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Pittsburgh at New York

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Pittsburgh0002101100591
N.Y. Yankees «01000012127150

Giambi's mammoth homer powers Yankees past Pirates

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

NEW YORK -- Jason Giambi stood outside the dugout and raised his arms to a cheering crowd.

It's been a long time since he -- and the New York Yankees -- heard such a roar.

Booed at home for most of the year, Giambi hit a two-run homer into the upper deck in the 10th inning, and New York rallied past the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-5 Wednesday night with help from a questionable call.

"For one swing, I put it all together," Giambi said. "Hopefully, this is a turning point."

Jorge Posada tied the game with a two-out double off Jose Mesa in the ninth, and New York overcame Kevin Brown's latest back injury to beat Pittsburgh for the second consecutive night.

Before the game, the Yankees unveiled plans for a new $800 million ballpark they hope to move into in 2009. It will be built adjacent to the current stadium, which opened in 1923, and the team hopes to break ground next spring.

But first, the Yankees summoned some of their old late-inning magic for perhaps their most exciting victory in a sluggish season.

"If this game doesn't pick us up, I don't know what game will. We weren't going to be denied," manager Joe Torre said. "That's the attitude that it looked like we had. Guys kept fighting, biting and doing everything possible to make sure the game wouldn't end."

Trailing 5-4, New York caught a big break in the ninth. With one out and a runner on first, Gary Sheffield's smash up the middle appeared headed toward center for a single. But it deflected off Mesa (0-5) to shortstop Jack Wilson, who tried to start a double play that would have ended the game.

Replays showed the relay from second baseman Jose Castillo beat Sheffield at first, but he was called safe by umpire Tony Randazzo.

"I don't need to see a replay. He was clearly out," Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon said. "It's not easy to take, that's for sure. We've got a nice little team here, but we're not good enough to beat the Yankees twice in their own ballpark."

Pittsburgh's middle infielders protested a bit, though McClendon never came out of the dugout to argue.

"It was a bang-bang play, and I had him beat," Randazzo said. "They didn't complain. That's what I had out there, and that's what I called."

But McClendon said there was only one reason he didn't dispute the play.

"I've come to learn that arguing gets me in trouble for some reason," he said.

Alex Rodriguez singled, and Posada doubled off the right-field fence to tie it. When the throw in trickled away from Wilson, Rodriguez made an ill-advised decision to try and score. He was easily cut down at the plate.

Not to be deterred, the Yankees got a leadoff walk from pinch-hitter Tino Martinez in the 10th. After Tony Womack sacrificed, Giambi drove a 2-2 pitch deep into the right-field upper deck.

"It was where I wanted it. Sometimes you have to give the hitter credit," Mesa said. "Even though the umpire missed the play, I didn't do my job."

It was the first moment of pure elation in a long while for Giambi, who has all but admitted using performance-enhancing drugs.

"He's handled his share of problems. To come back in a game like this and be the hero, it had to mean a great deal to him," Torre said.

Especially after getting booed loudly by the crowd of 48,828 when he struck out in a key spot in the eighth.

"Deep inside, I want to get a hit as badly as they want me to get a hit," Giambi said.

His third career game-ending homer -- second with the Yankees -- made New York 1-30 this season when trailing after eight innings.

It also was his first homer since May 17 in Seattle, and he took a curtain call to celebrate.

"It was incredible," Giambi said.

The Pirates dropped to 27-3 when leading after eight, and Mesa was handed his third blown save in 20 chances.

Mariano Rivera (3-2) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

Jason Bay and Wilson homered, and Mark Redman shut down the inconsistent Yankees for 6 2/3 innings.

Brown left in the fifth with lower back spasms and will be re-evaluated Thursday. He gave up RBI singles to Bay, Ryan Doumit and Daryle Ward, and the Pirates built a 4-1 lead.

The Yankees cut it to 5-4 in the eighth on Hideki Matsui's RBI single and Ruben Sierra's run-scoring double off Mike Gonzalez.

Wilson homered on the first pitch from Tanyon Sturtze in the seventh, and Bay did the same in the eighth, making it 5-2.

Posada also connected for New York, and Robinson Cano had an RBI infield single.

Brown allowed three runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander missed his previous turn in the rotation because of a sore left shoulder. He got hurt while covering first base in Minnesota on June 5. He also missed the first two weeks of the season with a strained back.

"I almost cost us the game. But what do you in that situation? If you don't pitch with a little discomfort, you'll never get on the mound. I have to figure out where that line is," Brown said. "This is probably just residual stuff from what happened in Minnesota. That whole side has just been stiff and sore ever since."

Notes

  • The Yankees have won consecutive games for the first time since May 22-27.
  • It was Giambi's 99th homer with the Yankees.
  • The Yankees optioned INF Andy Phillips to Triple-A Columbus and recalled OF Bubba Crosby.
 
Copyright 2015 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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Hitting coach Don Mattingly congratulates Jason Giambi after his walk-off home run. (AP)
Hitting coach Don Mattingly congratulates Jason Giambi after his walk-off home run. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

J. Posada
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
New York

J. Giambi
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Matt Lawton, RF5100011 .276
Freddy Sanchez, 3B4130100 .287
Jason Bay, LF5122013 .303
Rob Mackowiak, CF5110023 .335
Ryan Doumit, DH4011010 .333
Daryle Ward, 1B4011000 .281
Jose Castillo, 2B4000011 .273
Jack Wilson, SS4111012 .231
David Ross, C3000120 .198
Totals385952910 
Batting
HR - Jason Bay (12, Sturtze), Jack Wilson (4, Sturtze)
RBI - Jason Bay 2 (33), Ryan Doumit (5), Daryle Ward (39), Jack Wilson (13)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - J. Wilson-Castillo-Ward, J. Wilson-Castillo-Ward, J. Wilson-Castillo-Ward
E - Freddy Sanchez (2, Wild throw)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Mark Redman 6.2922351 2.80
Rick White (H,6) 0.2111000 2.61
Mike Gonzalez (H,11) 0.2211010 3.20
Jose Mesa (BS,3; L,0-5) 1.1333201 4.56
WP - Mike Gonzalez (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Redman 109-64, Rick White 7-5, Mike Gonzalez 18-13, Jose Mesa 32-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Redman 7-5, Rick White 2-0, Mike Gonzalez 1-0, Jose Mesa 3-0
Batters Faced - Mark Redman 29, Rick White 3, Mike Gonzalez 4, Jose Mesa 8
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS5020003 .297
Bernie Williams, CF3000201 .236
Gary Sheffield, RF5110014 .296
Alex Rodriguez, 3B5130001 .325
Jorge Posada, C4122101 .293
Hideki Matsui, DH4121011 .279
    Andy Phillips, PR-DH0100000 .156
   a- Tino Martinez, PH-DH0000100 .233
    Russ Johnson, PR-DH0100000 .308
Ruben Sierra, LF4011021 .241
    Tony Womack, PR-LF0000000 .244
Jason Giambi, 1B5122022 .243
Robinson Cano, 2B3021101 .271
Totals3871575615 
a-walked for Phillips in the 10th
Batting
2B - Alex Rodriguez (12, Redman), Jorge Posada (8, Mesa), Hideki Matsui (18, Redman), Ruben Sierra (7, Gonzalez)
HR - Jorge Posada (9, Redman), Jason Giambi (5, Mesa)
SH - Tony Womack (6)
RBI - Jorge Posada 2 (33), Hideki Matsui (43), Ruben Sierra (14), Jason Giambi 2 (19), Robinson Cano (18)
2-OUT RBI - Jorge Posada (5), Robinson Cano (7)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Cano-Jeter-Giambi
New York Yankees
Kevin Brown 4.1733160 5.48
Buddy Groom 1.2000000 5.09
Tanyon Sturtze 2222002 3.74
Mariano Rivera (W,3-2) 2000130 1.09
WP - Kevin Brown (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Brown 82-50, Buddy Groom 13-9, Tanyon Sturtze 21-13, Mariano Rivera 30-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Brown 3-4, Buddy Groom 4-0, Tanyon Sturtze 4-2, Mariano Rivera 2-1
Batters Faced - Kevin Brown 21, Buddy Groom 4, Tanyon Sturtze 8, Mariano Rivera 7
Game Information
Attendance - 48828
Game Time - 3:28
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Paul Emmel, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Ed Montague, Third Base - Tom Hallion