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San Diego at New York

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San Diego (31-43)000100000150
N.Y. Yankees (40-33) «00001100x250

Joba, Mo mow down Padres in Yanks' seventh straight victory

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Joe Girardi signaled to the bullpen before he reached the mound. He wasn't going to let Joba Chamberlain talk him out of it.

The Yankees manager would love for the converted reliever to get his first win as a starter, but not at the expense of throwing too many pitches. Chamberlain would have to settle for another no-decision and a career-high nine strikeouts in New York's 2-1 win Thursday to sweep the San Diego Padres.

"Your heart wants to do it," Girardi said, "but your head tells you that you need to make a change."

Chamberlain gave up one run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings in his fourth start. He also helped prevent a run with his catcher's skills, blocking home plate to make a tag.

Then Chamberlain's former mates in the bullpen showed they're doing just fine without him, holding the Padres scoreless the rest of the way.

Another key hit from Alex Rodriguez drove in the go-ahead run. The Yankees ran their way to scoring opportunities, setting up both their runs with stolen bases. San Diego, meanwhile, was running its way into outs, as Adrian Gonzalez was thrown out at home plate twice in the first four innings.

New York extended its longest winning streak of the season to seven and improved to seven games above .500 for the first time this year. The Padres have dropped five of six.

Rodriguez, who homered in the previous four games, drove in Derek Jeter with a single in the sixth off Josh Banks (2-1). Jeter had singled, stolen second and moved up on Bobby Abreu's grounder to first.

The Yankees got their first run without a hit to tie the score an inning earlier. Melky Cabrera walked with one out, then stole second and third. Jose Molina drove him in with a sacrifice fly.

"That means we can play small ball, too," Molina said. "We're not waiting for the home run all the time."

New York stole four bases for the second straight game. Two of them led to runs in Wednesday's 8-5 win.

"What the Yankees do as far as base stealing, they do a good job of identifying the pitcher. They take advantage of that slowness to the plate or the higher leg kick," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We have to quicken our time to home plate."

For the first time, Chamberlain wasn't on a strict pitch count, but Girardi said beforehand he didn't want the right-hander to throw many more than 100. He wasn't kidding.

After Chamberlain struck out Chase Headley with his 100th pitch, Girardi popped out of the dugout to remove him.

The fans voiced their disapproval, but Girardi wasn't going to risk a 10-pitch at-bat. He said he told Chamberlain, "I understand you don't want to come out. You can be upset about it. That's how I want you to be."

Chamberlain got a standing ovation as he left the field.

"I understand it's June," he said afterward, "and this is my first time getting to 100 in the big leagues."

Jose Veras (2-0) came in and pitched 1 1/3 innings to earn the win. Kyle Farnsworth worked the eighth to set up Rivera, who struck out the side in the ninth for his 20th save in 20 chances. Rivera didn't get his 20th save last season until Aug. 18.

"Everyone is giving us important innings," Girardi said of his bullpen.

Girardi would rather his pitchers not block the plate, as Chamberlain did in the second. But he appreciated the competitiveness.

With one out, Chamberlain's pitch in the dirt got away from Molina, and Gonzalez took off. The catcher quickly tracked the ball down and threw to Chamberlain.

"I was a catcher until I was a junior in high school," Chamberlain said. "So it brought back some memories. I guess it's like riding a bike."

Molina joked, "That was kind of ugly." He added in admiration, "That means he's a tough guy."

Black said Gonzalez expected the ball to roll farther, but the grass is thicker behind home plate at Yankee Stadium than at other parks.

The inning had started with the Padres loading the bases with no outs, but Chamberlain wriggled out of the jam with the tag-out sandwiched between two strikeouts.

With one out in the fourth, Gonzalez tried to score on Scott Hairston's grounder to third and was thrown out by Rodriguez.

Tony Clark drove in Brian Giles with a ground-rule double in the fourth for the Padres' lone run.

It was the sixth time in nine games that New York pitchers allowed no more than one run. The Yankees have won nine times this year when scoring three runs or fewer; they did that six times all last season.

"Look, without guys like Joba, you can't win championships," Rodriguez said. "That's just the bottom line. We need him in the starting rotation."

Notes

  • Banks gave up two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings and was credited with his first career loss.
  • It was the Yankees' second consecutive three-game sweep against a National League team.
  • Yankees DH Hideki Matsui did not start for the second straight game because of a swollen left knee. Girardi expected Matsui to return Friday. Matsui had the knee drained Wednesday.
  • Giles probably saved a run with a diving catch of Johnny Damon's sinking liner in the seventh with Molina on second.
 
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, still looking for his first victory as a starter, strikes out nine in 5 2/3 innings.  (AP)
Joba Chamberlain, still looking for his first victory as a starter, strikes out nine in 5 2/3 innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

J. Chamberlain
IP 5.2
H 4
ER 1
BB 3
K 9
New York

D. Jeter
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 
San Diego Padres
Jody Gerut, CF2000220 .267
Edgar Gonzalez, 2B4000023 .302
Brian Giles, RF4110001 .300
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B3020110 .293
Chase Headley, 3B4010033 .333
Tony Clark, DH3011111 .243
Scott Hairston, LF3000123 .227
Khalil Greene, SS4000025 .228
Michael Barrett, C4000021 .172
Totals31151515  
Batting
2B - Chase Headley (1, Chamberlain), Tony Clark (3, Chamberlain)
RBI - Tony Clark (8)
Team LOB - 8
San Diego Padres
Josh Banks (L,2-1) 5.1422130 1.62
Justin Hampson 1.1100110 8.10
Bryan Corey 0.1000100 5.04
Heath Bell 1000010 1.99
IBB - Posada by Justin Hampson
HBP - Giambi (by Josh Banks)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Banks 102-62, Justin Hampson 31-17, Bryan Corey 11-4, Heath Bell 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Banks 7-6, Heath Bell 1-1
Batters Faced - Josh Banks 22, Justin Hampson 6, Bryan Corey 2, Heath Bell 3
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, LF4010001 .331
Derek Jeter, SS3120100 .276
Bobby Abreu, RF4000003 .278
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4011012 .335
Jason Giambi, 1B3000033 .259
    Wilson Betemit, 1B0000000 .254
Jorge Posada, DH3000101 .316
Robinson Cano, 2B3000002 .228
Melky Cabrera, CF2100100 .252
Jose Molina, C2011010 .221
Totals2825235  
Batting
2B - Jose Molina (13, Hampson)
SF - Jose Molina (2)
RBI - Alex Rodriguez (41), Jose Molina (9)
SB - Derek Jeter (5, 2nd base off Banks/Barrett), Alex Rodriguez (8, 2nd base off Hampson/Barrett), Melky Cabrera 2 (5, 2nd base off Banks/Barrett, 3rd base off Banks/Barrett)
Team LOB - 7
New York Yankees
Joba Chamberlain 5.2411390 2.36
Jose Veras (W,2-0) 1.1000210 3.00
Kyle Farnsworth (H,8) 1100020 4.05
Mariano Rivera (S,20) 1000030 0.79
Pitches-Strikes - Joba Chamberlain 100-58, Jose Veras 27-14, Kyle Farnsworth 13-10, Mariano Rivera 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joba Chamberlain 4-3
Batters Faced - Joba Chamberlain 23, Jose Veras 6, Kyle Farnsworth 4, Mariano Rivera 3
Game Information
Attendance - 54362
Game Time - 3:12
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - Tim Timmons