19 juli 2006

Mariners @ Yankees : 4 - 5 (11 innings)

A blown call in the ninth inning keyed a big rally in the rain that kept the New York Yankees' winning streak intact. Melky Cabrera homered leading off the 11th and New York pulled out a rain-delayed 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night, making manager Joe Torre a winner on his 66th birthday. Playing a giddy Johnny Damon at first base in extra innings after a disputed call led to the tying run, the streaking Yankees won their fifth straight and ninth in 10 games.

New York Yankees' Jorge Posada steps on the first base bag as Seattle Mariners first baseman Richie Sexson takes the throw from Jose Lopez during the ninth inning in Major League Baseball action Tuesday, July 18, 2006 at Yankee Stadium in New York. Posada was ruled safe on the play.

Richie Sexson hit a three-run homer and Joel Pineiro held a depleted New York lineup in check for six-plus innings before the Yankees came back against J.J. Putz. They were trailing 4-2 when Andy Phillips doubled leading off the ninth, and he scored on a one-out single by pinch-hitter Aaron Guiel. As thunder crackled and a heavy rain began to fall, pinch-runner Bubba Crosby advanced to second on Putz's wild pitch. Then the Yankees got a huge break. Second baseman Jose Lopez made a sliding grab of Jorge Posada's grounder on the slick outfield grass, found a firm grip and threw a strike to first. But umpire Mike Reilly called the slow-footed Posada safe -- replays clearly showed he was out -- leaving runners at the corners.

The Mariners screamed in protest, and a white towel came sailing out of Seattle's dugout. Manager Mike Hargrove charged out to argue and was quickly ejected by Reilly. Damon followed with a sacrifice fly that tied it at 4. It was Putz's third blown save in 20 chances. Reilly, the crew chief, halted play with a 3-1 count on Alex Rodriguez, who didn't start because of a sore toe. After a delay of 1 hour, 58 minutes, he struck out looking against Julio Mateo. But Cabrera drove a 2-1 pitch from Mateo (5-4) just over the short porch in right for his fourth homer and raised his arms high as he rounded first. Scott Proctor (3-2) worked a hitless 11th for the win.

When the Yankees ran out of backups, Damon moved from center field to first base in the 10th, drawing a roar from the few thousand fans remaining. It was the first time he's played the infield in his major league career. Phillips also moved from first base to second for the first time in his career. Seattle has lost four in a row and 10 of 12. Rodriguez's replacement at third, Nick Green, went 3-for-3 with two doubles. Phillips homered and Jason Giambi drove in a run, but Pineiro was in control most of the night.

Signed last Friday to replace struggling right-hander Shawn Chacon at the back of the rotation, Ponson kept New York in the game. He allowed four runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings, striking out five and walking three. The 29-year-old right-hander, who has had problems with alcohol, left to a boisterous ovation from the crowd of 52,992. Ponson started 4-0 for St. Louis this season but lost his final four decisions with the Cardinals and was designated for assignment on July 7. He walked two of his first three batters Tuesday before Sexson hit his 18th homer on a hanging breaking ball, giving Seattle a 3-0 lead. Ichiro Suzuki blooped an RBI single over a drawn-in infield in the fifth.
Bron : AP

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