|A-Rod, Mussina help surging Yankees trim deficit|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 13 June 2007 22:25|
Rodriguez hit his major league-leading 25th homer, Mike Mussina earned his first win in more than a month and New York beat the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2 on Wednesday night for its eighth straight victory.
Hideki Matsui added a three-run shot and Jorge Posada also connected to help the Yankees move within 8 1/2 games of the AL East-leading Red Sox, who lost 12-2 to Colorado at Fenway Park.
In a little more than two weeks, the resurgent Bronx Bombers have sliced six games off their startling deficit. New York was a season-worst 14 1/2 games behind Boston after games of May 29.
``There is a lot of confidence in this clubhouse,'' Rodriguez said.
The Rockies roughed up Curt Schilling in his first start since his near no-hitter, getting four RBIs from Todd Helton and a three-run homer by Brad Hawpe.
Boston's 8 1/2-game cushion in the division is its smallest since the Red Sox led by nine after games of May 16. They still own the best record in the major leagues at 41-23.
``You get blown out like that, you can deal with it - not like a 4-3 loss,'' first baseman Kevin Youkilis said. ``It's one of those nights when you want to get the game over.''
In other interleague games, it was: Philadelphia 8, the Chicago White Sox 4; Toronto 7, San Francisco 4; Pittsburgh 8, Texas 1; Milwaukee 3, Detroit 2; Cleveland 7, Florida 3; Washington 9, Baltimore 6 in 11 innings; San Diego 9, Tampa Bay 0; the Los Angeles Angels 6, Cincinnati 3; the Chicago Cubs 3, Seattle 2; Oakland 7, Houston 3; Minnesota 6, Atlanta 0; and St. Louis 7, Kansas City 3.
In the only NL game, the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the New York Mets 9-1.
Schilling (6-3) followed perhaps the best start of his career with one of his poorest since he came to Boston before the 2004 season. Last Thursday, he beat Oakland 1-0 and allowed one hit - a single by Shannon Stewart with two outs in the ninth.
On Wednesday, the right-hander gave up an infield single to the first hitter he faced, Willy Taveras, and left after five innings trailing 6-2. He allowed nine hits. It was just the 11th time in 87 starts spanning four seasons that Schilling yielded at least six runs.
``I had a manageable, winnable game in the fifth and I gave up a three-run homer,'' Schilling said.
The Yankees (32-31) have won 11 of 13 to move above .500 for the first time since they were 8-7 after losing at Boston on April 20.
Mussina (3-3) allowed two runs and six hits in 7 2-3 innings to earn his first win since beating Texas on May 9. He finished with a season-high seven strikeouts in his 242nd win, moving into sole possession of 50th place on the career list. Juan Marichal is 49th with 243 wins.
``Threw a lot of strikes, got a lot of breaking balls over, and when you get seven runs to work with, you don't worry so much about the solo home runs,'' Mussina said.
Rodriguez drove a pitch from Livan Hernandez (5-4) off the facade of the upper deck in left for a two-run homer that made it 3-1 in the third. Rodriguez, who also singled in a run, is batting .357 (15-for-42) with six homers and 21 RBIs in 12 games this month.
Phillies 8, White Sox 4
Aaron Rowand hit a grand slam and drove in five runs, helping Philadelphia complete its first home sweep this season.
Blue Jays 7, Giants 4
Aaron Hill had a two-run single in Toronto's five-run fourth inning and Matt Stairs drove in two runs as the visiting Blue Jays avoided a three-game sweep and handed Tim Lincecum (2-1) his first major league loss.
Dustin McGowan (3-2) won his third straight decision, allowing two runs in six innings. Jeremy Accardo earned his eighth save.
Pirates 8, Rangers 1
Ian Snell pitched his first career complete game and Jose Bautista had three hits and three RBIs for host Pittsburgh.
Snell (6-4) gave up an unearned run and seven hits, striking out seven. Robinson Tejeda (5-7) allowed three earned runs and seven hits in four innings for Texas.
Brewers 3, Tigers 2
Bill Hall hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning for visiting Milwaukee, one night after Detroit's Justin Verlander threw a no-hitter against the Brewers. Francisco Cordero got his major league-leading 23rd save.
Padres 9, Devil Rays 0
Jake Peavy allowed two hits in seven innings and visiting San Diego got home runs from Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Terrmel Sledge in snapping a season-worst four-game losing streak.
Peavy (8-1) struck out eight. Edwin Jackson (0-8) allowed seven of his eight batters to reach base.
Angels 6, Reds 3
Vladimir Guerrero emerged from his deep slump by driving in four runs for visiting Los Angeles, and John Lackey became the majors' first 10-game winner.
Guerrero, who was in an 0-for-14 slide, drove in runs with a grounder and two doubles off Kyle Lohse (3-8). The four RBIs matched Guerrero's season high. Lackey (10-4) gave up four hits and three runs - one earned - in six innings.
Cubs 3, Mariners 2
Sean Marshall pitched eight strong innings, and host Chicago snapped Seattle's season-high five-game winning streak.
Marshall (3-2) won his third straight start, allowing two runs and seven hits. Seattle starter Miguel Batista (7-5) lasted seven innings, allowing one earned run and nine hits.
Twins 6, Braves 0
Carlos Silva threw his second career shutout and Torii Hunter drove in two runs with a homer and a bunt single for host Minnesota.
Lew Ford and Justin Morneau added home runs to support Silva (4-7), who scattered eight singles. Chuck James (5-6) was knocked around throughout his 4 1-3 innings, allowing nine hits and six runs.
Indians 7, Marlins 3
David Dellucci broke a tie with a three-run homer in the sixth to lead visiting Cleveland in a game that included the ejections of Marlins reliever Taylor Tankersley, first baseman Aaron Boone and manager Fredi Gonzalez. Cliff Lee (3-4) allowed three hits and struck out six in five innings for his first win in five starts.
Athletics 7, Astros 3
Mark Ellis hit a two-run double in the eighth off Dan Wheeler (0-4) as visiting Oakland rallied.
Eric Chavez had a two-run single during the five-run inning and also homered for the A's, who have won nine of 11. Joe Blanton (6-4) won for the second time in five starts despite giving up eight hits - six doubles.
Nationals 9, Orioles 6, 11 innings
At Baltimore, Felipe Lopez tripled with the bases loaded off Orioles closer Chris Ray (3-5) in the 11th. Saul Rivera got his third save.
Cardinals 7, Royals 3
Adam Wainwright allowed one hit in a career-best eight innings and Albert Pujols drove in three runs for visiting St. Louis.
Wainwright (5-5) had a no-hit bid broken up by Esteban German's single with two outs in the sixth. Odalis Perez (3-7) gave up six earned runs and 10 hits in three-plus innings.
Dodgers 9, Mets 1
Brad Penny pitched seven sharp innings and host Los Angeles broke open a tight game with consecutive three-run innings against Jorge Sosa (6-2), handing New York its fifth straight loss.
Penny (8-1) struck out seven and lowered his ERA to 2.18, second-best in the NL. The three-game sweep was the Dodgers' first over the Mets in Los Angeles since August 1996. New York has lost nine of 10 overall heading into its Subway Series against the Yankees beginning Friday night.