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St. Louis000000000051

Big Unit shakes off struggles as Yanks shut out St. Louis

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- The old Randy Johnson responded to Joe Torre's new motivational tactic. A day after the New York Yankees got a tongue-lashing from their manager, Johnson outpitched Mark Mulder in a matchup of two of the game's best left-handers and beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-0 Saturday.

"I thought we played with a lot more intensity today," Derek Jeter said. "It doesn't hurt that Randy pitched well, too."

Jeter and Alex Rodriguez each had two RBI for the Yankees in their third victory in 11 games on a season-high 12-game trip. New York's sloppy three-error performance in an 8-1 loss Friday night prompted the usually even-keeled Torre to call a closed-door meeting.

"Certainly, we're closer to the team you saw today than last night," Torre said. "Last night was just a horrible experience for all us. We just have to build on something."

Johnson (6-5) allowed four two-out hits in seven innings to bounce back from losses in consecutive starts. He earned his 252nd win to pull ahead of Cardinals Hall of Famer Bob Gibson for 41st place on the career list. Johnson struck out seven and walked none to win for the first time in St. Louis since April 16, 2002, when he was with the Diamondbacks.

"I think this road trip's been pretty rough for just about everybody," Johnson said. "I felt pretty comfortable out there, especially after we scored some early runs."

It was a much better day all-around for Torre, who received a standing ovation when he removed a number from the right-field wall as part of the countdown for the final year of Busch Stadium. Torre played for six seasons in St. Louis, winning the MVP and a batting title in 1971, and managed the Cardinals from 1990-95. He received what amounted to a victory lap around the warning track after the ceremony with team mascot Fredbird piloting a miniature car.

"It was much nicer to do it with a four-run lead than it would have been otherwise," Torre said. "I always felt very close here, especially in my playing days."

The Cardinals, who lost for just the third time in their last 20 interleague games, will be trying to win consecutive series against the American League's highest profile teams in the finale on Sunday. St. Louis began the week by taking two of three from the Boston Red Sox in a World Series rematch.

"(Johnson) was really oiled up and throwing well," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "The only way to win that game was 1-0."

Johnson, who had entered 1-5 on the road with a 5.35 ERA in five start starts, dominated a lineup minus the Cardinals' top two left-handed hitters. Jim Edmonds, banged up a bit in recent games, and Larry Walker both got the day off despite good numbers against Johnson.

Edmonds is 6-for-25 with two home runs and Walker is 11-for-28, but manager Tony La Russa said both needed a break. Both pinch-hit in the eighth, with Edmonds drawing a walk off Tom Gordon and Walker taking a called third strike from Mariano Rivera for the third out with runners on second and third.

Gordon left with two outs in the eighth after taking a grounder off his right hand. Rivera finished the five-hitter by getting the last four outs for his 14th straight save after blowing his first two opportunities this season.

Mulder (7-4) lost his third straight start, allowing four runs on seven hits in six innings. Since 2001, Mulder leads lefties with 79 victories and Johnson is second with 73.

The Yankees manufactured a run in the first on Hideki Matsui's one-out walk, a single by Gary Sheffield and an RBI groundout by Rodriguez.

A poor decision by Cardinals third baseman Abraham Nunez opened the door for the Yankees' three-run fourth. With one out and runners at first and second, Nunez had time to make at least a forceout at third after fielding Johnson's tapper just beyond the grass apron but instead he threw to first and the runners moved up.

"Nobody was yelling to throw it anywhere and everybody was moving," Nunez said. "I didn't think I had an out anywhere else."

The next batter, Jeter, hit a two-run single and Matsui followed with an RBI double off the right-field wall for a 4-0 lead. Rodriguez added an RBI infield hit in the ninth.

The Yankees made no errors on Saturday and benefited from a nice throw by Matsui in left to save a run in the fourth. Matsui easily caught Reggie Sanders at the plate trying to score from second on Mark Grudzielanek's line-drive single with two outs in the fourth.

Notes

  • The Yankees have lost eight games on a trip for the first time since they went 3-10 from Aug. 14-27, 1995.
  • A nice recovery by Grudzielanek at 2B saved a run in the third for St. Louis. 3B Nunez deflected Williams' infield hit with runners at first and second to Grudzielanek, who threw to plate to put Jeter in a rundown where he was eventually thrown out at third.
  • Johnson is 2-4 with a 2.88 ERA for his career at Busch Stadium and 6-6 with a 3.58 ERA overall against the Cardinals.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Randy Johnson strikes out seven with no walks, allowing just four hits in seven innings.  (AP)
Randy Johnson strikes out seven with no walks, allowing just four hits in seven innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

D. Jeter
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
New York

R. Johnson
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 0
K 7
 
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS4222100 .293
Hideki Matsui, LF4121111 .270
Gary Sheffield, RF5010002 .296
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4022110 .326
Bernie Williams, CF5020015 .243
Tino Martinez, 1B4000022 .231
John Flaherty, C4110001 .191
Robinson Cano, 2B2100122 .256
Randy Johnson, P3000001 .000
   a- Ruben Sierra, PH1000012 .234
    Tom Gordon, P0000000 .000
    Mariano Rivera, P0000000 .000
Totals3651054816 
a-struck out for R. Johnson in the 8th
Batting
2B - Hideki Matsui (17, Mulder)
RBI - Derek Jeter 2 (26), Hideki Matsui (40), Alex Rodriguez 2 (55)
2-OUT RBI - Derek Jeter 2 (14), Hideki Matsui (12), Alex Rodriguez (23)
SB - Alex Rodriguez (6, 2nd base off King/Molina)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Hideki Matsui 1
New York Yankees
Randy Johnson (W,6-5) 7400070 3.76
Tom Gordon 0.2100110 2.79
Mariano Rivera (S,14) 1.1000030 1.19
Pitches-Strikes - Tom Gordon 18-10, Mariano Rivera 20-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Johnson 5-8, Tom Gordon 1-0
Batters Faced - Randy Johnson 24, Tom Gordon 4, Mariano Rivera 4
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS4000010 .300
So Taguchi, CF3000010 .229
   a- Larry Walker, PH1000012 .247
    Julian Tavarez, P0000000 .000
    Ray King, P0000000 .000
Albert Pujols, 1B4000000 .332
Reggie Sanders, LF4010020 .271
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B4020021 .321
John Mabry, RF3010021 .264
Abraham Nunez, 3B3010001 .271
Yadier Molina, C3000011 .244
Mark Mulder, P1000010 .154
   b- Scott Seabol, PH1000000 .229
    Brad Thompson, P0000000 .000
    Al Reyes, P0000000 .000
   c- Jim Edmonds, PH-CF0000100 .279
Totals310501116 
a-struck out for Taguchi in the 8th
b-popped out for Mulder in the 6th
c-walked for Reyes in the 8th
Batting
SB - Reggie Sanders (10, 2nd base off R. Johnson/Flaherty)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Eckstein-Grudzielanek-Pujols
E - Abraham Nunez (2, misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Mark Mulder (L,7-4) 6744340 4.30
Brad Thompson 1000010 2.70
Al Reyes 1100020 1.78
Julian Tavarez 0.2211100 2.64
Ray King 0.1000010 3.38
HBP - Cano (by Mark Mulder)
WP - Mark Mulder (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Mulder 73-42, Brad Thompson 9-7, Al Reyes 19-12, Julian Tavarez 18-9, Ray King 6-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Mulder 10-3, Brad Thompson 1-1, Al Reyes 1-1, Julian Tavarez 1-0
Batters Faced - Mark Mulder 28, Brad Thompson 3, Al Reyes 5, Julian Tavarez 4, Ray King 1
Game Information
Attendance - 50177
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Joe Brinkman, First Base - Derryl Cousins, Second Base - Jeff Nelson, Third Base - Bill Miller