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Johnson surpasses 4,500 strikeouts, Yankees shut down Angels

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- With the New York Yankees grinding their way through a tight pennant race, Randy Johnson is much more concerned about big wins than personal milestones.

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.

Notes

  • Jeter's bunt single drew chants of "MVP! MVP!"
  • Giambi was thrown out at the plate by rookie CF Reggie Willits in the second after running through a stop sign from third base coach Larry Bowa.
  • Johnson improved to 16-7 against the Angels.
  • Scioscia said he would rest slumping SS Orlando Cabrera one of the next two nights in Texas.
  • Angels OF Garret Anderson missed his third straight start due to tightness in his lower back, but Scioscia said he hopes to have Anderson back in some capacity Tuesday night.
 
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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Randy Johnson allows two runs and strikes out five in seven innings for his 13th win this season.  (AP)
Randy Johnson allows two runs and strikes out five in seven innings for his 13th win this season. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

D. Jeter
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
New York

J. Posada
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, 3B4111111 .264
Howie Kendrick, 2B3031000 .336
Orlando Cabrera, SS4000005 .281
Vladimir Guerrero, RF4010001 .314
Juan Rivera, LF4020001 .305
Tim Salmon, DH3000013 .261
   a- Curtis Pride, PH-DH1000010 .294
Robb Quinlan, 1B4010012 .326
Jose Molina, C4110012 .262
Reggie Willits, CF4000012 .214
Totals352921617 
a-struck out for Salmon in the 8th
Batting
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
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Vladimir Guerrero 1, Reggie Willits 1
DP - Kendrick-Cabrera-Figgins, Guerrero-Quinlan
Los Angeles Angels
John Lackey (L,10-9) 71133441 3.35
Brendan Donnelly 0.1344101 4.84
J.C. Romero 0.2200000 7.28
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, CF4210101 .286
Derek Jeter, SS5232013 .344
Bobby Abreu, RF3011100 .286
Jason Giambi, DH3011102 .259
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3012101 .287
Robinson Cano, 2B4010114 .330
Jorge Posada, C4131003 .273
Craig Wilson, 1B4020023 .271
Melky Cabrera, LF4230002 .282
Totals3471675419 
Batting
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
Fielding
DP - Rodriguez-Cano-C. Wilson
E - Jorge Posada (8, )
New York Yankees
Randy Johnson (W,13-9) 7822150 4.92
Kyle Farnsworth (H,19) 1000010 4.18
Mariano Rivera 1100000 1.86
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
Game Information
Attendance - 52100
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Marvin Hudson