Jeter homered in the first inning for his 1,000th career run,
then stole a pair of bases in the ninth inning and scored on Hideki
Matsui's two-out single to lead the Yankees over Cleveland 5-4
Tuesday night, the Indians' ninth straight loss.
"He took us on his shoulders and got us in position to win the
ballgame," Yankees manager Joe Torre said of Jeter.
Jeter, hit on the left elbow by a pitch from Bob Wickman (0-2)
on Monday, showed no signs of lingering problems. He hit his 16th
homer in the first inning.
"He set the tone for the night -- not knowing if he was going to
play, then he hits the ball over the center-field fence," Torre
Jeter walked against Wickman with the score 4-all in the ninth
and stole his 19th and 20th bases. Jeter was running on his own.
"You're not always going to hit home runs. You have to score
runs other ways," Jeter said. "I just thought I could make it. I
saw some opportunities and took off."
Wickman said he was concentrating on the hitter too much.
"Maybe a two-year layoff makes me rusty there," said Wickman,
who had elbow surgery. "It's something to work on."
Matsui's drove Jeter in with a liner that sailed over leaping
shortstop Omar Vizquel's outstretched glove.
"Ninth inning, to get an opportunity to win and get a hit to
win the game it feels great," Matsui said.
"We're lucky to win this game because we did let a lot of
things get away from us," Torre said.
New York, which rallied from a 4-1 deficit, has won two straight
after losing six of seven and remained 6½ games ahead of
second-place Boston in the AL East. It was the Yankees' 48th
come-from-behind win, the most in the major leagues.
Cleveland, which had been one game behind AL Central-leading
Minnesota on Aug. 15, remained eight games behind the Twins. The
Indians are on their longest skid since losing 10 straight in 1979.
Coco Crisp hit his 11th home run and made a dazzling catch in
left field, taking an RBI double from Kenny Lofton in the fourth
inning. Crisp broke to his right, ran full out and dived at full
extension to make the backhanded grab just above the ground.
Cleveland scored four runs in the third off Javier Vazquez, who
walked Gerut, got two quick outs and then gave up Crisp's
line-drive homer, which landed in the front row a few feet inside
the right-field foul pole. Vazquez has allowed 27 home runs, fifth
in the AL.
"Right now, I'm not doing the best job, but at least I kept the
team in the game," Vazquez said. "It's an important win for us."
Victor Martinez, who had been hitless in 15 at-bats, hit a
two-run double to the warning track in left-center that ticked off
New York got a run on John Olerud's sacrifice fly in the fourth,
then tied it in the sixth on Jorge Posada's homer and Lofton's
Vazquez allowed four runs, six hits and three walks in seven
innings, while Cleveland's Scott Elarton gave up four runs and nine
hits in six innings.
Jeter became the 11th Yankee to reach 1,000 runs. ...
Indians manager Eric Wedge gave OF Matt Lawton the night off.
Lawton is hitting .202 (22-for-109) in his last 29 games. ... New
York's Alex Rodriguez was 3-for-5 after going 3-for-14 in his last
four games. ... Lofton is still one hit shy of 2,000. ... Wickman
hadn't lost two straight since April 1998.