CLEVELAND -- They didn't become the New York Yankees because of epic, embarrassing losses.
So one day after suffering one of the most lopsided defeats in their famed existence, the Yankees returned to their winning ways.
Rookie Melky Cabrera's first career grand slam highlighted an eight-run fourth inning, helping New York bounce back from an historic loss with an 11-3 win over the Cleveland Indians last night.
On the Fourth of July, which also happens to be Yankees owner George Steinbrenner's birthday, New York was pummeled, 19-1, by Cleveland, matching the second-worst defeat in the club's unmatched history.
Last night, the Yankees looked much more like themselves.
``It's a nice way to come back after what happened to us," starter Mike Mussina said.
Along with matching their highest-scoring inning this season off Paul Byrd (6-6), the Yankees stole six bases and Mussina (10-3) showed no ill effects from a slight groin pull.
Mussina allowed three runs and five hits in six sharp innings. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the righthander is the only pitcher in AL history to win at least 10 games in 15 consecutive seasons.
New York's win may have come with a price as center fielder Johnny Damon left in the third inning with a slight muscle pull in his stomach. The Yankees were being overly cautious, but with two star outfielders -- Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui -- as well as second baseman Robinson Cano already on the DL, they aren't taking any chances with Damon.
Damon felt a pain during pregame batting practice, and then while taking a swing in the on-deck circle before his first at-bat.
``It's sore," said Damon, who expects to sit out tonight's series finale. ``I'm a quick healer so I think it will be OK."