|N.Y. Yankees «||0||0||4||0||0||1||0||0||x||5||8||0|
NEW YORK -- Rookie right-hander Chien-Ming Wang is pitching like one of the injured veteran hurlers he was called up to replace.
He gave up a home run on his first pitch before settling down and tossing 6 2/3 effective innings, and the Yankees extended their winning streak to six games with a 5-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.
"My control was not too good," Wang said. "The ball was slippery. It was better after the second inning."
Wang (6-3) took the mound after a 20-minute rain delay, and saw his first delivery smashed over the right-field fence by Grady Sizemore. He fell behind 2-0 when Aaron Boone hit an RBI single in the second, but was helped out by three double plays and won for the third time in five starts.
"For not having his good stuff, he kept us in the game and allowed us to do what we did," manager Joe Torre said.
Wang allowed three runs and seven hits, and pitched into the seventh inning for the fourth time in five outings and for the ninth time in 13 appearances this season.
"He goes out there and we know seven is easy," Torre said. "He has been huge for us."
Mariano Rivera pitched an eventful ninth inning for his 19th save in 21 chances. Rivera, who entered with 23-inning scoreless streak, allowed Casey Blake's sacrifice fly followed by Boone's fourth hit of the game, which put runners on the corners with two outs. Sizemore grounded to first on the next pitch.
New York (45-39) matched its season high of six games over .500, set when a win over Boston on May 27 boosted the Yankees to 27-21. They scored four times in the third inning off Cliff Lee (9-4) to take the lead for good and improved to 4-0 on a homestand that has two games remaining before the All-Star break.
"We're really starting to come together as a ballclub," first baseman Jason Giambi said. "Starting pitching has been incredible, the bullpen has been great, we've been coming up with big hits. It's nice to see us coming together right before the break."
Giambi slipped coming out of the box on his third-inning single and left the game as a precaution before the top of the sixth because he felt tightness in his left leg between his quadriceps and the hip flexor. He expects to play Saturday.
After allowing one hit and a walk over the first two innings, Lee barely made it out of the third.
Bernie Williams led off with a walk and Melky Cabrera, in his second career start, singled him to second. Deter Jeter doubled just inside the first-base bag to score Williams with New York's first run.
Robinson Cano's RBI groundout tied it at 2 and, after Gary Sheffield walked, Alex Rodriguez singled in Jeter. One out later, Giambi continued his hot hitting with an RBI single that scored Sheffield for a 4-2 lead.
There was bullpen action when Jorge Posada struck out to end the inning, in which the Yankees batted around.
"He gave us a chance to win the ballgame," Indians manager Eric Wedge said of Lee. "He had that rough third, but he reached down and found a way to get through it. He was actually stronger after that."
Cleveland, which lost its fourth straight, got within a run when Wang threw a two-out wild pitch that scored Jody Gerut in the fifth. The Indians put runners on first and second with none out, but Sizemore -- who had hit the first leadoff homer of his career -- grounded into a double play on a 2-0 pitch.
The Indians also started the sixth with a walk, but Victor Martinez followed with another double-play grounder on another 2-0 count to short-circuit that rally.
New York stretched its lead to 5-3 in the bottom of that inning when Hideki Matsui led off with a double and scored on Posada's sacrifice fly.
Matsui has reached base safely in 34 consecutive games, tying Baltimore's Brian Roberts for the longest streak in the majors this season.
Wang came back out to start the seventh, despite having thrown 99 pitches. He retired the first two batters, but left after allowing the third of Boone's four singles. Wayne Franklin came on and got Sizemore to fly out to right field.
Lee had won three straight decisions, but fell to 7-2 on the road this season. He allowed five runs and six hits in six innings.
"They did the little things right and got the runs in," Lee said. "If I could take away the one inning, it was a pretty good performance."
|Chien-Ming Wang improves to 6-3, scattering seven hits over 6 2/3 innings. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Grady Sizemore, CF||5||1||1||1||0||0||6||.286|
|Coco Crisp, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.293|
|Travis Hafner, DH||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.313|
|Victor Martinez, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.239|
|Ben Broussard, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||3||0||.255|
|Ron Belliard, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.284|
|Jhonny Peralta, SS||4||1||2||0||0||0||0||.303|
|Jody Gerut, RF||1||1||0||0||2||0||0||.276|
|a- Casey Blake, PH||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||.228|
|Aaron Boone, 3B||4||0||4||1||0||0||0||.210|
|a-hit a sacrifice fly for Gerut in the 9th|
|2B - Ron Belliard (13, M. Rivera), Jhonny Peralta (14, Wang)|
|HR - Grady Sizemore (9, Wang)|
|SF - Casey Blake (2)|
|RBI - Grady Sizemore (40), Casey Blake (29), Aaron Boone (30)|
|2-OUT RBI - Aaron Boone (7)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Martinez-Broussard-Peralta, Peralta-Belliard-Broussard|
|Cliff Lee (L,9-4)||6||6||5||5||3||6||0||3.89|
|Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 103-61, David Riske 12-9, Bob Wickman 11-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 3-8, David Riske 2-1, Bob Wickman 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 26, David Riske 4, Bob Wickman 3|
|New York Yankees|
|Derek Jeter, SS||3||1||2||1||0||1||0||.310|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||4||0||0||1||0||1||2||.283|
|Gary Sheffield, RF||3||1||0||0||1||1||2||.297|
|Alex Rodriguez, 3B||3||0||2||1||1||0||0||.322|
|Hideki Matsui, LF||4||1||1||0||0||1||4||.316|
|Jason Giambi, 1B||2||0||1||1||0||1||1||.276|
|Tino Martinez, 1B||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.223|
|Jorge Posada, C||2||0||0||1||0||1||3||.263|
|Bernie Williams, DH||2||1||0||0||1||0||0||.255|
|Melky Cabrera, CF||3||1||2||0||0||0||0||.429|
|2B - Derek Jeter (12, Lee), Hideki Matsui (24, Lee)|
|SF - Jorge Posada (3)|
|SH - Derek Jeter (2)|
|RBI - Derek Jeter (37), Robinson Cano (28), Alex Rodriguez (71), Jason Giambi (30), Jorge Posada (39)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jason Giambi (10)|
|SB - Alex Rodriguez (9, 2nd base off Lee/Martinez)|
|CS - Derek Jeter (4, 2nd base by Lee/Martinez)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - Rodriguez-Cano-Giambi, Cano-Jeter-Giambi, Cano-Jeter-T. Martinez|
|New York Yankees|
|Chien-Ming Wang (W,6-3)||6.2||7||3||3||3||3||1||3.89|
|Wayne Franklin (H,1)||1.1||0||0||0||0||2||0||9.00|
|Mariano Rivera (S,19)||1||3||1||1||0||1||0||1.07|
|WP - Chien-Ming Wang (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chien-Ming Wang 110-63, Wayne Franklin 17-10, Mariano Rivera 21-16|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chien-Ming Wang 10-4, Mariano Rivera 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Chien-Ming Wang 27, Wayne Franklin 4, Mariano Rivera 6|
|Attendance - 52938|
|Game Time - 3:03|
|Temperature - 64|
|Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Ron Kulpa, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - Dale Scott|