Atlanta at New York

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N.Y. Yankees «23000000x591

Giambi helps Yankees top Braves with two homers, five RBI

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Randy Johnson wasn't sure how he was going to pitch in his first start in a week.

The rested Big Unit ended up surprising himself.

Johnson tossed seven shutout innings, Jason Giambi homered twice and drove in five runs and the New York Yankees beat the Atlanta Braves 5-2 Monday night.

Johnson (9-6) allowed four hits, struck out a season-high nine and didn't walk a batter. He was pitching on six days' rest after serving a five-game suspension for throwing at Cleveland's Eduardo Perez on June 14.

"Being under house arrest for it seemed like forever, it was nice to get back out there and pitch," Johnson said, "but to be honest with you, pleasantly surprised to be in command as much as I was with all my pitches."

Johnson didn't allow a runner past first base until Edgar Renteria went to third on Chipper Jones' two-out single in the sixth.

The left-hander then struck out Andruw Jones to get out of the inning. Johnson recorded seven strikeouts in his last three innings. It was his first start against the Braves since he threw a perfect game for Arizona in a 2-0 win at Atlanta on May 18, 2004.

"I know he had a lot of rest between starts," Braves manager Bobby Cox said of Johnson. "It looked like it. When his slider is right, you can't hit it -- you just can't hit it."

Andy Phillips went 3-for-3 and Derek Jeter scored two runs on his 32nd birthday for the Yankees, who have won five of six.

Johnson retired eight in a row before Matt Diaz reached on an error by third baseman Alex Rodriguez with one out in the fifth. The Big Unit then struck out Wilson Betemit and Adam LaRoche to get out of the inning.

Johnson said he felt good throwing his fastball, slider and split-fingered fastball after he loosened up.

"I got ahead in the count and got them to chase pitches because of the command with the three pitches that I had today," Johnson said. "It was all pretty surprising to be able to throw all three pitches for strikes, especially late in the game when I haven't pitched in a week."

After a rough stretch earlier this season, Johnson has gone at least six innings in five of his last six starts. He has allowed four runs in his last 20 1/3 innings.

"He just seems very comfortable right now," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "... He seems to be able to do what he wants to do. I'm not talking about getting people out, I'm just talking about making pitches."

Mariano Rivera got the last two outs for his 17th save in 19 chances.

New York scored five runs in the first two innings against Tim Hudson (6-7), who lost his third consecutive start and dropped to 1-4 in June.

Jeter singled with two outs in the first and Giambi followed with a drive to right off his former Oakland teammate. The Yankees loaded the bases after Giambi's 21st homer but Hudson got Bubba Crosby to line out to end the inning.

Giambi hit a three-run homer on a full-count pitch from Hudson with two outs in the second to make it 5-0.

"He was a great teammate but it's always fun taking at-bats against him because he's so good," said Giambi, who played with Hudson for three seasons with the Athletics. "He definitely makes you think up there so luckily I got two pitches that he kind of left up in the strike zone."

Hudson shut out the Yankees over the next three innings. He allowed seven hits, walked four and struck out one. He has given up 14 runs in his last 19 innings.

"Both pitches were changeups that were down but they came over the plate a little more than I wanted them to," Hudson said of Giambi's two homers. "In another park, I don't know if they're homers but here they are."

Chipper Jones hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning and went 3-for-4 for Atlanta. Kevin Barry also threw three scoreless innings in his major league debut.

Notes

  • Cox was ejected by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt after Rivera struck out Diaz looking on a full-count pitch with one out in the ninth. It was his sixth ejection of the season.
  • Yankees 2B Robinson Cano felt better Monday after leaving the nightcap of a day-night doubleheader against the Marlins on Sunday with a strained left hamstring. General manager Brian Cashman said Cano was walking normal before the game but feels tight. He said they would monitor him over the next day or so before deciding whether to place him on the disabled list.
  • Atlanta LHP Chuck James' first major league win against Tampa Bay on Sunday looked even better a day later. Damon Hollins' pop-fly double that glanced off the glove of shortstop Betemit was changed to an error, giving Betemit two errors on the play. The change took a hit and an earned run off James' line. He allowed two hits and one unearned run in eight innings against the Devil Rays.
 
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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Derek Jeter congratulates Jason Giambi on his second home run of the game in the second inning.  (AP)
Derek Jeter congratulates Jason Giambi on his second home run of the game in the second inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

J. Giambi
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 5
New York

R. Johnson
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 0
K 9
 

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Atlanta Braves
Marcus Giles, 2B4000010 .236
Edgar Renteria, SS4120010 .305
Chipper Jones, DH4132010 .283
Andruw Jones, CF4000023 .281
Jeff Francoeur, RF4010010 .250
Matt Diaz, LF4010011 .341
Wilson Betemit, 3B3000122 .273
Adam LaRoche, 1B4000024 .246
Todd Pratt, C3000010 .195
Totals3427211210 
Batting
HR - Chipper Jones (8, Proctor)
RBI - Chipper Jones 2 (37)
CS - Matt Diaz (2, 2nd base by R. Johnson/Posada)
Team LOB - 6
Atlanta Braves
Tim Hudson (L,6-7) 5755412 4.27
Kevin Barry 3200110 0.00
HBP - Posada (by Tim Hudson)
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 97-49, Kevin Barry 47-30
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 8-6, Kevin Barry 4-4
Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 27, Kevin Barry 12
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, CF4110102 .299
Miguel Cairo, 2B4000004 .230
Derek Jeter, SS4210102 .335
Jason Giambi, DH4225011 .271
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3010100 .280
Jorge Posada, C3000001 .288
Andy Phillips, 1B3030100 .294
Bubba Crosby, RF3000105 .245
Melky Cabrera, LF4010013 .250
Totals325955218 
Batting
2B - Johnny Damon (20, Hudson), Andy Phillips (5, Hudson)
3B - Andy Phillips (2, Barry)
HR - Jason Giambi 2 (22, Hudson, Hudson)
SH - Miguel Cairo (3)
RBI - Jason Giambi 5 (61)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Giambi 5 (21)
SB - Alex Rodriguez (8, 2nd base off Hudson/Pratt)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
E - Alex Rodriguez (12, misplayed grounder)
New York Yankees
Randy Johnson (W,9-6) 7400090 4.84
Scott Proctor 1.1322011 4.13
Mariano Rivera (S,17) 0.2000120 1.98
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Johnson 106-78, Scott Proctor 27-19, Mariano Rivera 14-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Johnson 4-8
Batters Faced - Randy Johnson 25, Scott Proctor 7, Mariano Rivera 3
Game Information
Attendance - 54226
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Hunter Wendelstedt, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Randy Marsh, Third Base - Angel Hernandez