NEW YORK (AP) -- After another shaky start, Mike Mussina became
unhittable in a hurry.
Mussina settled down and lasted seven innings, Hideki Matsui hit
a go-ahead single in the seventh and the New York Yankees won their
sixth straight game Sunday with a 4-2 victory over the Kansas City
Opponents were hitting a hefty .344 against Mussina coming in.
And midway through the fourth, he had given up eight hits and two
Then he retired 11 batters in a row.
"I was frustrated," Mussina said. "I thought I was pitching
better than two baserunners an inning. You have to realize every
inning is a new inning and every hitter is a new hitter."
The Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Royals, who have
dropped four in a row and 14 of 17. They fell to 1-10 on the road
"With a pitcher like Mussina, if you've got him set up for the
knockout punch, you'd better deliver it," said Mike Sweeney, who
drove in both runs for the Royals.
"No question, any time you face a good pitcher, you've got to
get to him early," Royals manager Tony Pena said.
The right-hander did not give up a hit after that.
"It looked like once he got a little tired, he pitched
better," said Joe Torre, who earned his 800th win as Yankees
manager. "He gets in a rhythm. He hung in there and got better."
Mussina took the 2-2 tie into the seventh, then the Yankees took
"They just broke through on me in the seventh," Affeldt said.
"Posada ... I don't think he could have hit it in a better place,
and Matsui put it right in the hole. It's not like he hit it
The two-run cushion was plenty for the Yankees' bullpen. Tom
Gordon worked a scoreless eighth, and Mariano Rivera got three outs
for his ninth save in nine chances. He retired three straight
batters with two on to end it.
Carlos Beltran tripled into the right-field corner with one out
in the first and scored on a grounder by Sweeney. In the third,
Beltran doubled and came home on Sweeney's single to left.
Affeldt allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Torre is the fifth Yankees manager to reach 800 victories,
following Joe McCarthy (1,460), Casey Stengel (1,149), Miller
Huggins (1,067), and Ralph Houk (944). ... The Yankees received
their 2003 AL championship rings in a pregame ceremony. ... Royals
LF David DeJesus took extra-base hits away from Sierra in the third
inning and Bernie Williams in the fourth, running down drives in
front of the 399-foot sign in left-center field. ... Williams
returned the favor, making a sliding catch in center on a drive by
DeJesus in the seventh.