ligtenberg (1-3) allowed all three batters he faced to reach in the eighth.

Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter singled, and Sheffield walked. Justin Speier relieved and Alex Rodriguez -- 0-for-8 with the bases loaded this year -- hit a sacrifice fly, tying it at 2.

One night after hitting a grand slam in Monday's victory, Posada homered off Speier, giving New York a 5-2 lead.

Bernie Williams and Sheffield added solo homers off Michael Nakamura in the ninth. Sheffield passed Al Kaline for 38th on the all-time list.

"This means everything because I never thought I'd reach 400 home runs," Sheffield said. "I was just hoping to get 100. When I came in the league they told me I'd be a speed guy. I'm trilled to death to get this milestone."

Scott Proctor (1-0) got two outs for his first major-league win.

Twins 7, White Sox 3

Chicago -- Johan Santana pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning, and surging Minnesota beat the White Sox to take a 21/2 game lead in the AL Central.

Cristian Guzman had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and Corey Koskie was hit by a pitch three times to tie a major-league record as the Twins won for the ninth time in 11 games.

Santana (9-6) walked two and struck out six, giving him an AL-best 161 strikeouts, in six-plus innings.

Chicago's Freddy Garcia (8-9) gave up seven hits and four runs in 71/3 innings.

Indians 10, Tigers 6

Cleveland -- Coco Crisp, who wasn't in Cleveland's original starting lineup, had his first career grand slam among three hits and drove in a career-high five runs. He became a late replacement as the starter in left field and at leadoff when Travis Hafner was scratched because of a sprained neck and Matt Lawton moved to designated hitter. C.C. Sabathia (7-5) struggled through six innings, allowing a three-run homer to Rondell White. Bobby Higginson had three RBIs for Detroit.

Angels 2, Rangers 0

Anaheim, Calif. -- Bartolo Colon combined with two relievers on a one-hitter, and Anaheim beat Texas after the teams scuffled during batting practice.

Colon pitched seven dominant innings to win his fourth consecutive start, and Texas' only hit was a clean, ground single through the left side by Michael Young on a 3-1 pitch with two outs in the third.

Colon (9-8) got all eight of his strikeouts in the first 31/3 innings, cutting Texas' AL West lead to 11/2 games over Oakland. He lost six of seven decisions before this winning streak -- during which his earned-run average is 1.67.

Athletics 5, Mariners 3

Oakland, Calif. -- Bobby Crosby and Eric Chavez homered, and Mark Redman won for the first time in six starts.

Erubiel Durazo hit an RBI double, and Eric Byrnes added a sacrifice fly as the A's sent Seattle to its 14th straight road loss, matching the club record set May 21-June 21, 1988.

They haven't won away from Safeco Field since beating the Pirates in Pittsburgh on June 20. Oakland, meanwhile, has won four straight, its longest win streak since getting a season-best eight straight victories June 5-13.

Ichiro Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a first-inning single to left. Suzuki's streak is the longest active run in the majors after Atlanta's J.D. Drew had his 22-game hitting streak snapped on Tuesday.

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