Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
  • My Scores
  • Golf
  • NCAA FB
  • NHL
  • MLB
  • NFL

Cleveland at New York

Scoreboard
Cleveland (16-18)000030000360
N.Y. Yankees (18-18) «00031020x690

Yanks' Mussina good enough to win fourth straight start

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

NEW YORK -- Jason Giambi and the sluggish New York Yankees suddenly turned sluggerish.

The Yankees played home run derby Thursday, with Giambi, Johnny Damon, Robinson Cano and Wilson Betemit connecting in a 6-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians that prevented a three-game sweep.

"There were big hits up and down the lineup," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

A day after Damon called the Yankees' recent output "pitiful," a lineup missing injured Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada matched a season high for homers.

"I think we're going to be fine," Damon said.

Giambi, Cano and Betemit each began the day hitting well under .180. Damon has done better from the leadoff spot, and he homered for the Yankees' first run in the fourth inning and hit a go-ahead double in the fifth.

Giambi has spent the whole season searching for a groove. Along with the home run, the former AL MVP seemed equally pleased by a sharp lineout to center in his next at-bat.

"Hopefully, I'll get a few more to drop in," Giambi said.

Cleveland was trying to sweep the Yankees in a series of three or more games for the first time in nearly two decades. The last time the Indians did, they completed it by beating Tommy John on April 9, 1989 -- John, by the way, turns 65 in two weeks.

Mike Mussina (5-3) won his fourth straight start and earned his 255th career victory, holding on for five innings. Setup man Joba Chamberlain won his rematch with David Dellucci and Mariano Rivera closed for his ninth save.

Cano's homer finished Paul Byrd (1-3) in the seventh and Betemit, subbing for Rodriguez, met reliever Masa Kobayashi with a drive over the center-field fence.

The only drama after that came in the eighth when Chamberlain faced Dellucci. On Tuesday night, Dellucci rocked the hard-throwing reliever with a pinch-hit, three-run homer.

Girardi later talked to Chamberlain about his penchant for shaking off his catcher's signs. This time, Chamberlain again shook off Jose Molina, then got Dellucci to swing over a slider for strike three.

Chamberlain, as usual, gave an exaggerated fist pump and hollered after fanning Dellucci to end the inning.

"That's who he is. He's not showing anyone up. He's going to show emotion," Girardi said. "He didn't look at Dellucci. He looked into our dugout."

That's not exactly how Dellucci saw Chamberlain's celebration.

"It is what it is. If he wants to yell and scream after a strikeout, I guess that's what gets him going," he said. "It's May baseball. The home run was in a much bigger situation. I didn't dance and scream.

"If a hitter did something like that, it would be bush. It's kind of interesting how a pitcher gets away with it."

Said Chamberlain: "It didn't matter who it was, I just wanted to get them out."

Mussina moved into sole possession of 39th place on the career wins list, breaking a tie with Jack Morris and Red Faber.

Damon and Giambi homered in the fourth to put the Yankees ahead 3-0. The Indians bounced back in the fifth against Mussina, tying it on Casey Blake's two-run double and Kelly Shoppach's RBI single.

Giambi's upper-deck drive landed just inside the right-field foul pole, with the star twisting his body and hoping to steer the shot clear. It was his sixth homer of the season, including two off Byrd on April 25 at Cleveland.

"I just cannot get Giambi out this year. I make the pitch, he hits it," Byrd said.

"He used to own me," Giambi said.

Damon blooped a two-out double in the fifth that drove in Cano, who opened the inning by hustling for a double.

The Indians had won five straight on the road. For the second straight game, slumping star Travis Hafner was benched. He's hitting only .209 with three home runs, and manager Eric Wedge is trying to find a way to get him to relax.

The game marked Cleveland's final scheduled appearance at Yankee Stadium. The Indians finished 262-456 overall at the ballpark, the Elias Sports Bureau said, starting with a 13-3 win on June 9, 1923, when Tris Speaker hit a grand slam.

Notes

  • Yankees slugger Hideki Matsui extended his hitting streak to a career-high 17 games.
  • Cano and Betemit gave the Yankees their fourth set of back-to-back homers this season.
  • Blake continues to deliver in the clutch. He is 14-for-33 with runners in scoring position, 7-for-67 otherwise.
  • Rivera didn't record his ninth save last year until June 22.
 
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.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Jason Giambi watches homer No. 6 of 2008; half have come at the expense of the Indians' Paul Byrd.  (AP)
Jason Giambi watches homer No. 6 of 2008; half have come at the expense of the Indians' Paul Byrd. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

M. Mussina
IP 5.0
H 4
ER 3
BB 0
K 3
Cleveland

C. Blake
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4010001 .264
Jamey Carroll, 2B4000012 .205
David Dellucci, DH4000021 .259
Jhonny Peralta, SS4000021 .221
Ben Francisco, LF3110000 .353
Franklin Gutierrez, RF4120001 .255
Ryan Garko, 1B4000004 .234
Casey Blake, 3B3112001 .210
Kelly Shoppach, C3011001 .261
Totals3336305  
Batting
2B - Ben Francisco (2, M. Rivera), Casey Blake (8, Mussina)
RBI - Casey Blake 2 (22), Kelly Shoppach (3)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Peralta-Garko, Carroll-Peralta-Garko, Peralta-Garko
Cleveland Indians
Paul Byrd (L,1-3) 6.1855003 4.28
Masahide Kobayashi 0.2111011 2.20
Jorge Julio 1000110 3.38
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Byrd 81-52, Masahide Kobayashi 8-5, Jorge Julio 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 8-9, Masahide Kobayashi 1-0
Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 25, Masahide Kobayashi 3, Jorge Julio 3
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, LF4122000 .280
Derek Jeter, SS4010011 .298
Bobby Abreu, RF3000101 .299
Hideki Matsui, DH4120001 .345
Jason Giambi, 1B3112001 .163
Melky Cabrera, CF3000001 .272
Robinson Cano, 2B3221000 .172
Wilson Betemit, 3B3111001 .200
Jose Molina, C3000011 .209
Totals3069612  
Batting
2B - Johnny Damon (13, Byrd), Robinson Cano (4, Byrd)
HR - Johnny Damon (5, Byrd), Jason Giambi (6, Byrd), Robinson Cano (4, Byrd), Wilson Betemit (1, Kobayashi)
RBI - Johnny Damon 2 (16), Jason Giambi 2 (18), Robinson Cano (10), Wilson Betemit (2)
2-OUT RBI - Johnny Damon (5), Jason Giambi 2 (6)
Team LOB - 1
New York Yankees
Mike Mussina (W,5-3) 5433030 4.36
Ross Ohlendorf (H,1) 2100010 4.70
Joba Chamberlain (H,8) 1000010 3.14
Mariano Rivera (S,9) 1100000 0.00
HBP - Francisco (by Mike Mussina)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Mussina 86-58, Ross Ohlendorf 20-15, Joba Chamberlain 12-9, Mariano Rivera 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Mussina 7-5, Joba Chamberlain 1-1, Mariano Rivera 2-1
Batters Faced - Mike Mussina 20, Ross Ohlendorf 7, Joba Chamberlain 3, Mariano Rivera 4
Game Information
Attendance - 53227
Game Time - 2:33
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Scott Barry, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Brian Gorman