Jason Giambi overheard manager Joe Torre and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre talking about taking Mike Mussina out in the ninth inning. So with two outs in the eighth, Giambi, in his first game back from the disabled list, did all he could to help give the Yankees' starter a shot at a shutout -- he homered.
Giambi's solo shot gave New York a two-run lead and Mussina got his chance, but Mariano Rivera ended up finishing off the Yankees' 2-1 win over the Texas Rangers yesterday in New York.
"[Stottlemyre] told me I was coming out. I talked him into letting me stay in, then I threw one down the middle," Mussina said.
Mussina (7-4) allowed a first-pitch triple to Rod Barajas to start the ninth, but didn't make many mistakes in his best outing of the season.
The righthander had the Rangers fooled all day, mixing his fastball with a tricky knuckle-curve to win his sixth straight decision. He struck out a season-high 10.
"That breaking ball was so good today," New York manager Joe Torre said. "They're a fastball-hitting team. They didn't have many good swings."
Bernie Williams homered on the first pitch of the fourth from Ryan Drese (2-3), helping the Yankees win for the 11th time in 13 games.
Giambi, sidelined since spraining his right ankle May 21, hit his 10th homer in the eighth, making it 2-0.
Rivera relieved after Barajas's triple off the wall in center and gave up an RBI ground out to Michael Young, but with two men on he retired Mark Teixeira on a comebacker for his 23d save in 24 chances.
Indians 7, Angels 0 -- C.C. Sabathia held host Anaheim hitless until the sixth, and Omar Vizquel, Victor Martinez, and Ronnie Belliard each had two RBIs, powering Cleveland to its third straight win. Sabathia (3-3) won for the first time in four starts, allowing four hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked two. David Riske and Matt Miller finished the five-hitter, sending the Angels to their third straight defeat.
Martinez doubled home two runs against Bartolo Colon (4-4) in the first, Vizquel touched Colon for a two-run homer in the fourth, and Belliard added a two-run double in the fifth, chasing the Angels' struggling starter.
Mariners 5, White Sox 4 -- Jolbert Cabrera walked with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth, capping host Seattle's three-run rally against Chicago closer Billy Koch. The Mariners, who had four steals in the inning, tied it when Bret Boone singled home Randy Winn after he stole third. Winn had doubled home Ichiro Suzuki for the first run off Koch (1-1).
Orioles 5, Devil Rays 4 -- Rodrigo Lopez won his second straight start for host Baltimore and Rafael Palmeiro and Javy Lopez each had two hits and scored twice. Lopez (5-2), making his fourth start since leaving the bullpen, gave up three runs and 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings.
A's 8, Blue Jays 3 -- Host Oakland won for the fifth time in six games, with Eric Byrnes's leadoff homer sparking a four-run first against Toronto.
Twins 6, Tigers 5 -- At Minneapolis, Joe Mauer hit his first major league homer, a three-run shot with two outs in the eighth off Esteban Yan (0-2), pushing Minnesota past Detroit.