Johnson baffles Tigers as Yankees get shutout win

DETROIT (AP) -- Randy Johnson was dominant on the mound and defiant off it.

Johnson didn't give up a hit for 5 2/3 innings and combined with two relievers for a two-hitter, leading the New York Yankees over the Detroit Tigers 4-0 on Monday.

The 42-year-old Johnson, who had given up at least four runs in five of his previous six outings, allowed just two hits and three walks while striking out four over six-plus innings.

"One good game doesn't make a whole year," Johnson bristled. "But five or six bad games for me doesn't make a year, either. It doesn't mean I'm done."

Ivan Rodriguez broke up Johnson's bid for his third no-hitter -- and second against the Tigers -- with a single to right.

"I couldn't have cared less," Johnson said. "If I had a perfect game, I would've come out after seven innings."

After ending the sixth by striking out Magglio Ordonez, Johnson (7-4) pumped his left hand as he walked off the mound after his first strong outing in more than a month.

"There was a huge difference," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "Mechanically, he was very comfortable for me to watch.

"When you see something like you saw, you don't even look at who the next hitter is," he said.

Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter drove in runs in the third. Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada had RBI in the fifth.

Jeter injured his right hand and left the game. He jammed the hand in the third inning while sliding into second base, the Yankees said, though Jeter wasn't sure how he did it. After batting in the fifth, Jeter was taken out for precautionary reasons so his hand could be iced.

Jeter expects to play Tuesday.

"It's no big deal," he said.

Jeter, who was 0-for-3 and ended a nine-game hitting streak, began the game hitting an AL-best .352.

Johnson left after Carlos Guillen's leadoff double in the seventh. Reliever Ron Villone retired the next three batters, keeping a run off of Johnson's line. Villone also pitched the eighth, and Kyle Farnsworth worked a perfect ninth inning.

Jeremy Bonderman (5-4) gave up four runs and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings. Bonderman, who struck out five and walked two, had won four of his previous five decisions.

The Yankees did not have an extra-base hit off Bonderman but reached and moved runners with grounders through the infield and bloop singles.

"They found holes," Bonderman said.

Despite their second straight loss -- both shutouts -- the Tigers (35-16) have the best record in baseball.

"I don't call it a bump in the road," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said.

With their fifth win in six games, the Yankees (29-20) are nine games above .500 for the first time this season.

Detroit first baseman Chris Shelton was pulled off the bag twice in the third inning, turning potential double plays into scoring
opportunities for the Yankees. Damon's single and Jeter's fielder's choice put New York ahead 2-0.

"We probably gave them an extra out, but we didn't score any runs," Leyland said. "That makes it pretty simple."

On a scorching day with the game-time temperature at 92 degrees, Johnson pitched like he wanted to get out of innings quickly.

Johnson needed just seven pitches to retire the side in the first. He survived the second unscathed when right fielder Gary Sheffield lunged for the final out after chasing it down on the warning track in right-center.

Just when it seemed that Johnson was losing his control with a pair of two-out walks in the third, he got Marcus Thames to hit into an inning-ending groundout.

In the fourth, Johnson had two strikeouts and picked up one more in the fifth.

"When you think of Randy from six or seven years ago, you're probably expecting 10 or 12 strikeouts as part of this game," Leyland said. "He doesn't have the same velocity and he doesn't have the same slider, but he's a pitcher now.

Game notes
Johnson, the last pitcher with a no-hitter against Detroit (June 2, 1990), had his last no-hit performance for Arizona against Atlanta (May 18, 2004). ... Posada caught for the Yankees after missing four games with a hamstring injury. ... With Detroit left-hander Mike Maroth on the DL, right-hander Roman Colon will make his first start of the season on Tuesday. The Tigers acquired Colon from Atlanta last
year as part of a trade involving Farnsworth. ... The game drew 39,759 fans. ... Detroit has been shut out in two straight games for the first time since Sept. 4-5, 2005. ... The Yankees also had a shutout against Detroit in their previous visit to Comerica Park in July of last year.