Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Wang Sinks Mariners 4-2

Streaking Yankees Win Again Despite E-Rod

Chien-Ming Wang became the 2nd Yankee to pick up his 10th victory this season as the Yankees won their 4th straight, 4-2 over the Seattle Mariners. Wang pounded the Mariner hitters with his mid-90s sinker to the tune of 15 ground ball outs. He had to work extra hard because of the extra outs provided by Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod had his worst night at third base, committing 3 errors to raise his season total to 16. He left the game with a bruised foot, the result of a foul ball, before any additional bruising to his ego could take place.

Wang worked his way out of a 1st and 2nd, nobody out jam in the 1st with just 1 run allowed. After that he had the Mariners pounding the ball into the ground. That included a ball that plugged in front of home plate off of the bat of Ichiro Suzuki.

The Yankees took the lead for good in the 2nd after there were 2 outs. Andy Phillips singled to right and Melky Cabrera followed with a hot shot that ate up 1st Baseman Richie Sexson, resulting in a two-base error. Miguel Cairo followed with a single to right to score two and advanced to 2nd on the late throw home by Raul Ibanez in an attempt to nail Melky Cabrera. Johnny Damon laced one thru the left side to score Cairo to give the Yankees a 3-1 edge. Jason Giambi provided insurance in the 5th when he blasted his 28th home run into the upper deck in right for a 4-1 lead.

The Mariners cut the lead to 4-2 on 6th inning singles by Ibanez, Richie Sexson, and Kenji Johjima, but Yuniesky Betancourt hit into an inning ending double play. Mike Myers and Scott Proctor combined for a scoreless 8th before Mariano Rivera came on in the 9th to nail down his 22nd save. Rivera, working for the 3rd time in 4 nights and on the heels of Sunday's 6-out save, got into immediate trouble by allowing a lead off double to Johjima and a single by Betancourt.

With 1st and 3rd and no one out manager Mike Hargrove sent up pinch-hitter Eduardo Perez. Rivera struck him out looking as Perez argued briefly home plate umpire Jerry Meals. Ichiro then popped out to Derek Jeter before Rivera struck out Willie Bloomquist to seal the win.

Alex Rodriguez was the subject of much speculation after the game. Specifically the validity of his injured big toe that was the result of a foul ball. Everyone from announcers to writers to the Baseball Tonight gang on ESPN wondered aloud if the real reason for leaving the game were the 3 errors. A-Rod was scheduled to have his foot x-rayed today.

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