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Giambi gets scare in seventh inning

8/26/2003

NEW YORK (AP) -- Alfonso Soriano got a big hit early and
delivered another one late, and that kept Andy Pettitte on top.

Still, the hit that really shook up the New York Yankees -- and
sent a scare through the crowd of 50,595 -- came when Jason Giambi
was nailed in the right hand by a fastball in the seventh inning.

X-rays were negative, and Giambi left the ballpark with his hand
wrapped up in a bandage after the Yankees beat the Baltimore
Orioles 5-2 Monday night.

"It was a sharp pain at first, but I'm fine," the slugger
said. "This is just to kept the swelling down. We'll see how it is
when I come in tomorrow. We'll see if I'm able to hold the bat."

Yankees manager Joe Torre seemed relieved that the injury wasn't
worse. Giambi shook his hand hard after being hit by John Parrish
and his hand turned a gruesome shade of purple, but he stayed in
the game.

New York third baseman Aaron Boone had to leave late, however,
after an odd mishap. He slipped on a dugout step and turned an
ankle as he ran out for the ninth inning.

"Hopefully, he'll be all right," Torre said.

Soriano hit his team-record 10th leadoff homer and drove in
three runs and Pettitte picked on a familiar opponent as the
Yankees won for the ninth time in 11 games. They held their
five-game edge over Boston in the AL East.

Soriano had four hits, including a two-run single in the eighth.
He finished a triple shy of the cycle.

Larry Bigbie homered, singled twice and drove in both of
Baltimore's runs. But the Orioles made three errors that led to
three unearned runs and had a pair of passed balls.

"After we won the first two here at Yankee Stadium, you always
want more and you get a little greedy," Bigbie said. "We lost the
last two, but it was a good series."

Pettitte improved his career record over the Orioles to 18-4 --
his .818 winning percentage is the highest by any pitcher with at
least 15 decisions against Baltimore. Don Larsen had been the
leader at 13-3 (.813).

Pettitte is 4-0 against the Orioles this season, with all of the
wins coming in the last two months.

"I've pitched pretty well against everybody in our division,"
Pettitte said. "This year, I haven't pitched great against them,
but I've been fortunate to get the wins."

Pettitte (16-7) allowed just one run despite giving up 10 hits
in 6 2-3 innings. Boone saved him with a diving stop and Pettitte
helped himself, making a leaping stop near the backstop on a throw
from the outfield that nearly skipped away.

Pettitte is 11-1 in his last 14 starts. Mariano Rivera, New
York's fifth pitcher, got four outs for his 28th save in 34
chances.

Soriano put the Yankees ahead right away, homering to dead
center on a 2-0 pitch from Damian Moss (1-2).

Soriano broke the club mark of nine leadoff homers set by Rickey
Henderson in 1986. In addition, the Yankees tied the major league
record of 12 leadoff shots in a season, accomplished when Brady
Anderson hit that many for Baltimore in 1996.

"It's important to me to hit No. 10," Soriano said.

The Yankees made it 2-0 in the fifth after Nick Johnson was hit
by a pitch to open the inning. Derek Jeter singled home the run.

Bigbie's RBI single pulled the Orioles to 2-1 in the sixth.
Pettitte kept the Yankees ahead by striking out Deivi Cruz and
Robert Machado -- both looking -- with the bases loaded to end the
inning.

A throwing error by Cruz at shortstop and two passed balls by
Machado gave New York a run in the seventh. Bigbie homered off
struggling Jeff Weaver in the eighth.

Third baseman Tony Batista mishandled a throw in the bottom of
the eighth, and Soriano hit a two-run single with two outs.

Game notes
The team from Tokyo that won the Little League World Series
championship on Sunday night was at the ballpark. The Japanese
players chatted and posed for pictures with Hideki Matsui before
the game and ran out to their positions with the Yankees for "The
Star-Spangled Banner." ... Giambi has been hit by a pitch 18 times
this season, most in the AL. ... Orioles RF Jay Gibbons ran into
the padded wall to catch Jeter's drive in the third. ... CF Luis
Matos lost Soriano's fly ball in the twilight and it fell for a
double in the second. But Matos quickly found the ball and threw
out Johnson at the plate to end the inning.