|N.Y. Yankees «||0||0||2||0||0||0||1||4||x||7||16||1|
Johnson pitched seven strong innings and surpassed 4,500 strikeouts, and Alex Rodriguez hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly that sent New York to a 7-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night.
Derek Jeter hit an early two-run homer and Jorge Posada added a solo shot, helping the Yankees gain a four-game split against a longtime nemesis and extend their AL East lead to two games over Boston.
"I've never allowed myself to get too caught up in the accomplishments. Maybe I will when I'm done," Johnson said. "It means I've been around a long time and I've struck out a lot of batters. That's probably why my arm's pretty tired."
The Big Unit outpitched John Lackey for his 276th win and became only the third major leaguer to reach 4,500 strikeouts, joining Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Roger Clemens (4,552).
"I thought his slider was outstanding," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "He looks like he's got a little spring in his step. We just want to hold onto it as long as possible."
After taking a no-hit bid into the seventh during his previous start against the Chicago White Sox, Johnson (13-9) held the Angels scoreless for six innings.
But Chone Figgins hit an RBI single with two outs in the seventh and, running on the pitch, scored from first base on Howie Kendrick's double that tied it at two.
"We got a good rally off a tough pitcher. We just couldn't get the lead," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "If we'd gotten our offense going a little earlier, we might have given John a little more room to work with."
The Yankees pushed across the go-ahead run in the bottom half with two bunts and a sac fly.
Johnny Damon got it going with a bloop single, Jeter followed with a perfectly placed bunt single and No. 3 batter Bobby Abreu squared around for his first sacrifice bunt since July 1998, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"He's capable of doing everything," Posada said. "Even the third hitter's got to be able to get it down. That's the way we're going to go after it from now on. Everything counts."
Jason Giambi was intentionally walked to load the bases for Rodriguez. Booed at home much of the season for failing to come through in clutch situations, the two-time MVP lofted a 1-2 pitch deep into the right-field corner.
Vladimir Guerrero caught the ball with his back to the wall, but Damon scored easily and A-Rod received hearty congratulations in the dugout.
"A nice way to manufacture a run," Rodriguez said. "That was a great game out there. Lackey's a handful."
Posada homered on Brendan Donnelly's first pitch in the eighth -- his third hit after beginning the night in a career-worst 0-for-25 slump.
Abreu added an RBI infield single against J.C. Romero, Giambi delivered a sacrifice fly and Rodriguez drove in another run with a bad-hop single, making it 7-2.
Kyle Farnsworth worked a perfect eighth to preserve a one-run lead, and Mariano Rivera closed it out.
Lackey (10-9) lost his third consecutive start, allowing three runs and 11 hits in seven innings.
"It would be nice if we could get out to a lead and hang onto one," he said. "I was able to minimize the damage, give our team a chance to win. If you're going to be a playoff team, you've got to figure out ways to win games like that."
Johnson gave up eight hits, walked one and struck out five. He fanned Tim Salmon in the fourth for No. 4,500.
"He really pitches now. He kind of reminds me of Clemens when he started throwing that splitty," Salmon said.
Posada tossed the ball into the dugout to be kept as a souvenir, and the crowd chanted "Randy! Randy!" The Big Unit went right back to work, but waved to his family behind home plate after the inning.
|Randy Johnson allows two runs and strikes out five in seven innings for his 13th win this season. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Los Angeles Angels|
|Chone Figgins, 3B||4||1||1||1||1||1||1||.264|
|Howie Kendrick, 2B||3||0||3||1||0||0||0||.336|
|Orlando Cabrera, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||5||.281|
|Vladimir Guerrero, RF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.314|
|Juan Rivera, LF||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.305|
|Tim Salmon, DH||3||0||0||0||0||1||3||.261|
|a- Curtis Pride, PH-DH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.294|
|Robb Quinlan, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.326|
|Jose Molina, C||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.262|
|Reggie Willits, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.214|
|a-struck out for Salmon in the 8th|
|2B - Howie Kendrick (12, R. Johnson), Jose Molina (14, R. Johnson)|
|RBI - Chone Figgins (40), Howie Kendrick (14)|
|2-OUT RBI - Chone Figgins (14), Howie Kendrick (6)|
|SB - Howie Kendrick (4, 2nd base off R. Johnson/Posada), Orlando Cabrera (20, 3rd base off R. Johnson/Posada)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Outfield Assists - Vladimir Guerrero 1, Reggie Willits 1|
|DP - Kendrick-Cabrera-Figgins, Guerrero-Quinlan|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|John Lackey (L,10-9)||7||11||3||3||4||4||1||3.35|
|IBB - Giambi by John Lackey|
|Pitches-Strikes - John Lackey 107-71, Brendan Donnelly 15-8, J.C. Romero 18-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Lackey 6-8, Brendan Donnelly 1-0, J.C. Romero 1-1|
|Batters Faced - John Lackey 33, Brendan Donnelly 5, J.C. Romero 4|
|New York Yankees|
|Johnny Damon, CF||4||2||1||0||1||0||1||.286|
|Derek Jeter, SS||5||2||3||2||0||1||3||.344|
|Bobby Abreu, RF||3||0||1||1||1||0||0||.286|
|Jason Giambi, DH||3||0||1||1||1||0||2||.259|
|Alex Rodriguez, 3B||3||0||1||2||1||0||1||.287|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||4||0||1||0||1||1||4||.330|
|Jorge Posada, C||4||1||3||1||0||0||3||.273|
|Craig Wilson, 1B||4||0||2||0||0||2||3||.271|
|Melky Cabrera, LF||4||2||3||0||0||0||2||.282|
|2B - Derek Jeter (27, Lackey), Jason Giambi (17, Lackey), Melky Cabrera (16, Lackey)|
|HR - Derek Jeter (10, Lackey), Jorge Posada (15, Donnelly)|
|SF - Jason Giambi (5), Alex Rodriguez (2)|
|SH - Bobby Abreu (1)|
|RBI - Derek Jeter 2 (70), Bobby Abreu (71), Jason Giambi (93), Alex Rodriguez 2 (85), Jorge Posada (59)|
|2-OUT RBI - Alex Rodriguez (29)|
|Team LOB - 11|
|DP - Rodriguez-Cano-C. Wilson|
|E - Jorge Posada (8, )|
|New York Yankees|
|Randy Johnson (W,13-9)||7||8||2||2||1||5||0||4.92|
|Kyle Farnsworth (H,19)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||4.18|
|HBP - Kendrick (by Randy Johnson)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Randy Johnson 101-73, Kyle Farnsworth 15-10, Mariano Rivera 11-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Johnson 9-6, Kyle Farnsworth 2-0, Mariano Rivera 3-0|
|Batters Faced - Randy Johnson 30, Kyle Farnsworth 3, Mariano Rivera 4|
|Attendance - 52100|
|Game Time - 2:57|
|Temperature - 84|
|Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Marvin Hudson|