Thursday, August 10, 2006

Yankees Hold on for 7-6 Win

Nearly blow 7-0 lead and Johnson effort

The Yankees knew they needed to bounce back from Tuesday's night tough extra-inning loss to the Chicago White Sox and they did just that. Then they nearly revisited Tuesday's game again. Leading 7-0 the Yankee saw their lead cut to 7-6 before Mariano Rivera escaped a 2-on, 2-out jam in the 9th to preserve the win.

The game looked like it was going to be a laugher. Randy Johnson was dominant, throwing 6 innings of no-hit ball before Tadahito Iguchi led off the 7th with a single. The Yankees jumped on John Garland in the 1st when Johnny Damon led off the game with a triple and came home on a Bobby Abreu single for 1-0 lead. The Yankees had a chance for more, but Alex Rodriguez bounced into a double play and Jorge Posada popped out.

The Yankees then turned to home run derby. Melky Cabrera led off the 5th with his 5th home run of the season. Later in the inning Abreu hit his first Yankee home run with a man aboard for a 4-0 lead. Robinson Cano extended the gap to 5-0 with his 5th home run leading off the 6th. Cano also had a double and is 5-9 in his 2 games back from the DL.

Garland (12-4) was finally knocked from the box in the 7th after allowing a lead off double to Andy Phillips. Phillips entered the game in the 4th as Damon left with a tightened groin. David Riske walked Derek Jeter after a passed ball allowed Phillips to reach third. Jeter then stole his 25th base to put two runners in scoring position. Both came home on a single by A-Rod and a ground out by Posada. The Yankees led 7-0 and the White Sox didn't even have a hit yet.

Johnson (12-9) hadn't struck out a batter in his last 2 starts, but had 5 on the night. He returned to starting his windup with his hands in front of his face. It was the first time he had done so since his start on May 24. After Iguchi broke up the no-no, Johnson walked Jim Thome and gave up back-to-back doubles to Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye. Just like that it was a 7-2 game and Johnson was done for the night. Ron Villone walked Joe Crede to load the bases, but 2 pop ups and fly out later, he got out of the jam.

The 8th inning again showed what an enigma Kyle Farnsworth is. He can be totally dominant one moment and look like a guy who belongs in the Pioneer League in the next. After striking out Scott Podsednik to start the frame, he hung a slider to Iguchi that the 2nd year player hit into the seats to cut the lead to 7-3. Farnsworth struck out Jim Thome for the 2nd out, but then things got really interesting. Paul Konerko drew a walk and Jermaine Dye followed with a single. Joe Crede then knocked Farnsworth out of the box with a 411-ft, 3-run shot to cut the gap to just one run. Mariano Rivera retired A.J. Pierzynski on a comebacker to finally end the inning.

The White Sox had one more chance against Rivera in the 9th after Mo hit Brian Anderson with one out. Podsednik k'ed again, but Iguchi, who came into the game on a 3-24 skid, picked up his 3rd hit of the night chasing Anderson to 3rd. The blooper to center may have been caught by Damon had he still been in the game, but Bernie Williams, who started the game as the DH, didn't come close. Rivera finally put the game to rest, getting Thome to bounce out harmlessly to Cano to pick up his 29th save and send everyone to bed happy.


The victory by Randy Johnson was the 275th of his career. John Garland's loss snapped an 8 game winning streak.

Bobby Abreu's home run snapped a homerless streak of 163 at-bats, the longest of his career.

Octavio Dotel will continue his rehab from Tommy John surgery at Double-A Trenton. Carl Pavano will make an appearance for Single-A Tampa today as he attempts, yet again, to return to the big club.

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