Series: Game 3 of 3

New York won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, June 21
New York 1Final
San Diego 9
Game 2: Saturday, June 22
New York 1Final
San Diego 0
Game 3: Sunday, June 23
New York 3Final
San Diego 2

Yankees 3

(47-28, 25-14 away)

Padres 2

(32-43, 21-20 home)

    5:05 PM ET, June 23, 2002

    Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California 

    123456789 R H E
    NYY 000000201 3 - -
    SD 000000200 2 - -

    W: R. Mendoza (5-2)

    L: S. Reed (1-3)

    S: S. Karsay (3)

    White homers as Yankees edge Padres

    SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The New York Yankees have been in first place enough to know that it doesn't mean much until October.

    Rondell White

    Rondell White homered, and the Yankees scratched out a run in the ninth inning to beat the San Diego Padres 3-2 Sunday and take over sole possession of the AL East lead for the first time since April 14.

    "It's nice to be in first place, but again, we are only in June,'' New York manager Joe Torre said.

    Bernie Williams' bases-loaded groundout knocked in the go-ahead run, and Steve Karsay closed it out with a perfect inning for his third save.

    "I was just trying to make contact and put the ball in play hard,'' Williams said. "It was pretty tough to hit the ball with that shadow out there.''

    Pinch-hitter Enrique Wilson drew a leadoff walk from Steve Reed (1-3) in the ninth. After Alfonso Soriano struck out, Derek Jeter singled to move Wilson to second.

    Padres closer Trevor Hoffman relieved and walked Nick Johnson to load the bases. Williams followed with a weak grounder to first baseman Kevin Barker, who looked home but decided he had no play on Wilson and took the out at first.

    "It's the winning run. If I had to do it over again, maybe I throw home,'' Barker said. "But talking to the guys watching, they said he was already sliding.''

    Ramiro Mendoza (5-2) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the victory.

    The Yankees took a 2-0 lead in the seventh. White hit a one-out solo homer off San Diego starter Brian Lawrence. Mike Mussina, who had his second career multihit game, singled to right field and went to second on an error by Gene Kingsale.

    Soriano followed with an infield single, and Jeter drove in Mussina with a single to left.

    The Padres rallied for two runs in the bottom half to tie it at 2. Ramon Vazquez had a leadoff walk, and Wiki Gonzalez was hit by a pitch from Mussina with one out.

    Mike Stanton replaced Mussina and induced pinch-hitter Ron Gant into a check-swing grounder back to the mound. It appeared that Stanton had a play at third, but he took the safe out at first.

    Mendoza came in with two outs and runners on second and third to face Deivi Cruz, who hit an 0-1 curveball up the middle for a two-run single.

    Mark Kotsay followed with a double to center that dropped in front of a sliding Williams. Ray Lankford was intentionally walked, and Barker grounded out to first to end the inning.

    "We played them tough,'' Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's another hard one to lose.''

    A crowd of 50,050 saw Mussina throw 6 1-3 strong innings, giving up four hits and striking out seven.

    Lawrence also pitched an effective 6 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits.

    The Yankees had a scoring opportunity cut down in the fifth. Mussina hit a one-out single to center, and Soriano followed with a double to center.

    The ball one-hopped to the fence, where Kotsay fielded it and relayed to second baseman Vazquez, who made a perfect throw to catcher Tom Lampkin, who tagged out Mussina.

    "Running the bases, especially at full speed, takes quite a bit out of you,'' Mussina said. "That was a long way to run. I haven't gone first to home in a long time. Hopefully, I won't have to do it again any time soon.''

    Torre was worried as he watched Mussina run around the bases. "Don't get hurt. Don't get hurt,'' Torre said. "That's more important than scoring the run.''

    Game notes

    Yankees manager Joe Torre said he expects a better performance from Andy Pettitte in Tuesday's start against Baltimore. In Pettitte's outing at Colorado last Wednesday, his second start since coming off the disabled list, he gave up eight runs in 3 2/3 innings. "In Colorado, he turned into a thrower. He stopped pitching and just started raring back and throwing,'' Torre said. ... The Padres set a club attendance record for a three-game series Qualcomm Stadium, with 165,929 fans showing up for the Yankees series. ... LHP Eric Cyr made his major league debut, the eighth Padres pitcher to make his big league debut this season. ... Williams went 0-for-5, ending his 11-game hitting streak. ... Vazquez was 0-for-2, snapping his nine-game hitting streak.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press