"This could be a great turnaround for him," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "It looked like he was proud of his stuff, proud enough to dare them to hit it."
Johnny Damon and Andy Phillips homered for New York, which won its second straight after dropping four in a row. Bernie Williams added a key RBI double and Robinson Cano had three hits, sending Cleveland to its 14th loss in 16 games at Yankee Stadium since the start of 2002.
Indians starter Jason Johnson couldn't equal The Big Unit in a matchup of Johnson vs. Johnson, and Cleveland's dangerous lineup was shut down for the second consecutive night. The Indians have lost five of six and eight of 11 overall.
Derek Jeter got buzzed up and in during the fifth inning, and Jorge Posada and Jason Johnson (3-7) exchanged words after the New York catcher was hit near the elbow by a pitch in the sixth. That's when both benches were warned.
"I don't know what he was yelling about," Jason Johnson said. "I have no idea and I don't even care. ... I came in on a lot of guys today -- I have to."
With Randy Johnson (8-5) nursing a 6-1 lead the following inning, Perez, a longtime nemesis, came to the plate with one out and nobody on. The Big Unit threw his first pitch way inside, and Perez pointed his bat at the mound and took a few steps toward the pitcher.
"It was obvious to everybody that he threw at him," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said.
And Perez was obviously angry about it.
"I was taught how to play this game, and that's not the way you play the game -- unless someone changed the memo and didn't tell me," he said.
Posada stepped in front of Perez as both benches emptied, but no punches were thrown.
"I think both teams handled themselves the way they should," New York slugger Jason Giambi said. "Randy was just protecting his catcher. That's baseball."
Randy Johnson and Torre were immediately ejected as the crowd of 53,448 chanted "Randy! Randy!" with delight.
"Bad timing and intent," umpire crew chief Dana DeMuth said. "That's exactly what we saw, and that's why we did what we did."
Posada was removed for a pinch hitter in the seventh with a sore elbow because he couldn't swing a bat, Torre said. The catcher bolted quickly from the clubhouse after the game, saying he had "nothing to talk about."
"It was important. We've been getting a lot of guys beat up here," Yankees star Alex Rodriguez said. "It's a part of the game you don't like to talk about too much. But guys have to take care of each other."
The ejection ended one of the best starts of a disappointing season for Randy Johnson, who has been struggling with his mechanics.
He allowed one run and four hits in 6 1/3 innings, striking out six and walking none.
"My velocity was up," he said, adding he's not worried about a possible suspension. "It's a step in the right direction."
Cano grounded into a double play after Posada was plunked in the sixth, but Jason Johnson quickly unraveled after that. Williams hit an RBI double, and Phillips' two-run shot made it 6-1. The right-hander walked off the mound to a chorus of boos.
Rodriguez singled to start the inning, snapping a 1-for-14 skid.
Following Chien-Ming Wang's gem in a 1-0 victory Tuesday night that stopped New York's four-game skid, Randy Johnson threw 54 of 77 pitches for strikes.
The Big Unit, who walked five batters in his previous start, retired 11 straight before Perez's leadoff single in the fifth. Perez scored on Ben Broussard's double-play grounder.
Perez is 9-for-29 (.310) against Randy Johnson with four homers, a double and seven RBI.
"I've faced Randy Johnson. Let's put it this way: If he's going to hit you, he's going to hit you," Perez said. "Maybe in the back of his mind he knew something. How are you going to intentionally hit Jorge with no one out and first base occupied? Those guys are veterans over there. They know how to play the game. I was a little surprised right there."
The Yankees went ahead in the fourth. Giambi, back in the lineup after missing two games with a bruised left hand, doubled off the center-field fence to put runners at second and third.
Rodriguez hit an RBI grounder, reaching on an error by shortstop Jhonny Peralta, and Cano added a run-scoring single with two outs.
Damon hit a solo shot in the fifth.
Jason Johnson lost his third straight start, allowing six runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He is 1-7 in 10 outings since April 18.
- The Indians have dropped 10 of 13 road games.
- Johnson improved to 12-4 against Cleveland.