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N.Y. Yankees «0100130308101
Kansas City000000012350

Big Unit loses no-hit bid in seventh, Yanks increase AL East lead to nine

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Randy Johnson will turn 43 before his next start. The Big Unit threw 42 an impressive going-away party.

Johnson took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning and Jorge Posada backed him with a pair of three-run homers in the New York Yankees' 8-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.

"It's remarkable, it really is," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "For power pitchers to pitch into their 40s -- Roger (Clemens) did it, Nolan (Ryan) did it, (Steve) Carlton tried to do it -- it's certainly not something that comes down the pipe all the time."

Johnson (16-10) didn't give up a hit until David DeJesus tripled to deep left-center leading off the seventh inning. Center fielder Johnny Damon slid to keep the ball from going by him, but came up well short.

"I was trying to get there," Damon said. "I kind of stabbed my glove, because I knew as soon as it hit the ground it was going to take off. I was just hoping to stop it, but I saw the replay and it was 10 to 12 feet."

Earlier Wednesday, Florida's Anibal Sanchez pitched a no-hitter against Arizona, the first no-hitter in the major leagues since Johnson's perfect game for Arizona at Atlanta on May 18, 2004.

"I was coming up here between innings when I saw it," Johnson said. "Congratulations to him."

Johnson, 5-1 in his last six starts, allowed just the one hit and struck out eight in seven shutout innings, walking two. He had faced the minimum 18 batters before the triple -- he walked Emil Brown in the second, but Ryan Shealy grounded into an inning-ending double play.

"I warmed up good, and the slider was probably my best pitch tonight," Johnson said. "I was able to locate my fastball a couple of pitches up and away, and then I had good defense. Jorgie called a great game and then did everything by himself pretty much, offensively."

After his triple, DeJesus was picked off third by Posada.

"I was just too aggressive when my run didn't matter at all," DeJesus said. "It was one of those things where it was a stupid mistake by me. I take full blame for it."

At least DeJesus' hit kept Torre from having to decide whether to conserve Johnson's arm or let him try for the first double no-hit day in the majors since Oakland's Dave Stewart and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Fernando Valenzuela on June 29, 1990. That feat came 27 days after Johnson's first career no-hitter, for Seattle against Detroit.

"I'm not sure he wants to pitch a no-hitter at this point in time," Torre said with a laugh. "Whatever we can keep in the tank is probably going to help us later on. But yeah, if he's pitching a no-hitter -- I have to get back to New York, you know."

Johnson didn't mind coming out after seven.

"Probably the only reason I was out there was to see what would have happened," he said. "At this point, to go deep, deep in the game when we've got that kind of lead -- if the bullpen's rested, it's not that important for me to get a complete game."

Johnson stood in the dugout at times between innings, rather than sitting.

"My body's pretty sore right now," he said.

The Royals, on their way to another 100-loss season, were at least spared the embarrassment of being half the answer to a trivia question.

"Yeah, we were aware of it," designated hitter Mike Sweeney said. "Obviously, we didn't want to be the receivers of a dubious honor."

Derek Jeter extended his hitting streak to a career-high 17 games, going 2-for-4. He raised his batting average to .344, one point behind Minnesota's Joe Mauer, the AL leader.

Runelvys Hernandez (5-9) allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings.

Posada's first homer made it 5-0 in the sixth inning and his second boosted the margin to 8-0 in the eighth against Jose Diaz, who made his major league debut. It was the 13th multihomer game for Posada, the first since April 9 against the Los Angeles Angels.

"He's been swinging the bat really well over the last three or four days," Torre said. "He was struggling a little bit before that but right now he's putting good swings on the ball."

Melky Cabrera's RBI single put the Yankees up 1-0 in the second inning and Jeter made it 2-0 with an RBI double in the fifth.

John Buck hit an RBI single in the eighth off Scott Proctor, and Esteban German hit a two-run homer against Kyle Farnsworth in the ninth.

Notes

  • Diaz was the 30th pitcher the Royals used this season, a club record.
  • Jeff Keppinger, recalled from Triple-A Omaha on Aug. 25, started at third base in place of the injured Mark Teahen. Teahen, the Royals' leader in home runs (18) and slugging percentage (.519), will have season-ending surgery on Friday to fix a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
  • New York's Jason Giambi broke an 0-for-21 hitless streak with a double to center in the sixth inning.
  • DeJesus made two nifty defensive plays in center, both at the expense of Robinson Cano. DeJesus threw out Cano as he tried to score on Cabrera's RBI single in the third, then made a running grab at the warning track on Cano's long fly ball in the sixth.
 
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 fires six hitless innings before David DeJesus triples to lead off the seventh.  (AP)
Randy Johnson fires six hitless innings before David DeJesus triples to lead off the seventh. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

J. Posada
AB 3
R 3
H 2
HR 2
RBI 6
New York

R. Johnson
IP 7.0
H 1
ER 0
BB 2
K 8
 

CBSSports.com Shop

New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, CF4000000 .298
   a- Aaron Guiel, PH-CF^RF1000011 .230
Derek Jeter, SS4021000 .344
    Nick Green, 3B1000000 .196
Bobby Abreu, RF4000012 .300
   b- Craig Wilson, PH1000000 .258
Jason Giambi, 1B3110001 .251
    Andy Phillips, 1B2110010 .242
Alex Rodriguez, 3B1200300 .282
    Andy Cannizaro, SS0000000 .000
Jorge Posada, C3326111 .280
    Sal Fasano, C0000000 .225
Robinson Cano, 2B4020001 .340
Bernie Williams, DH-CF4110001 .282
Melky Cabrera, LF3011111 .285
Totals358108558 
a-struck out for Damon in the 8th
b-flied out for Abreu in the 9th
Batting
2B - Derek Jeter (34, Ru. Hernandez), Jason Giambi (22, Ru. Hernandez), Andy Phillips (11, J. Diaz)
HR - Jorge Posada 2 (19, Ru. Hernandez, J. Diaz)
RBI - Derek Jeter (85), Jorge Posada 6 (79), Melky Cabrera (43)
2-OUT RBI - Derek Jeter (31), Melky Cabrera (19)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Jeter-Cano-Giambi, Green-Cano-Phillips
E - Nick Green (5, )
New York Yankees
Randy Johnson (W,16-10) 7100280 4.76
Scott Proctor 1210000 3.73
Kyle Farnsworth 1222021 4.42
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Johnson 81-54, Scott Proctor 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Johnson 4-7, Scott Proctor 2-0, Kyle Farnsworth 1-0
Batters Faced - Randy Johnson 22, Scott Proctor 4, Kyle Farnsworth 5
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF3010010 .298
    Joey Gathright, CF1110000 .222
Esteban German, LF3112110 .320
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B3000021 .289
    Andres Blanco, 2B1000010 .262
Mike Sweeney, DH4000021 .254
Emil Brown, RF1000110 .291
   a- Shane Costa, PH-RF1110000 .272
Ryan Shealy, 1B3000012 .299
    Paul Phillips, 1B0000000 .273
John Buck, C3011000 .231
Angel Berroa, SS3000011 .230
Jeff Keppinger, 3B3000000 .000
Totals293532105 
a-singled for E. Brown in the 8th
Batting
3B - David DeJesus (4, R. Johnson)
HR - Esteban German (3, Farnsworth)
RBI - Esteban German 2 (20), John Buck (43)
PK - David DeJesus (1, R. Johnson)
Team LOB - 1
Fielding
Outfield Assists - David DeJesus 1
DP - Shealy-Berroa-J. Diaz
Kansas City Royals
Runelvys Hernandez (L,5-9) 6755331 6.39
Ryan Braun 1000000 0.00
Jose Diaz 1333211 27.00
Joe Nelson 1000010 4.01
WP - Jose Diaz (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Runelvys Hernandez 99-57, Ryan Braun 13-7, Jose Diaz 26-14, Joe Nelson 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Runelvys Hernandez 8-6, Ryan Braun 3-0, Jose Diaz 1-0
Batters Faced - Runelvys Hernandez 27, Ryan Braun 3, Jose Diaz 7, Joe Nelson 3
Game Information
Attendance - 16421
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Charlie Reliford, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Paul Nauert