New York at Cleveland

N.Y. Yankees
W: M. Mussina (8-7) L: P. Byrd (10-5)
HR: NYY - A. Rodriguez (38), A. Rodriguez (39), J. Giambi (8)   CLE - None

A-Rod goes deep twice in rout; Mussina wins 100th game as Yankee

CBS wire reports

CLEVELAND -- Alex Rodriguez took a couple more swings up to No. 503. Mike Mussina saved mementos from No. 100.

The Cleveland Indians? They got their usual two and stopped right there.

Rodriguez kept up his unrelenting surge against the Indians -- six homers in five games -- and New York cruised to an 11-2 victory Saturday night that gave Mussina his 100th win with the Yankees, who have gone a month without slowing down.

"It's a good feeling, but a controlled feeling," said Rodriguez, who hit a pair of two-run homers. "We realize we've got a lot of work ahead and haven't accomplished anything."

He's being modest.

The hottest team in the majors did everything right on Saturday. Jason Giambi added a pinch-hit homer, Jose Molina had a career-high four hits, and the Yankees piled up 19 hits in all.

"We look great at the plate right now," Mussina said.

New York moved 14 games over .500 (65-51) for the first time this season, an emphatic turnaround for a team that was stranded 14½ games out of first place on May 29. The Yankees have stormed into contention in the AL East -- five games back of Boston -- by going 22-8 since the All-Star break, best in the majors.

By contrast, the AL Central-leading Indians are 13-16 since the break because of a slumping offense: Two or fewer runs in 11 of the last 19 games.

Rodriguez's two-run homer completed a seven-run second inning off Paul Byrd (10-5) that sapped the energy out of the fourth capacity crowd at Jacobs Field this season. A-Rod's 503rd career homer, off Edward Mujica in the eighth, completed his fifth multihomer game this season and the 49th of his career.

Since he became the youngest player to reach 500 homers last Saturday, A-Rod has relaxed and picked up momentum.

"No question," he said. "It's good to get that 500th home run out of the way and get back to playing baseball."

The two homers were more than enough for the 38-year-old Mussina (8-7), who became the 16th pitcher to win 100 games for the Yankees. The right-hander won his fourth straight start, allowing two runs and eight hits in 7 2/3 innings. For the third straight game, he didn't walk a batter.

Mussina is only the ninth pitcher in major league history to win 100 for two teams -- he had 147 victories with Baltimore.

He had the bat boy save a couple of baseballs, and stored the red-stitched mementos in a white plastic bag in his locker.

"There are not a lot of guys that have pitched for this team and pitched long enough to win that many games," Mussina said. "It's exciting. I'm glad I've had the chance to come here and pitch well enough and pitch long enough to accomplish it."

Against the Indians this season, the Yankees are 5-0 with a swagger. They swept three games in New York when they were struggling in April, and are one victory from doing it again in August.

"When I made a bad pitch, they hit it in the bleachers or crushed it over the shortstop's head," Byrd said. "They're hot right now. They're not the same team that took the field in April and May."

Byrd threw a shutout against the Twins on Monday, but couldn't make it past the second inning against one of the majors' most powerful lineups. The Yankees have scored at least six runs in 10 of their last 12 games.

"They're swinging the bats as good as you can swing them," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

They've done it with balance, some bashing and a big dose of A-Rod.

Rodriguez has hit at least one homer in each of the five games against Cleveland this season. He got an errant full-count pitch from Byrd in the second inning and hit it over the wall in center, putting the final touch on New York's seven-run, 10-batter outburst.

Anyone who has followed the Indians knew it was over.

Cleveland inducted four players into its Hall of Fame before the game, including Andre Thornton, who played from 1977-87 when the Indians had trouble winning games and scoring runs.

Kind of like now.

The AL Central leaders ended one amazing slump when Victor Martinez hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning --the first time the Indians had scored in the opening inning since July 17, a streak of 23 games.

Then, it was back to usual -- two runs and done.


  • C Jorge Posada was out of the Yankees' lineup for the second consecutive game with a stiff neck. He's expected to start on Sunday.
  • RHP Jim Brower was in Minnesota with his wife, who gave birth to a daughter.
  • CF Melky Cabrera extended his hitting streak to a career-high 16 games.
  • It was Giambi's first homer since May 29, before he was sidelined by a foot injury.
  • The Indians have lost 10 of their last 13 at Jacobs Field.
  • It was Byrd's shortest outing since he retired only two Kansas City batters last Aug. 23.
  • Cleveland DH Travis Hafner swung in the indoor batting cages. Hafner strained his left knee while sliding into second base Tuesday night and is expected to be out of the lineup a few more days.
Copyright 2017 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.
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Derek Jeter is the only one who can touch A-Rod these days as the slugger belts homers 38 and 39.  (AP)
Derek Jeter is the only one who can touch A-Rod these days as the slugger belts homers 38 and 39. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

A. Rodriguez
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 2
New York

M. Mussina
IP 7.2
H 8
ER 2
BB 0
K 6

Related Video

February 24, 2017
2017 AL East Preview: New York Yankees (3:09)
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, LF6122002 .258
Derek Jeter, SS6130025 .332
Bobby Abreu, RF5122003 .285
Alex Rodriguez, 3B5224013 .301
Hideki Matsui, DH5220000 .294
Robinson Cano, 2B4110100 .311
Melky Cabrera, CF4011000 .301
Andy Phillips, 1B2111100 .290
   a- Jason Giambi, PH1111000 .265
    Shelley Duncan, 1B0000000 .314
Jose Molina, C5140002 .234
a-homered for Phillips in the 9th
2B - Johnny Damon (18, Byrd), Robinson Cano (34, Byrd), Jose Molina (10, Mujica)
HR - Alex Rodriguez 2 (39, Byrd, Mujica), Jason Giambi (8, Mujica)
SF - Melky Cabrera (7), Andy Phillips (2)
RBI - Johnny Damon 2 (44), Bobby Abreu 2 (78), Alex Rodriguez 4 (114), Melky Cabrera (50), Andy Phillips (20), Jason Giambi (24)
2-OUT RBI - Bobby Abreu 2 (19), Alex Rodriguez 4 (53), Jason Giambi (11)
CS - Andy Phillips (1, 2nd base by Fultz/Shoppach)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Cano-Jeter-Phillips, Rodriguez-Cano-Duncan
E - Alex Rodriguez (9, Throwing)
New York Yankees
Mike Mussina (W,8-7) 7.2822060 4.50
Luis Vizcaino 0.1000010 3.94
Ron Villone 1200010 3.45
WP - Mike Mussina (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Mussina 89-69, Luis Vizcaino 8-5, Ron Villone 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Mussina 5-11, Luis Vizcaino 1-0, Ron Villone 1-0
Batters Faced - Mike Mussina 30, Luis Vizcaino 2, Ron Villone 4
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF3110000 .275
   a- Franklin Gutierrez, PH-CF1000001 .275
Kenny Lofton, LF3010011 .296
Victor Martinez, 1B3012011 .302
Ryan Garko, DH4010000 .306
Jhonny Peralta, SS4000033 .277
Casey Blake, 3B4020001 .266
Trot Nixon, RF4030011 .260
Kelly Shoppach, C4000026 .271
Josh Barfield, 2B2000000 .246
   b- Asdrubal Cabrera, PH-2B2110001 .200
a-lined out for Sizemore in the 8th
b-doubled for Barfield in the 8th
2B - Kenny Lofton (17, Mussina), Victor Martinez (31, Mussina), Trot Nixon (17, Mussina), Asdrubal Cabrera (1, Mussina)
SF - Victor Martinez (9)
SH - Kenny Lofton (3)
RBI - Victor Martinez 2 (82)
2-OUT RBI - Victor Martinez (29)
Team LOB - 7
Cleveland Indians
Paul Byrd (L,10-5) 2777111 4.53
Thomas Mastny 3200020 4.30
Aaron Fultz 2511100 3.28
Edward Mujica 2533002 8.53
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Byrd 56-35, Thomas Mastny 35-25, Aaron Fultz 27-20, Edward Mujica 34-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 1-4, Thomas Mastny 2-5, Aaron Fultz 2-3, Edward Mujica 2-4
Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 14, Thomas Mastny 11, Aaron Fultz 11, Edward Mujica 11
Game Information
Attendance - 41977
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Adam Dowdy, Third Base - Field Culbreth