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New York at Atlanta

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N.Y. Yankees (39-32) «0000031228101
Atlanta (34-37)000010210482

Yankees break out of scoring slump to defeat Braves

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- The New York Yankees must have been wondering if they'd ever get a hit, much less score a run.

Then Joe Girardi got tossed, Francisco Cervelli hit an unlikely home run and Alex Rodriguez finally came through.

Sparked by their manager's ejection, the Yankees broke out offensively to beat the Atlanta Braves 8-4 Wednesday night, snapping a three-game losing streak.

New York didn't even have a baserunner through the first five innings. But Cervelli hit his first career homer to break a 14-inning scoreless drought in Atlanta, and the slumping Rodriguez managed a two-run single that put the Yankees ahead to stay in the sixth. The Yankees had scored only 18 runs in their previous seven games, losing five.

"We have too many good hitters to stay in a slump," Girardi said.

The manager gave his team a little extra boost in the sixth.

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With the Braves ahead 1-0, Kris Medlen (2-3) walked leadoff hitter Brett Gardner, who was promptly picked off. Girardi raced out to argue with first-base umpire Bill Welke -- television replays showed the Yankees had a legitimate beef -- and kept arguing until he was ejected.

That seemed to fire up New York.

Cervelli, the team's No. 2 catcher, got the start after Jorge Posada struck out four times Tuesday and came through with his homer into the first row of seats in left, evening the score at 1. After pitcher Joba Chamberlain lined out, Derek Jeter singled to left, Johnny Damon lined a single to center and Mark Teixeira walked to load the bases.

The Braves brought on Jeff Bennett to face Rodriguez, having a miserable season since missing the first month with a hip injury. He was batting just .204 and quickly fell behind 0-2 in the count. Bennett barely missed the strikeout when Rodriguez fouled a pitch off the glove of catcher Brian McCann, who stared at his empty mitt in disgust.

Rodriguez lined the next pitch -- an 0-2 fastball -- into right-center for a two-run single. Clearly relieved, he clapped his hands and exchanged a slap with first-base coach Mick Kelleher.

"It's been frustrating not to get the big hits," Rodriguez said. "I knew this year was going to be a process. But the last two days have been the best I've felt. I told (Girardi) yesterday that I felt like it was opening day."

With a sly grin, Girardi conceded that he was determined to get thrown out when he went out to argue with Welke.

"If we'll score eight runs after I get ejected," Girardi said, "I'll do it when I take out the lineup card."

Chamberlain (4-2) went 6 1-3 innings, giving up two earned runs for his first win in four starts. After Jeff Francoeur's two-out single in the eighth made it 6-4, the Yankees called on closer Mariano Rivera with the potential tying runs on base. He struck out Kelly Johnson and the side in the ninth for his 498th career save and 16th this season.

Rivera even got a chance to bat, lining out to center in the ninth. The entire Yankees dugout was laughing when he stepped into the box.

"That's not what you really want to see," Girardi said. "But he had quite a swing."

So was Cervelli's in the sixth.

"It was a special moment," he said. "I didn't think it was a home run. I thought it was a double or something like that."

Atlanta had pitched two straight shutouts, blanking the Chicago Cubs in a makeup game Monday before beating the Yankees 4-0 on Tuesday. The Braves stretched their scoreless streak to 23 innings with a 1-0 lead through five despite losing starter Kenshin Kawakami, who was struck at the base of the neck with a liner in the third.

The injury wasn't serious, but Kawakami didn't return.

After five stellar innings, the Braves suddenly fell apart. McCann had two throwing errors and reliever Eric O'Flaherty was late covering first, giving the Yankees an extra out.

"It was weird," McCann said. "Very weird."

Nick Swisher led off the seventh with a homer, stretching New York's lead to 4-1, and had a great catch in the bottom half. Turning three different ways, he looked back in time to catch Nate McLouth's drive, keeping him to a sacrifice fly that made it 4-3.

New York restored its three-run lead in the top of the eighth, scoring on McCann's first errant throw and Swisher's RBI groundout. Damon and Teixeira added run-scoring hits in the ninth.

The Braves broke a scoreless duel in the fifth when Francoeur went deep, his first homer since June 2.

Notes

  • Kawakami was listed as day to day.
  • As a hitter, Rivera is 0 for 2 during the regular season and 0 for 3 in the postseason.
 
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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Johnny Damon and the Yankees finally put some runs on the board to end their three-game losing streak.  (AP)
Johnny Damon and the Yankees finally put some runs on the board to end their three-game losing streak. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

J. Damon
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Atlanta

J. Francoeur
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS5210011 .299
Johnny Damon, LF5231000 .286
Mark Teixeira, 1B4121120 .286
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3112200 .210
Robinson Cano, 2B4000102 .301
Nick Swisher, RF4112010 .240
    Brian Bruney, P0000000 .000
    Mariano Rivera, P1000003 .000
Brett Gardner, CF3000101 .279
Francisco Cervelli, C3111100 .290
Joba Chamberlain, P2000000 .000
    Phil Coke, P0000000 .000
    Melky Cabrera, RF1010000 .286
Totals35810764  
Batting
2B - Mark Teixeira (20, Acosta), Melky Cabrera (11, Acosta)
HR - Nick Swisher (13, J. Bennett), Francisco Cervelli (1, Medlen)
SH - Joba Chamberlain (1)
RBI - Johnny Damon (41), Mark Teixeira (57), Alex Rodriguez 2 (30), Nick Swisher 2 (38), Francisco Cervelli (7)
2-OUT RBI - Johnny Damon (17), Mark Teixeira (24), Alex Rodriguez 2 (11)
SB - Derek Jeter (16, 3rd base off Acosta/McCann)
PK - Brett Gardner (2, Medlen)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Joba Chamberlain (2, Throwing)
New York Yankees
Joba Chamberlain (W,4-2) 6.1732051 3.81
Phil Coke (H,4) 0.2000000 3.56
Brian Bruney (H,6) 0.2111210 3.27
Mariano Rivera (S,16) 1.1000040 3.10
Pitches-Strikes - Joba Chamberlain 99-68, Phil Coke 3-2, Brian Bruney 30-17, Mariano Rivera 19-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joba Chamberlain 8-7, Brian Bruney 1-0
Batters Faced - Joba Chamberlain 27, Phil Coke 2, Brian Bruney 5, Mariano Rivera 4
Atlanta Braves
Nate McLouth, CF4011020 .259
Yunel Escobar, SS5000012 .290
Chipper Jones, 3B3120100 .300
Brian McCann, C4010033 .326
Garret Anderson, LF4000013 .277
Casey Kotchman, 1B3110102 .266
Jeff Francoeur, RF4122002 .250
    Manny Acosta, P0000000 .000
Kelly Johnson, 2B3100012 .219
Kenshin Kawakami, P0000000 .143
   a- Diory Hernandez, PH1000000 .114
    Kris Medlen, P1000010 .000
    Jeff Bennett, P0000000 .000
   b- Martin Prado, PH1011000 .289
    Gregor Blanco, PR0000000 .059
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
    Matt Diaz, RF1000010 .272
Totals34484210  
a-grounded out for Kawakami in the 3rd
b-singled for J. Bennett in the 7th
Batting
2B - Nate McLouth (13, Chamberlain)
HR - Jeff Francoeur (5, Chamberlain)
SF - Nate McLouth (3)
SH - Kelly Johnson (4)
RBI - Nate McLouth (45), Jeff Francoeur 2 (32), Martin Prado (9)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Francoeur (19)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Brian McCann 2 (4, Throwing)
Atlanta Braves
Kenshin Kawakami 3000010 4.25
Kris Medlen (L,2-3) 2.2333221 6.38
Jeff Bennett 1.1211111 3.18
Eric O'Flaherty 1221100 4.10
Manny Acosta 1322200 2.84
IBB - Rodriguez by Eric O'Flaherty
WP - Eric O'Flaherty (1), Manny Acosta (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Kenshin Kawakami 32-22, Kris Medlen 45-23, Jeff Bennett 23-16, Eric O'Flaherty 20-11, Manny Acosta 31-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kenshin Kawakami 2-6, Kris Medlen 2-3, Jeff Bennett 3-0, Eric O'Flaherty 3-0, Manny Acosta 2-1
Batters Faced - Kenshin Kawakami 9, Kris Medlen 12, Jeff Bennett 7, Eric O'Flaherty 6, Manny Acosta 8
Game Information
Attendance - 42315
Game Time - 3:16
Temperature - 91
Umpires - Home - James Hoye, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - Tim Welke