|N.Y. Yankees (77-62) «||0||1||0||0||0||3||7||1||x||12||20||0|
Even blowouts are tense for the New York Yankees these days.
"It was a little scary," Rodriguez said Tuesday night after New York beat the Mariners 12-3 and boosted its AL wild-card lead to two games over the Mariners and 3½ in front of Detroit.
Wang smothered Seattle to get his 17th win and tie Boston's Josh Beckett for the major league lead. Jorge Posada homered twice, and A-Rod and Bobby Abreu also homered for New York -- with Rodriguez hitting a rare drive into the left-field upper deck.
But with the Yankees clinging to a small lead and already worried about Roger Clemens' sore right elbow -- which will receive a cortisone shot Wednesday -- New York is jumpy over any whiff of injury. So when Wang didn't bend on his first two pitches of the eighth, Posada went out to the mound and signaled to the dugout.
"It didn't look good," Posada said. "Something about it just didn't look right."
Yankees manager Joe Torre said the wait to come back during New York's seven-run seventh likely contributed to the tightness. Wang said he'd never experienced back stiffness before but he was confident he'd be ready for his next turn in the rotation. Because of two off days, he's not scheduled to pitch until next week at Toronto.
Rodriguez sounded more concerned. He was hurt in the seventh inning, when he slid into Adrian Beltre and the third baseman toppled backward onto his right leg, turning A-Rod's ankle. Rodriguez came out at the end of the inning, and postgame X-rays were negative. He wasn't sure whether he'd be able to play Wednesday.
"It's a little sore right now," he said. "I'll see how I feel in the morning."
Posada, Abreu and Robinson Cano had four hits each. Abreu was in a 2-for-15 slump coming in and Cano was in a 2-for-16 slide. New York, struggling to regain consistency in the season's final weeks, had 20 hits and busted open the game with three runs in the sixth and the big seventh, which made it 11-1.
With a victory in Wednesday's series finale, New York would open a three-game wild-card lead with 3½ weeks to play. New York had lost three of four since sweeping Boston. Wang's performance was key to the turnaround.
"Two-game losing streaks are a luxury," Torre said.
It was a close game for most of the night, with Hideki Matsui throwing out Beltre at the plate in the fifth to preserve a 1-0 lead. Seattle manager John McLaren said third-base coach Carlos Garcia couldn't be faulted.
"Carlos felt bad about it. It's something we can't take back," McLaren said. "Just one of those things. If you haven't been out there at third base, you don't know what I'm talking about."
Seattle lost for the 10th time in 11 games and was ensured of leaving town trailing the Yankees when the three-game series concludes Wednesday.
"We just got to bounce back tomorrow," McLaren said. "Two out, and all we need to do is get that streak we're looking for, get that streak at the right time."
Wang (17-6) allowed one run and five hits in 7 1/3 innings, throwing just 86 pitches. Inducing inning-ending, double-play grounders in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, Wang improved to 8-2 when pitching following Yankees' losses this season, winning his last six starts in that situation. He is 6-0 against the Mariners in his career.
Beltre ended Wang's shutout bid with a seventh-inning homer -- only the second by a right-handed hitter against Wang this year and the first Wang allowed to a right-hander at Yankee Stadium since Miguel Olivo connected on June 23 last year.
Posada put the Yankees ahead with a leadoff homer in the second off Horacio Ramirez (8-5), and Rodriguez hit his major league-leading 46th homer to make it 2-0 in the sixth, a drive that landed about seven rows into the upper deck.
"It doesn't matter where it lands," Rodriguez said. "It only counts for one run."
|Chien-Ming Wang allows just one run in 7 1/3 innings in earning his 17th victory. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Ichiro Suzuki, CF||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.353|
|a- Adam Jones, PH-CF||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||.257|
|Jose Vidro, DH||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.312|
|b- Charlton Jimerson, PH-DH||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||1.000|
|Jose Guillen, RF||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.287|
|c- Wladimir Balentien, PH-RF||1||0||1||2||0||0||0||1.000|
|Raul Ibanez, LF||3||0||1||0||0||1||0||.282|
|d- Nick Green, PH-2B||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||2||1||1||1||1||0||0||.281|
|Mike Morse, 3B||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||1.000|
|Ben Broussard, 1B||2||0||0||0||2||0||2||.291|
|Kenji Johjima, C||3||0||1||0||0||0||4||.290|
|Rob Johnson, C||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|Jose Lopez, 2B||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.263|
|e- Jeremy Reed, PH-LF||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|Yuniesky Betancourt, SS||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.286|
|f- Jeff Clement, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|Willie Bloomquist, SS||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.280|
|a-walked for Suzuki in the 8th|
|b-singled for Vidro in the 8th|
|c-doubled for Guillen in the 8th|
|d-grounded out for Ibanez in the 8th|
|e-grounded out for J. Lopez in the 8th|
|f-struck out for Betancourt in the 8th|
|2B - Wladimir Balentien (1, Vizcaino)|
|HR - Adrian Beltre (22, Wang)|
|RBI - Wladimir Balentien 2 (2), Adrian Beltre (84)|
|2-OUT RBI - Wladimir Balentien 2 (2)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Betancourt-J. Lopez-Broussard, Johjima-J. Lopez, Morse-Green-Broussard|
|E - Kenji Johjima (2, Interference)|
|Horacio Ramirez (L,8-5)||5.2||9||4||3||1||3||2||6.45|
|Pitches-Strikes - Horacio Ramirez 99-67, Eric O'Flaherty 10-7, Brandon Morrow 15-9, Ryan Rowland-Smith 8-3, John Parrish 19-11, Sean White 13-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Horacio Ramirez 9-3, John Parrish 1-0, Sean White 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Horacio Ramirez 26, Eric O'Flaherty 2, Brandon Morrow 4, Ryan Rowland-Smith 3, John Parrish 5, Sean White 4|
|New York Yankees|
|Melky Cabrera, CF||5||1||1||1||0||1||5||.294|
|Derek Jeter, SS||5||0||1||1||0||0||1||.321|
|Bobby Abreu, RF||5||1||4||1||0||0||0||.287|
|Alex Rodriguez, 3B||4||2||2||1||0||0||2||.310|
|a- Alberto Gonzalez, PH-3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.000|
|Jorge Posada, C||4||4||4||2||1||0||0||.337|
|Hideki Matsui, LF||2||1||0||0||1||1||1||.296|
|Johnny Damon, PR-LF||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.259|
|Shelley Duncan, DH||5||1||1||2||0||2||4||.273|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||5||1||4||3||0||0||0||.303|
|Wilson Betemit, 1B||2||0||2||1||0||0||0||.227|
|Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.224|
|a-hit into fielder's choice for Rodriguez in the 7th|
|2B - Bobby Abreu (27, Ramirez), Robinson Cano (35, Rowland-Smith)|
|HR - Bobby Abreu (16, Morrow), Alex Rodriguez (46, Ramirez), Jorge Posada 2 (18, Ramirez, S. White)|
|SH - Wilson Betemit (2)|
|RBI - Melky Cabrera (61), Derek Jeter (60), Bobby Abreu (91), Alex Rodriguez (131), Jorge Posada 2 (80), Shelley Duncan 2 (15), Robinson Cano 3 (79), Wilson Betemit (42)|
|2-OUT RBI - Melky Cabrera (24), Derek Jeter (31), Robinson Cano (31), Wilson Betemit (20)|
|CS - Hideki Matsui (2, 2nd base by Ramirez/Johjima)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Outfield Assists - Hideki Matsui 1|
|DP - Rodriguez-Cano-Betemit, Cano-Jeter-Betemit, Jeter-Cano-Mientkiewicz|
|New York Yankees|
|Chien-Ming Wang (W,17-6)||7.1||5||1||1||3||1||1||3.68|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chien-Ming Wang 86-52, Luis Vizcaino 22-10, Chris Britton 18-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chien-Ming Wang 14-3, Chris Britton 1-3|
|Batters Faced - Chien-Ming Wang 26, Luis Vizcaino 4, Chris Britton 5|
|Attendance - 52487|
|Game Time - 3:13|
|Temperature - 82|
|Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Gerry Davis|