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Cleveland at New York

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Cleveland1100101004111
N.Y. Yankees «01023003x991

Yankees roll over Indians, stay hot into break

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Randy Johnson threw his hands up in disgust after Jose Hernandez's easy liner dropped in for a single in the sixth inning. It was the Cleveland Indians ' ninth hit of the afternoon and the Big Unit was frustrated. Nothing he tried seemed to be working.

Johnson struggled through six unremarkable innings, but a Yankees' offense led by Jason Giambi and Ruben Sierra picked him up and impressed their demanding boss with a 9-4 victory over Cleveland on Sunday.

"It was just a 'this is how the day is going' gesture," said catcher John Flaherty, who made a similar motion with his hands.

Riding the elevator after the victory, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner gave a hint of a smile when asked if his team is finally living up to his expectations.

"Yes, the way we are playing now," he said.

Giambi hit a two-run homer, and Sierra drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single to lift the Yankees to their seventh win in eight games. The third-place Yankees moved within 2½ games of AL East-leading Boston -- the closest they've been to first since April 15, when they were 4-6.

The Yankees improved to a season-high six games over .500 for the third time behind Giambi's 10th homer of the season -- fifth in six games -- Gary Sheffield's late three-run homer, and Cleveland starter Jake Westbrook's wildness.

"It was important -- after losing yesterday to come back and win," manager Joe Torre said. "This is something we have not been able to do."

The teams return from the All-Star break with four games against their respective division leaders, beginning Thursday. The Indians host the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox, and the Yankees head to Fenway Park to play the Red Sox.

"This is what we want," Sheffield said. "The way we're playing right now, you want to play the first-place team and take back the division."

Mariano Rivera earned his first two-inning save since July 11, 2003, at Toronto. It was his 20th straight save after blowing his first two chances this year.

With New York trailing 2-1 in the fourth, Giambi homered deep into the bleachers in right-center on Westbrook's first pitch after Hideki Matsui reached on shortstop Jhonny Peralta's fielding error.

Steinbrenner was happy with Giambi's turnaround -- the first baseman raised his average to .278 after batting just .195 in mid-May -- but issued a challenge.

"He just has to keep it going," Steinbrenner said.

The Indians tied it in the fifth on Travis Hafner's one-out sacrifice fly after Johnson allowed singles to Aaron Boone and Grady Sizemore leading off.

In the bottom half, the Yankees scored three times with two outs. After retiring the first two batters, Westbrook (6-11) walked Sheffield and Alex Rodriguez. Matsui followed with an RBI double, and Giambi was walked intentionally to load the bases.

Sierra, a switch-hitter batting left-handed, lined a 2-2 pitch to the opposite field to drive in two runs and make it 6-3.

"In the fifth inning I set it up for them again with those back-to-back walks," Westbrook said. "I wasn't very good in certain situations and I basically lost the game. If I cut down the walks, the game's a lot different. You definitely can't get the job done walking five guys."

Hafner's third RBI of the game, a one-out single in the seventh off Wayne Franklin made it 6-4. Sheffield hit his 17th of the season off Bob Howry in the eighth to close out the scoring.

Johnson allowed the leadoff batter to reach base in each of the first five innings. But he used seven strikeouts, two nice plays from third baseman Rodriguez and a pair of runners caught stealing by catcher Flaherty to limit the Indians.

In the first and third innings with the infield playing in, Rodriguez snared hard-hit, one-out grounders by Victor Martinez to hold the runner at third.

Flaherty bailed Johnson out in the fourth. With runners on first and second with none out, Flaherty threw out Hernandez at third after Peralta struck out. Flaherty, who has become Johnson's personal catcher, then threw out Ronnie Belliard trying to swipe second to end the inning.

Johnson was done after six innings, having thrown 109 pitches. He allowed three runs and nine hits, and struck out eight while walking one.

"I gave up a lot of hits, but not a lot of runs," Johnson said. "They're a real aggressive team, a lot like Texas but with a little less power. I kind of kept the damage to a minimum."

Rookie Melky Cabrera had trouble with another ball hit to straightaway center field -- he misplayed two Saturday -- and it led to Cleveland's first run. One out after Sizemore doubled on the game's first pitch, Hafner hit a liner to center that Cabrera got a late jump on. The ball nicked off his outstretched glove and rolled toward the wall as Sizemore scored.

Boone doubled in a run in the second. In the bottom half, Flaherty had a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to bring the Yankees to 2-1.

Notes

  • The crowd of 54,256 was the Yankees ninth straight sellout and 20th this season.
  • Boone was 8-for-16 against his former team in the four-game series.
  • Matsui had three hits and scored three runs.
 
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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Continuing his revival, Jason Giambi's second-inning homer gets the Yankees offense started. (AP)
Continuing his revival, Jason Giambi's second-inning homer gets the Yankees offense started. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

H. Matsui
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Cleveland

T. Hafner
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
 
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF5230021 .287
Coco Crisp, LF4010133 .297
Travis Hafner, DH3023001 .319
Victor Martinez, C4000015 .236
Casey Blake, RF4000014 .228
Jose Hernandez, 1B3120110 .260
Ron Belliard, 2B4010021 .283
Jhonny Peralta, SS4000022 .297
Aaron Boone, 3B4121001 .211
Totals35411421218 
Batting
2B - Grady Sizemore (21, R. Johnson), Coco Crisp (21, R. Johnson), Travis Hafner (23, R. Johnson), Aaron Boone (11, R. Johnson)
3B - Grady Sizemore (7, Franklin)
SF - Travis Hafner (1)
RBI - Travis Hafner 3 (63), Aaron Boone (31)
2-OUT RBI - Aaron Boone (8)
SB - Jose Hernandez (1, 2nd base off R. Johnson/Flaherty)
CS - Jose Hernandez (3, 3rd base by R. Johnson/Flaherty), Ron Belliard (1, 2nd base by R. Johnson/Flaherty)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Hernandez-Peralta
E - Jhonny Peralta (10, Misplayed grounder)
Cleveland Indians
Jake Westbrook (L,6-11) 6665541 4.67
David Riske 0.1000110 2.82
Scott Sauerbeck 0.1100010 3.24
Arthur Rhodes 1122120 2.38
Bob Howry 0.1111001 3.93
IBB - Giambi by Jake Westbrook
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Westbrook 98-60, David Riske 9-5, Scott Sauerbeck 9-6, Arthur Rhodes 18-11, Bob Howry 7-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Westbrook 12-2, Arthur Rhodes 1-0, Bob Howry 1-0
Batters Faced - Jake Westbrook 29, David Riske 2, Scott Sauerbeck 2, Arthur Rhodes 5, Bob Howry 2
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS4110100 .308
Robinson Cano, 2B5120001 .288
Gary Sheffield, RF4213111 .298
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3100211 .317
Hideki Matsui, LF4331000 .320
Jason Giambi, 1B2112212 .278
    Tino Martinez, 1B0000000 .223
Ruben Sierra, DH3012122 .284
John Flaherty, C3001022 .164
Melky Cabrera, CF4000012 .231
Totals329997811 
Batting
2B - Robinson Cano (16, Westbrook), Hideki Matsui (25, Westbrook)
HR - Gary Sheffield (17, Howry), Jason Giambi (10, Westbrook)
SF - John Flaherty (1)
RBI - Gary Sheffield 3 (68), Hideki Matsui (70), Jason Giambi 2 (32), Ruben Sierra 2 (22), John Flaherty (3)
2-OUT RBI - Gary Sheffield 3 (15), Hideki Matsui (23), Ruben Sierra 2 (6)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Flaherty-Rodriguez
E - Robinson Cano (10, Throwing error)
New York Yankees
Randy Johnson (W,9-6) 6933180 4.16
Wayne Franklin (H,2) 0.1211100 11.57
Tanyon Sturtze (H,10) 0.2000010 3.91
Mariano Rivera (S,20) 2000030 1.01
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Johnson 109-72, Wayne Franklin 27-17, Tanyon Sturtze 10-8, Mariano Rivera 29-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Johnson 5-3, Mariano Rivera 2-1
Batters Faced - Randy Johnson 26, Wayne Franklin 4, Tanyon Sturtze 2, Mariano Rivera 6
Game Information
Attendance - 54256
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Dan Iassogna, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Tim Tschida, Third Base - Ron Kulpa