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N.Y. Yankees «01540200x12171

Giambi revival continues as Yankees hammer Orioles

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- With Randy Johnson on short rest, Jason Giambi's big day helped make his job easy.

Giambi hit one of four Yankees homers and doubled twice, and Johnson gave New York seven clutch innings in a 12-3 victory Tuesday over the sinking Baltimore Orioles.

Alex Rodriguez also connected, while Giambi, Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui all homered for the second consecutive game.

"Today was just one of those magical days where everyone was swinging the bat well," Rodriguez said.

Derek Jeter and Ruben Sierra added three hits apiece for the Yankees, who swept the two-game series and have won four straight to move within a half-game of second-place Baltimore in the AL East.

"We're lucky," New York manager Joe Torre said. "We understand if you're hovering around the .500 mark in some other division, that doesn't bode well for you."

With their pitchers struggling, the Orioles have lost 11 of 13.

"I think the last few weeks, we've given everything we have. We're just coming out on the wrong side of it," manager Lee Mazzilli said.

Starting on three days' rest in the regular season for the first time in 10 years, Johnson (8-6) bounced back from an awful performance in Detroit last Friday, when he was roughed up for seven runs and nine hits in five innings.

But he threw only 80 pitches in that one, and was eager to get back on the mound.

Good thing for the injury-riddled Yankees, who used five pitchers in a 13-8 win Monday, including a spot start by reliever Tanyon Sturtze -- so they needed a lengthy outing.

The Big Unit delivered, retiring his first 12 batters with five strikeouts before Miguel Tejada's infield single. He threw 92 pitches and fanned eight without walking a batter for his 254th win.

"His pitch count early was terrific and I think that was a big reason he was able to last seven innings," Torre said. "He looked a little relaxed and yet very focused."

Johnson gave up seven hits, including a two-run homer by Chris Gomez -- his first this year. The left-hander improved to 5-1 in regular-season starts on three days' rest. His last was Oct. 2, 1995, for Seattle against the Angels, when he pitched the Mariners to the AL West title.

"He was pretty sharp -- with a 10-run lead," Mazzilli said.

The Big Unit even tossed an accidental blooper pitch to Sal Fasano in the third, drawing cheers from the crowd of 55,276 as a sheepish Johnson broke into a smile on the mound.

"The eephus pitch? That was my fault," catcher John Flaherty said. "I gave him a fastball and I didn't know which side of the plate he wanted to throw to."

Also pitching on three days' rest while the Orioles use a four-man rotation until the All-Star break, Rodrigo Lopez (7-5) was ineffective -- and his defense was just as bad.

He gave up a career-high 10 runs, five earned, and a season-high 11 hits in three-plus innings, dropping his third straight start.

"I made a lot of bad pitches and wrong decisions," Lopez said.

Coming off his first multihomer game in two years, Giambi connected for his eighth of the season leading off the second inning. He got a standing ovation when he departed for a pinch-runner after his second double in the sixth.

"He's been killed by everyone," Rodriguez said. "To see him still fighting and persevering, he's very easy to cheer for."

Jeter opened the third with a single, and Gomez booted Robinson Cano's potential double-play grounder to first, leaving runners at the corners.

Jeter then got caught in a rundown on a bouncer to third, but third baseman Melvin Mora dropped a return throw from Fasano for his second error of the game, allowing Jeter to score.

"We didn't do a good job with our defense," Fasano said. "Making three errors in the first two innings kind of put him in a hole."

Matsui hit an RBI single, Giambi had a run-scoring double and Sierra grounded a two-run single through a drawn-in infield, making it 6-0.

Jeter started the fourth with his third single, Cano doubled and Sheffield hit a three-run shot for his 430th homer, tying Jim Thome for 34th on the career list.

Rodriguez followed with his 21st home run this season for a 10-0 lead, chasing Lopez. Including a seven-run eighth on Monday, the Yankees scored 17 runs in a five-inning span.

Matsui added a two-run drive off James Baldwin in the sixth.

Notes

  • Rafael Palmeiro, seven hits shy of 3,000, got the day off. He is 1-for-21 lifetime against Johnson.
  • Baltimore 2B Brian Roberts struck out all four times, three against Johnson.
  • Sammy Sosa went 2-for-4 with a double and an infield single, snapping a 1-for-33 slump.
  • Giambi had not hit three regular-season homers in a two-game span since Oct. 2-3, 2001, for Oakland against Texas, though he did it for the Yankees in Games 6 and 7 of the 2003 ALCS against Boston. It also was Giambi's first game with three extra-base hits since July 30, 2003, against the Angels, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
  • The Orioles led in their previous 17 games at Yankee Stadium, but went 6-11 in those contests.
 
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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On three days' rest, Randy Johnson allows two runs, seven hits and strikes out eight in seven innings.  (AP)
On three days' rest, Randy Johnson allows two runs, seven hits and strikes out eight in seven innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

H. Matsui
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
New York

G. Sheffield
AB 4
R 3
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4000041 .354
Chris Gomez, 1B4112000 .285
Melvin Mora, 3B4000010 .297
    David Newhan, 3B0000000 .198
Miguel Tejada, SS4130000 .324
Sammy Sosa, DH4020001 .229
Eli Marrero, RF3001023 .180
Luis Matos, CF4020001 .285
Larry Bigbie, LF4000024 .256
Sal Fasano, C2110000 .258
    Eli Whiteside, C1000001 .000
Totals343930911 
Batting
2B - Miguel Tejada (26, R. Johnson), Sammy Sosa (11, Groom)
HR - Chris Gomez (1, R. Johnson)
SF - Eli Marrero (4)
RBI - Chris Gomez 2 (14), Eli Marrero (17)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Mora-B. Roberts-Gomez, Reed-Tejada-Gomez
E - Chris Gomez (3, misplayed grounder), Melvin Mora 2 (6, misplayed grounder)
Baltimore Orioles
Rodrigo Lopez (L,7-5) 311105043 4.72
Steve Reed 2200000 6.61
James Baldwin 2422021 1.61
Steve Kline 1000210 5.74
Pitches-Strikes - Rodrigo Lopez 58-45, Steve Reed 27-20, James Baldwin 33-23, Steve Kline 25-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rodrigo Lopez 5-2, Steve Reed 4-1, James Baldwin 2-2, Steve Kline 2-0
Batters Faced - Rodrigo Lopez 22, Steve Reed 7, James Baldwin 10, Steve Kline 5
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS5230010 .308
Robinson Cano, 2B5110001 .289
Gary Sheffield, RF4323000 .300
    Bubba Crosby, RF1000000 .235
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4211015 .318
    Russ Johnson, 3B1000000 .235
Hideki Matsui, LF4233102 .317
Jason Giambi, 1B4232001 .268
    Tino Martinez, PR-1B1000000 .221
Ruben Sierra, DH4032111 .261
Tony Womack, CF5010035 .243
John Flaherty, C4000014 .172
Totals421217112719 
Batting
2B - Robinson Cano (15, Lopez), Jason Giambi 2 (8, Lopez, Baldwin)
HR - Gary Sheffield (15, Lopez), Alex Rodriguez (21, Lopez), Hideki Matsui (13, Baldwin), Jason Giambi (8, Lopez)
RBI - Gary Sheffield 3 (64), Alex Rodriguez (68), Hideki Matsui 3 (65), Jason Giambi 2 (27), Ruben Sierra 2 (19)
SB - Derek Jeter (10, 3rd base off Lopez/Fasano), Gary Sheffield (7, 2nd base off Lopez/Fasano)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Rodriguez-Cano-T. Martinez
E - Derek Jeter (10, wild throw)
New York Yankees
Randy Johnson (W,8-6) 7722081 4.14
Buddy Groom 2211010 4.30
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Johnson 92-69, Buddy Groom 34-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Johnson 3-9, Buddy Groom 2-3
Batters Faced - Randy Johnson 27, Buddy Groom 8
Game Information
Attendance - 55276
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Tim Timmons, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Adam Dowdy