ST. LOUIS -- The old Randy Johnson responded to Joe Torre's new motivational tactic.
A day after the New York Yankees got a tongue-lashing from their manager, Johnson outpitched Mark Mulder in a matchup of two of the game's best lefthanders and beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 5-0, yesterday.
''I thought we played with a lot more intensity today," Derek Jeter said. ''It doesn't hurt that Randy pitched well, too."
Jeter and Alex Rodríguez each had two RBIs for the Yankees in their third victory in 11 games on a season-high 12-game trip. New York's sloppy three-error performance in an 8-1 loss Friday night prompted the usually even-keeled Torre to call a closed-door meeting.
''Certainly, we're closer to the team you saw today than [Friday] night," Torre said. ''[Friday] night was just a horrible experience for all us. We just have to build on something."
Johnson (6-5) allowed four two-out hits in seven innings to bounce back from losses in consecutive starts. He earned his 252d win to pull ahead of Cardinals Hall of Famer Bob Gibson for 41st place on the career list. Johnson struck out seven and walked none to win for the first time in St. Louis since April 16, 2002, when he was with the Diamondbacks.
''I think this road trip's been pretty rough for just about everybody," Johnson said. ''I felt pretty comfortable out there, especially after we scored some early runs."
It was a much better day all-around for Torre, who received a standing ovation when he removed a number from the right-field wall as part of the countdown for the final year of Busch Stadium. Torre played for six seasons in St. Louis, winning the MVP and a batting title in 1971, and managed the Cardinals from 1990-95. He received what amounted to a victory lap around the warning track after the ceremony with team mascot Fredbird piloting a miniature car.
''It was much nicer to do it with a four-run lead than it would have been otherwise," Torre said. ''I always felt very close here, especially in my playing days."
The Cardinals, who lost for just the third time in their last 20 interleague games, will be trying to win consecutive series against the American League's highest profile teams in today's finale. St. Louis began the week by taking two of three from the Red Sox in a World Series rematch.