New York at Houston

Scoreboard
N.Y. Yankees (35-33) «100000010250
Houston (33-35)000100000161

Joba goes six strong innings for Yankees in first road start

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

HOUSTON -- Little by little, Joba Chamberlain is getting more comfortable as a starting pitcher.

Derek Jeter hit a solo homer in the eighth inning off Doug Brocail and Chamberlain pitched six strong innings in his first career road start to lead the New York Yankees to a 2-1 win over the Houston Astros on Friday.

Alex Rodriguez added an RBI single for the Yankees in their first regular-season game at Minute Maid Park.

Chamberlain allowed six hits and struck out two in his third career start, keeping the Yankees in the game as the offense struggled against Astros starter Shawn Chacon. The Yankees moved Chamberlain out of the bullpen in late May and he's feeling more confident with the transition with each outing.

"Every time you go out, I try to get better and learn from it," Chamberlain said. "I have to continue to get better and try to build off this and do better the next time."

Chamberlain threw 62 pitches in his first start, against Toronto on June 3, and left after giving up a hit with four walks and two runs in 2 1/3 innings. He lasted 4 1/3 innings against Kansas City on Sunday, allowing three runs on five hits in 78 pitches.

Chamberlain threw 88 pitches on Friday night. He said his changeup was working well against the Astros and manager Joe Girardi liked the splitfinger fastball he saw, too.

"That's why we projected him as a starter," Girardi said. "He's not a one- or two-pitch guy. He's a four-pitch guy with a power arm."

Chacon, who played for the Yankees in 2005 and '06, gave up three hits and struck out two in 6 1/3 innings.

Brocail (2-1) started the eighth in relief of Wesley Wright and Jeter drove the second pitch he saw into the right-field seats, his fourth homer of the season and first since June 1.

Jose Veras (1-0) retired the Astros in order in the seventh and eighth, and Kyle Farnsworth pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his first save. Mariano Rivera had saved New York's last 10 road victories, but manager Joe Girardi said he rested him after Rivera pitched for the fifth time in six days in Oakland on Thursday.

Ty Wigginton had an RBI single for the Astros, who've lost seven of nine.

The Yankees have won seven of 10 and moved two games over .500 (35-33) for the first time since April 24.

Bobby Abreu scored New York's first run in the first inning on Rodriguez's single to center.

Abreu reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and went to third when the throw by Astros catcher Brad Ausmus sailed into center field. It was Ausmus' first error of the season.

Chamberlain allowed two harmless singles through the first three innings. The only time he looked shaky was when he struck out swinging in his first major league at-bat, facing Chacon in the third.

In the fourth, Chamberlain walked Carlos Lee after Lance Berkman reached on a fielder's choice. Berkman was caught in a rundown on a double steal and Lee took second.

Wigginton singled and Lee was able to score when Hideki Matsui bobbled the ball in left field. Matsui, usually the Yankees' designated hitter, started in left with pitchers required to bat in the NL park.

Chacon, meanwhile, retired 14 of 17 hitters between the second and sixth innings, giving up only two walks and a single by Jorge Posada. He fought through cramps in his left hamstring that started in the third inning.

"It was so hot," Chacon said. "I was just drenched in sweat."

Michael Bourn led off the Houston sixth with a single to right. The speedy Bourn stole second on Chamberlain's first pitch to Ausmus. Bourn tried to take third on a 2-1 pitch, but Posada threw him out.

Houston tied a season high with four stolen bases and set a team record by getting caught stealing four times. Cooper said the Astros tried to take advantage of Chamberlain's deliberate motion.

"We just knew the guy on the other side was a little slow to the plate," Cooper said. "We don't get that many chances."

Matsui led off the seventh with a single and Posada walked on Chacon's 106th pitch. Houston manager Cecil Cooper brought in Wright to relieve, and Wilson Betemit, pinch-hitting for Chamberlain, flew out to end the inning.

Girardi said he would've kept Chamberlain in for one more inning if his spot in the batting order hadn't come up.

"He's been throwing the ball great for us all year," Girardi said. "He's using all his pitches. We're happy with the way he's throwing the ball."

Brocail had not allowed a run in 10 appearances before Jeter's homer. The Astros' pitching staff has allowed 97 homers, the most in the majors.

"I needed to slam the door and I didn't do it," Brocail said. "I threw a curveball and I didn't get it down and he pounded the hell out of it."

Jeter leads the majors with 259 career hits in interleague play.

Notes

  • Chacon got a no-decision for the 10th time in 14 starts this season. He started the season with nine consecutive no-decisions, setting a major league record.
  • The Astros lead the NL with 72 steals, seven more than they had all of last season.
  • Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani threw out the first pitch. A die-hard Yankees fan, Giuliani had a front-row seat near Astros owner Drayton McLane.
 
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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Joba Chamberlain scatters six hits with two strikeouts in six innings of work. (AP)
Joba Chamberlain scatters six hits with two strikeouts in six innings of work. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

D. Jeter
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
New York

J. Chamberlain
IP 6.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 4
K 2
 

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New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS4111001 .271
Robinson Cano, 2B3000100 .217
Bobby Abreu, RF4100011 .290
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3011100 .316
Hideki Matsui, LF4020002 .325
Jason Giambi, 1B3000103 .258
Jorge Posada, C2010101 .301
    Jose Veras, P0000000 .000
   a- Johnny Damon, PH1000011 .319
    Kyle Farnsworth, P0000000 .000
Melky Cabrera, CF3000103 .258
Joba Chamberlain, P2000011 .000
   b- Wilson Betemit, PH1000002 .218
    Jose Molina, C1000012 .216
Totals3125254  
a-struck out for Veras in the 9th
b-flied out for Chamberlain in the 7th
Batting
HR - Derek Jeter (4, Brocail)
RBI - Derek Jeter (28), Alex Rodriguez (33)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Rodriguez (13)
SB - Bobby Abreu (6, 3rd base off Chacon/Ausmus)
Team LOB - 7
New York Yankees
Joba Chamberlain 6611420 2.48
Jose Veras (W,1-0) 2000030 3.32
Kyle Farnsworth (S,1) 1000010 4.15
IBB - Ausmus by Joba Chamberlain, by Berkman
HBP - Wigginton (by Kyle Farnsworth)
WP - Joba Chamberlain (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Joba Chamberlain 88-54, Jose Veras 24-18, Kyle Farnsworth 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joba Chamberlain 9-5, Jose Veras 1-2
Batters Faced - Joba Chamberlain 26, Jose Veras 6, Kyle Farnsworth 3
Houston Astros
Hunter Pence, RF4000011 .279
Kazuo Matsui, 2B4010011 .280
Miguel Tejada, SS4010001 .301
Lance Berkman, 1B3000101 .362
Carlos Lee, LF3100112 .269
Ty Wigginton, 3B3021000 .286
Michael Bourn, CF3010102 .230
Brad Ausmus, C2010110 .235
   a- Geoff Blum, PH1000010 .243
Shawn Chacon, P1000003 .125
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
   b- Darin Erstad, PH1000010 .312
    Doug Brocail, P0000000 .000
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Totals2916146  
a-struck out for Ausmus in the 9th
b-struck out for Wright in the 7th
Batting
SH - Shawn Chacon (2)
RBI - Ty Wigginton (11)
2-OUT RBI - Ty Wigginton (2)
SB - Kazuo Matsui (15, 2nd base off Chamberlain/Posada), Lance Berkman (11, 2nd base off Chamberlain/Posada), Ty Wigginton (4, 2nd base off Chamberlain/Posada), Michael Bourn (27, 2nd base off Chamberlain/Posada)
CS - Lance Berkman (2, 3rd base by Chamberlain/Posada), Ty Wigginton (2, 2nd base by Farnsworth/Molina), Michael Bourn (5, 3rd base by Chamberlain/Posada)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Matsui-Tejada-Berkman
E - Brad Ausmus (1, Throwing)
Houston Astros
Shawn Chacon 6.1311420 4.69
Wesley Wright 0.2000000 3.86
Doug Brocail (L,2-1) 1111001 2.55
Jose Valverde 1100120 3.82
IBB - Cabrera by Jose Valverde
Pitches-Strikes - Shawn Chacon 106-57, Wesley Wright 8-5, Doug Brocail 14-8, Jose Valverde 23-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shawn Chacon 9-7, Doug Brocail 2-1
Batters Faced - Shawn Chacon 25, Wesley Wright 2, Doug Brocail 4, Jose Valverde 5
Game Information
Attendance - 43095
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Angel Hernandez, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Derryl Cousins