NEW YORK (AP) -Yankees reliever Scott Proctor has been struggling to put fires out of late, so he tried igniting one himself.
Proctor carried his personal game equipment out to the field long after Saturday's 7-0 loss to Oakland and set it ablaze on the gravel outside the Yankees dugout, leading to tabloid headlines of ``Proctor All Fired Up'' and ``Proctor in shambles, burns glove.''
``It was all just a joke, man, I mean really,'' Proctor said Sunday. ``Just something I've done in the past.''
Proctor, who said he couldn't remember if the fire worked when he was struggling in Triple-A, has allowed six runs and 10 hits in his last 4 1-3 innings.
``If I go out there and start throwing shutout innings, then I'll feel a lot better,'' Proctor said. ``Until then, got to go out and prove yourself on the field. I wish it was that easy, just burn stuff and start turning things around.''
Proctor's postgame bonfire at Yankee Stadium was the latest dustup for a team frustrated with its inconsistent play.
Kyle Farnsworth, also one of manager Joe Torre's favorite late-inning relievers, was visibly upset after leaving two outings last week. Catcher Jorge Posada questioned the team's effort after New York managed just one hit Saturday.
``I think Jorge didn't corner the market, or Farnsworth hasn't cornered the market on the frustration,'' Torre said Sunday. ``Proctor, I think he's still scorched by that game the other day, in Baltimore.''
Proctor gave up Barry Bonds' 749th career homer in a win over San Francisco on June 22 and was charged with the loss in the Giants' 13-inning victory the next day. He issued a bases-loaded walk to Ramon Hernandez that forced in the winning run in the Orioles' 3-2 win Tuesday.
After allowing three runs and three hits in one-third of an inning Saturday, Proctor had seen enough. The 30-year-old right-hander said he didn't destroy any team-owned stuff and was hoping he didn't get a hard comebacker before he had a chance to break in his new glove.
Torre didn't sound like he had any plans to discipline him.
``It's his glove,'' Torre said. ``I don't know where he got the matches. That may be ours, I don't know.''
Proctor isn't the only one struggling on the Yankees, who had dropped eight of 10 entering Sunday's game against Oakland after an 11-1 stretch.
Saturday's loss was the fifth straight completed game in which they failed to score more than two runs. They led 8-6 Thursday night in Baltimore when that game was suspended due to rain.
Torre tinkered with his lineup for Sunday's game, moving Robinson Cano into the third spot and Bobby Abreu down to seventh. New York also purchased the contract of right-hander Edwar Ramirez from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and optioned infielder Chris Basak to its top farm club.
``We have to find a way to get better and we have to find a way to keep it that way,'' Torre said. ``Everyday you go out there and you put a lineup down, that's the day you're going to start. You have to think that way.''
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