Mussina delivers Yankees
New York homes in for 10th straight time
Mike Mussina entered this season almost an afterthought in the Yankees' rotation, the old man on a staff of budding stars. What a difference four months makes.
Mussina walked off the Yankee Stadium mound yesterday to rousing "Mooose!" calls from the sold-out crowd, having thrown eight economical innings in New York's 5-1 win over the Minnesota Twins, the Yankees' 10th straight home victory.
Last year "I physically couldn't do what I wanted to do. The whole year was miserable," Mussina said after giving up six hits without allowing a run.
"Today was probably a good day," he said with a smirk.
Alex Rodriguez and Justin Christian each had two-run doubles and Richie Sexson had a sacrifice fly and 11 putouts and three assists at first base as the Yankees completed a 6-0 homestand with sweeps of Oakland and the Twins. They visit Fenway Park tomorrow for a three-game series.
"It starts with starting pitching, defense, and timely hitting, and we're getting all those now," Rodriguez said.
The Twins did not get a runner past second base against Mussina (13-6) in losing their fourth straight game and dropping 2 1/2 games back of the White Sox in the AL Central.
Rays 4, Athletics 3 - James Shields allowed three runs pitching into the ninth inning, and Jonny Gomes and Ben Zobrist hit back-to-back homers to lead AL East-leading Tampa Bay past visiting Oakland.
Shields (9-6) gave up six hits and struck out seven in improving to 5-1 in his last six starts. Shields's bid for his fourth complete game of the season ended when Jack Cust doubled with one out in the ninth. Troy Percival got the final two outs for his 20th save in 22 chances.
Angels 14, Indians 11 - Jeff Mathis had four hits with a career-high six RBIs, including his first grand slam in the majors, and Casey Kotchman had a career-best five hits for Los Angeles in its victory over visiting Cleveland.
The Angels padded their AL West lead to 10 games over Oakland with a season-high 19-hit attack that included four hits by Howie Kendrick, who equaled a franchise record with three doubles. It was the first time in Angels history that three players each had four or more hits in the same game.
Braves 9, Marlins 4 - Chipper Jones strained his left hamstring, and Tim Hudson left after six innings with tightness in his right elbow, tempering the glow of Atlanta's victory in Miami.
Jones was hurt running out a groundout in the fourth inning and immediately left the game.
Hudson (11-7) allowed only three hits and one walk, but departed after throwing just 68 pitches in six shutout innings.
Mets 6, Phillies 3 - Jose Reyes's three-run homer snapped a sixth-inning tie and host New York, with closer Billy Wagner back for his 25th save, rebounded from a demoralizing defeat by beating Philadelphia.
John Maine pitched seven effective innings and New York took advantage of a wild Brett Myers (five walks) in his return from the minors to again tie the Phillies for first place in the NL East.
White Sox 10, Rangers 8 - Carlos Quentin hit two home runs, including the go-ahead, three-run shot during a five-run eighth, and host Chicago rallied to beat Texas.
Quentin's go-ahead homer came on the first pitch from Rangers closer C.J. Wilson, who entered in relief of Eddie Guardado with two on and two out.
Brewers 3, Cardinals 0 - C.C. Sabathia threw a three-hitter, his third straight complete game for his new team, and Milwaukee won in St. Louis for its seventh straight victory.
Ryan Braun had four hits and J.J. Hardy hit his 14th homer for the Brewers.
Reds 9, Padres 5 - Adam Dunn hit Cincinnati's first grand slam of the season, and the host Reds kept Greg Maddux in the longest winless streak of his career (14 starts) by beating San Diego.
Tigers 7, Royals 1 - In Kansas City, Mo., Armando Galarraga (8-4) carried a perfect game into the seventh inning, Miguel Cabrera drove in three runs, and Detroit completed a three-game sweep.
Rockies 5, Dodgers 3 - Matt Holliday drove in two runs, including one on a double that bounced off the pitcher's glove, and Jeff Baker scored twice to lift Colorado over Los Angeles in Denver.
Giants 6, Nationals 4 - Rich Aurilia lined a go-ahead two-run double in the eighth inning as San Francisco rallied to beat visiting Washington.
Cubs 10, Diamondbacks 6 - Reed Johnson had three hits, including a grand slam in the eighth, as Chicago routed host Arizona.
Pirates 8, Astros 7 - In Houston, Jason Bay hit a two-run homer and Pittsburgh earned its first road sweep this season.
The Blue Jays-Orioles game in Baltimore was suspended by rain with Toronto leading, 2-1, in the sixth inning. Play will resume this afternoon with two outs in the top of the sixth. The teams will then play the finale of the four-game series.