Thursday, September 14, 2006
Yankees beat Devil Rays, inch closer to division title
BRONX, New York -- With the way Robinson Cano
has performed, it might not be long before he hears the same
type of chants as Derek Jeter.
Cano drove in three runs, including a go-ahead double with two
outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, as the New York
Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays
with a come-from-behind 7-4 victory.
Derek Jeter extended his hitting streak to 23 games for the
Yankees (89-56), who reduced their magic number to clinch the
American League East to six.
New York rallied from a 4-1 deficit, which Tampa Bay's Rocco
Baldelli had created with a pair of home runs. But after
Baldelli homered in the fifth, Cano came through in the bottom
half with a double over left fielder Carl Crawford's head that
scored Jeter and Aaron Guiel, tying the game at 4-4.
In the seventh, Cano came through again. After rookie Kevin
Thompson and Bernie Williams singled off Ruddy Lugo (2-3), Shawn
Camp struck out Jeter.
But Camp was not as fortunate against Cano. After falling
behind, 0-2, Cano slapped a double that was just out of the
reach of shortstop Ben Zobrist, scoring Thompson.
Cano's hit triggered a three-run rally that helped the Yankees
to their sixth straight win. Following his double, Alex
Rodriguez lined a two-run single to right.
Cano finished the game 2-for-4 and since returning from the
hamstring injury that sidelined him for over a month, is hitting
.378 (56-for-144). The second-year second baseman also has 40
RBIs in those 36 games.
Jeter had a first-inning single and added an RBIs base hit in the
fifth, prompting more "MVP" chants from fans at Yankee Stadium.
It is the longest hitting streak of his career and longest by a
Yankee since current hitting coach Don Mattingly hit in 24
straight games in 1986.
Darrell Rasner (2-0), who struck out five in three scoreless
frames, got the win for New York.
Rasner came on after rookie Jeff Karstens went the first five
and allowed four runs and six hits. Karstens' had his scheduled
start moved up a day because the Yankees did not want to take a
chance with Chien Ming-Wang pitching through a possible rain
Kyle Farnsworth tossed a perfect ninth for his fifth save in
Tampa Bay's James Shields also pitched five innings, allowing
four runs and six hits. But as he began warming up in the sixth
inning, he experienced cramps in his right hamstring.
Baldelli had three hits. He tripled and scored on rookie Delmon
Young's groundout in the first and homered in the third and
fifth off Karstens for his first career multi-homer game.
Hideki Matsui homered in the second.