|N.Y. Yankees «||4||1||2||2||3||1||3||1||x||17||15||1|
"It's definitely the way it's supposed to be," he said.
Damon prepped for his return to Fenway Park with his first multihomer game with the Yankees, scoring a career-high five runs to go along with three hits and three RBI Saturday in a 17-6 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Yankees manager Joe Torre was especially impressed with the way Damon scored the final run. With New York up by 10 in the eighth, Damon hit a leadoff popup that second baseman Aaron Hill allowed to hit off his glove. Damon sprinted, reached second on the error and scored two pitches later when Miguel Cairo singled.
"It's just the way I play this game. That's the one thing you can always do, is to go out there and hustle," Damon said. "It is a good example, not just for our team, but for the Little Leaguers coming up."
Jason Giambi hit a three-run homer in the first inning for New York, which overcame a 2-0 deficit and a poor start by Randy Johnson (4-2). The only other time the Yankees scored in every inning of a full game was in a 14-1 win over the St. Louis Browns at Yankee Stadium on July 26, 1939.
In that one, watched by a crowd of 4,843, Bill Dickey had three homers, four hits and five RBI. Tommy Henrich drove in four runs and Joe DiMaggio had three hits.
In this one, which drew 50,119, Damon, Giambi and Jorge Posada all hit upper-deck homers, and Giambi drove in four runs. He has 25 RBI -- a figure he didn't reach last season until July 4.
"I'll take it, especially after the way I started off last year," Giambi said. "It's exciting to get going."
Two days before Damon goes to Boston with the Yankees for the first time, he singled to lead off a four-run first inning against Josh Towers (0-5), the first five-game loser in the major leagues. Damon hit a solo homer to right in the second, then a two-run drive into the right-field upper deck in the fourth that boosted New York's lead to 9-5.
"It's got to be my best game here," he said. "Not a bad time to get things going."
He joked that before the big day he had been outhomered 2-1 this season by Cincinnati pitcher Bronson Arroyo, his former Red Sox teammate.
"Now it's 3-2, so I'm happy about that," Damon said. "I've been tinkering with what I need to do at the plate, and right now it seems like I'm a bit more balanced and my swing is a lot quicker through the zone."
No AL team has scored in all nine innings. It's been done seven times in the NL and twice in the American Association, when it was a major league in the 1880s.
It was the sixth time an AL team scored in all eight innings in which it batted, the first since the Kansas City Royals beat Oakland 16-6 on Sept. 14, 1998.
Damon led off for the Royals in that game and scored three runs.
"Obviously, it's a feat that does not happen all the time," he said. "I'm proud that it's the second time my teams have done it."
Sheffield, who drove in two runs with an infield single on the play, bruised his left knee and right wrist.
"Sheff is OK. His wrist is a little sore, so we'll have to see how that is tomorrow," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "It was just a scary thing when you see those two big bodies merge."
Hillenbrand, hit on the back of the head, was scheduled for a CT scan.
"I saw him after he came in, and he was dizzy, obviously," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
Johnson, whose ERA rose to 4.71, was repeatedly booed. He allowed six runs, six hits, four walks and two hit batters, leaving after five innings and 109 pitches. Coming in, he had walked only three batters in five starts.
"I pitched poorly," Johnson said. "Five, six runs should be enough, you would think."
New York came back again in the bottom half on Hideki Matsui's run-scoring double and Posada's RBI grounder, which made it 7-5.
Towers was even worse than Johnson, giving up seven runs and six hits in 2 1/3 innings. His ERA rocketed up to 10.45.
"I don't even know if I can put it into words -- give me a 2-0 lead, come back to tie at 5, it's embarrassing. It's just embarrassing," he said.
|Johnny Damon scores five times, drives in three and hits two homers in New York's win. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Reed Johnson, LF||2||2||0||0||0||0||1||.375|
|Alex Rios, RF-CF||5||1||1||0||0||3||2||.359|
|Vernon Wells, CF||4||1||1||2||0||0||1||.391|
|Russ Adams, SS||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.239|
|Troy Glaus, 3B||2||2||1||2||1||0||0||.272|
|Eric Hinske, RF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|Bengie Molina, C||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.276|
|Shea Hillenbrand, 1B||2||0||2||1||1||0||0||.347|
|Lyle Overbay, 1B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.273|
|Gregg Zaun, DH||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||.286|
|Aaron Hill, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||0||4||.176|
|John McDonald, SS-3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.231|
|2B - Alex Rios (7, R. Johnson), Vernon Wells (4, R. Johnson), Troy Glaus (7, R. Johnson), Shea Hillenbrand (4, R. Johnson)|
|SF - Troy Glaus (1)|
|RBI - Vernon Wells 2 (25), Troy Glaus 2 (18), Shea Hillenbrand (12), Gregg Zaun (9)|
|2-OUT RBI - Shea Hillenbrand (5), Gregg Zaun (4)|
|SB - Reed Johnson (3, 2nd base off Sturtze/Posada), Vernon Wells (3, 3rd base off R. Johnson/Posada)|
|CS - Aaron Hill (1, 2nd base by R. Johnson/Posada)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|E - Russ Adams (4, Wild throw), Aaron Hill (3, Misplayed grounder)|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Josh Towers (L,0-5)||2.1||6||7||7||1||2||2||10.45|
|Pitches-Strikes - Josh Towers 61-38, Dustin McGowan 50-26, Shaun Marcum 52-25, Vinnie Chulk 46-26|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Towers 3-3, Dustin McGowan 2-1, Shaun Marcum 2-2, Vinnie Chulk 4-0|
|Batters Faced - Josh Towers 15, Dustin McGowan 11, Shaun Marcum 12, Vinnie Chulk 12|
|New York Yankees|
|Johnny Damon, CF||5||5||3||3||1||0||1||.292|
|Derek Jeter, SS||4||0||0||1||1||3||2||.388|
|Miguel Cairo, SS||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.353|
|Gary Sheffield, RF||3||2||3||2||1||0||0||.341|
|Bubba Crosby, PR-RF||2||1||1||0||0||1||1||.222|
|Alex Rodriguez, 3B||4||3||0||1||2||2||4||.277|
|Jason Giambi, 1B||3||1||2||4||2||0||2||.345|
|Andy Phillips, PR-1B||1||1||0||0||0||1||1||.136|
|Hideki Matsui, LF||5||0||1||1||0||1||6||.259|
|Jorge Posada, C||4||2||2||2||1||0||0||.286|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||5||0||1||1||0||0||2||.316|
|Bernie Williams, DH||4||2||1||0||1||1||2||.228|
|2B - Bubba Crosby (1, Chulk), Hideki Matsui (5, Towers), Robinson Cano (4, Marcum)|
|HR - Johnny Damon 2 (3, Towers, McGowan), Jason Giambi (8, Towers), Jorge Posada (3, Marcum)|
|RBI - Johnny Damon 3 (13), Derek Jeter (20), Miguel Cairo (2), Gary Sheffield 2 (18), Alex Rodriguez (15), Jason Giambi 4 (25), Hideki Matsui (13), Jorge Posada 2 (12), Robinson Cano (9)|
|2-OUT RBI - Johnny Damon (5)|
|SB - Johnny Damon (6, 2nd base off Towers/Molina), Gary Sheffield (4, 2nd base off Towers/Molina)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|E - Miguel Cairo (1, Misplayed grounder)|
|New York Yankees|
|Randy Johnson (W,4-2)||5||6||6||6||4||2||0||4.71|
|HBP - Johnson (by Randy Johnson), Johnson (by Randy Johnson), Johnson (by Tanyon Sturtze)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Randy Johnson 109-58, Tanyon Sturtze 27-16, Ron Villone 26-17, Matt Smith 14-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Johnson 5-7, Tanyon Sturtze 1-3, Ron Villone 2-2, Matt Smith 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Randy Johnson 26, Tanyon Sturtze 6, Ron Villone 5, Matt Smith 3|
|Attendance - 50119|
|Game Time - 3:48|
|Temperature - 59|
|Umpires - Home - Bruce Dreckman, First Base - Adam Dowdy, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Larry Poncino|