|N.Y. Yankees «||0||0||0||6||0||5||0||0||0||11||12||0|
They're doing a pretty good job of it, too.
After enduring two rain delays totaling nearly two hours, the Yankees regained sole possession of first place in the AL East with an 11-3 rout of the Orioles on Monday night.
The victory moved the Yankees a half-game ahead of the Red Sox, whose home game against Toronto was rained out.
"I'm not really worried about Boston right now," Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said. "This is a big series. We've got to play well against Baltimore."
New York has six games remaining -- three against the stumbling Orioles, who have lost a season-high nine straight, and three in Boston to finish the season.
If the Orioles keep playing as they have lately, the Yankees can expect to bring some momentum into Fenway Park this weekend. New York has won seven straight against Baltimore, including five over an eight-day span.
"We control our destiny. If we win all our games, we win. That's the only way you can approach this," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "We can't be looking for help from anybody else. Sure, if we get it, we appreciate it, but we can't go in expecting it."
Boston must play a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday, forcing the Red Sox to shuffle their pitching rotation in the middle of a frenzied pennant race.
"Well, they're playing at home," Torre said. "They're the best club in baseball at home, so you don't think about them. You think about us."
"We're taking every game like it's October, because it is for us," said Alex Rodriguez, who went 2-for-3 with three RBI.
New York has won seven of eight and 13 of 15 to move a season-high 28 games over .500 (92-64). After starting the season with 19 losses in 30 games, the Yankees are within two games of the Chicago White Sox in the race for the best record in the AL.
And the Red Sox?
"Tonight we posted another win," Rodriguez said. "Now they know where we're at."
In first place, looking down at Boston.
"We'll think about them Friday," Jeter said.
After stranding four runners in the first three innings, the Yankees sent 10 batters to the plate in the fourth against Rodrigo Lopez (14-12). With two outs and the bases loaded, Jeter drew a walk to force in a run and Rodriguez followed with a two-run double.
That brought up Giambi, who snapped a 1-for-20 slump by hitting Lopez's next pitch to right for a three-run homer. It was his 31st of the year, and first since Sept. 13.
New York added five runs in the sixth in an uprising aided by four walks and an error by third baseman Melvin Mora.
Johnson left after an effortless performance in which he yielded four hits, struck out two, walked one and allowed one runner past second base. The left-hander, who also beat Baltimore last Wednesday, is 5-0 in seven starts since Aug. 21.
"It was nice to be able to get out of there and not have to go seven, eight, nine innings and throw all those pitches," Johnson said.
"It wasn't a good night, plain and simple," interim manager Sam Perlozzo said. "I'm glad it's over. I can't wait until tomorrow."
The start of the game was delayed by rain for 1:26. Then, after Jeter singled, Rodriguez walked and Giambi hit a fly ball, there was another rain delay of 25 minutes.
For the Yankees, it was worth the wait.
|Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi high-five each other after Giambi's three-run shot in the fourth inning. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|New York Yankees|
|Derek Jeter, SS||3||1||2||2||2||0||0||.310|
|Felix Escalona, PR-SS||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.286|
|Alex Rodriguez, 3B||3||1||2||3||2||0||3||.321|
|Mark Bellhorn, 3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.209|
|Jason Giambi, 1B||3||2||1||3||2||1||2||.272|
|Matt Lawton, PR-RF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.255|
|Gary Sheffield, RF||3||1||0||0||2||1||6||.292|
|Tino Martinez, 1B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.243|
|Hideki Matsui, LF||3||2||1||0||1||0||3||.298|
|a- Tony Womack, PH-LF||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||.248|
|Ruben Sierra, DH||5||1||2||1||0||2||2||.240|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||5||1||1||0||0||0||5||.293|
|John Flaherty, C||4||2||1||1||1||0||1||.169|
|Bubba Crosby, CF||5||0||0||0||0||0||6||.277|
|a-singled for Matsui in the 7th|
|2B - Alex Rodriguez (27, Lopez)|
|HR - Jason Giambi (31, Lopez)|
|RBI - Derek Jeter 2 (65), Alex Rodriguez 3 (127), Jason Giambi 3 (83), Ruben Sierra (28), John Flaherty (10)|
|2-OUT RBI - Derek Jeter 2 (27), Alex Rodriguez 3 (57), Jason Giambi 3 (28)|
|SB - Alex Rodriguez (17, 2nd base off Lopez/Lopez)|
|Team LOB - 12|
|New York Yankees|
|Randy Johnson (W,16-8)||6||4||0||0||1||2||0||3.79|
|Pitches-Strikes - Randy Johnson 78-48, Scott Proctor 14-10, Felix Rodriguez 10-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Johnson 4-11, Scott Proctor 1-1, Felix Rodriguez 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Randy Johnson 22, Scott Proctor 3, Felix Rodriguez 3, Alan Embree 7|
|Bernie Castro, DH||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.276|
|Chris Gomez, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.273|
|Melvin Mora, 3B||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.281|
|Walter Young, 1B||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.308|
|Miguel Tejada, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.307|
|Ed Rogers, SS||1||1||1||2||0||0||0||1.000|
|Javy Lopez, C||3||0||1||0||0||1||0||.280|
|Eli Whiteside, C||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.333|
|Luis Matos, CF||4||1||1||0||0||0||3||.282|
|Eric Byrnes, LF-RF||3||0||1||1||1||0||1||.229|
|Alejandro Freire, 1B-LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.262|
|David Newhan, RF-3B||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.200|
|2B - Javy Lopez (23, R. Johnson), Luis Matos (18, Embree)|
|HR - Ed Rogers (1, Embree)|
|RBI - Ed Rogers 2 (2), Eric Byrnes (40)|
|2-OUT RBI - Eric Byrnes (17)|
|SB - Eric Byrnes (7, 2nd base off R. Johnson/Flaherty)|
|CS - Bernie Castro (2, 2nd base by R. Johnson/Flaherty)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Gomez-Tejada-Freire|
|E - Alejandro Freire (1, Misplayed grounder), Melvin Mora (15, Misplayed grounder)|
|Rodrigo Lopez (L,14-12)||4||6||6||6||5||3||1||4.97|
|Pitches-Strikes - Rodrigo Lopez 87-46, Eric DuBose 43-19, Jason Grimsley 19-9, Jorge Julio 9-6, Steve Kline 16-8, James Baldwin 1-1|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rodrigo Lopez 4-5, Eric DuBose 1-4, Jason Grimsley 2-1, Jorge Julio 1-0, Steve Kline 2-1, James Baldwin 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Rodrigo Lopez 23, Eric DuBose 11, Jason Grimsley 6, Jorge Julio 3, Steve Kline 4, James Baldwin 3|
|Attendance - 43039|
|Game Time - 3:09|
|Temperature - 78|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Bruce Froemming|