NEW YORK (AP) -- Todd Hollandsworth knew the numbers: 3-for-39,
0-for-19 -- a slump of rather substantial dimensions. Still, he
broke out of his skid Thursday with a double and a homer, driving
in four runs in Cleveland's 8-4 victory over the New York Yankees.
"He's got a lot of pop," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.
"He's strong and his timing is a little better as he plays a
Hollandsworth figures to get more swings now that the Indians
have placed outfielder Casey Blake on the disabled list with a
strained muscle in his side. And that's fine with Hollandsworth.
"You feel more comfortable the more time you're out there," he
said. "I look at this as an opportunity."
His first chance came in the second inning when he delivered the
third of three straight doubles against Yankees starter Mike
Mussina (8-3) for a quick Cleveland lead. Ronnie Belliard and
Jhonny Peralta, who snapped his own 0-for-17 slide, started the
rally with doubles and had seven hits between them. Hollandsworth's
double made it 2-0.
"I was just trying to hit the ball hard, act out a game plan,"
So was Mussina.
"I don't care what the numbers say," he said. "The bottom of
the lineup really beat me up today. These guys are professional
hitters. I tried to make the best pitches. When I made a mistake,
they jumped on it."
Mussina's biggest mistake came in the sixth, again to
Hollandsworth. The right-hander retired the first two batters, but
hits by Belliard and Peralta brought up Hollandsworth.
New York manager Joe Torre visited Mussina on the mound and was
convinced his pitcher could get the third out. It never happened.
Hollandsworth hit a 1-0 pitch into the black batter's eye section
of bleachers in right-center, becoming the 11th opposing player to
reach that area of Yankee Stadium since it was remodeled 30 years
"It was a slider or a cutter," Hollandsworth said. "He tried
to get it away and didn't."
The home run made it 6-1, a comfortable lead for Cliff Lee
(5-5), who won for just the third time since April 26. Lee limited
the Yankees to five hits -- three of them homers -- over 6 2/3
innings. Melky Cabrera had his first career home run in the fourth
inning and Alex Rodriguez and Bernie Williams connected against Lee
in the seventh.
Rodriguez's homer was sandwiched between a pair of strikeouts on
a 1-for-4 day that left him with three hits in his last 20 at-bats
and dropped his batting average to .277. It also left Yankee
Stadium fans booing him again.
"Whatever you want to say, the way I'm going now, you'd
probably be right," Rodriguez said. "Go ahead and rip away."
The homers cut New York's deficit to 6-3. In the eighth, the
Yankees loaded the bases with none out but managed just one run on
a grounder by Jason Giambi. Fausto Carmona struck out Rodriguez and
Jorge Posada, leaving the potential tying runs stranded at second
The Indians tacked on two more in the ninth on RBI hits by
Victor Martinez and Belliard, who scored three times.
Cleveland, which improved to 3-14 at Yankee Stadium since the
start of 2002, won for only the fourth time in 12 games overall.
Yankees pitcher Randy Johnson was suspended five games by
the commissioner's office for intentionally throwing at Cleveland's
Eduardo Perez the night before. Torre was suspended for one game.
Johnson and Torre were fined as well. Johnson is expected to
appeal. Torre will serve his suspension Friday night, when the
Yankees open an interleague series in Washington. ... Indians LF
Jason Michaels made a diving catch to rob Johnny Damon of a hit in
the first inning and crashed into the fence attempting to catch
Williams' homer in the seventh. Michaels left the game with a
sprained right ankle ... Yankees 2B Robinson Cano extended his
hitting streak to 13 games with a double in the ninth.