Mussina, Abreu help Jeter-less Yanks rough up Rays

NEW YORK (ESPN.com news services) -- Mike Mussina worked both sides of the plate as he cruised through the Tampa Bay Rays lineup and joined some elite company.

Thanks to Moose, the New York Yankees did just fine after Derek Jeter went down.

Mussina tied Bob Gibson on the career wins list by pitching six sharp innings, Bobby Abreu hit a two-run homer and the New York Yankees beat Tampa Bay 6-1 on Monday night.

"I think everybody knows who Bob Gibson, who he was as a player and what he was able to accomplish so it's nice," Mussina said.

Abreu went 3-for-3 with a walk and Hideki Matsui drove in two runs for the Yankees, who lost Jeter after two innings to injury but salvaged a split of the four-game series before they headed west to start a difficult stretch. A Yankees source told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney Jeter suffered a strained left groin.

Jeter said his leg first bothered him Sunday but he thought it was a cramp. He felt it grab again when he beat out a potential double-play grounder before Abreu's drive in the first inning.

"I didn't aggravate it but I didn't really push it," Jeter said. "I felt something so I didn't want to be stupid and I came out and hopefully it won't be too long."

Jeter departed before the third inning and an MRI revealed the strain. Manager Joe Girardi said he won't play Tuesday afternoon against Kansas City, but the club didn't have any immediate plans to put him on the disabled list.

"Leg injuries aren't an exact science," Girardi said. "Hopefully it'll be less than a week but we'll have to see."

The Yankees didn't miss Jeter on another chilly night in the Bronx. New York, which scored just 17 runs in its first six games, finished with season highs for runs and hits with 11.

"I think everything worked together," Abreu said. "This team is supposed to score some runs. We've got a pretty good offense."

Mussina earned win No. 251 and is tied with Gibson for 42nd place. He struck out three to equal Yankees TV broadcaster David Cone for 21st place with 2,668 Ks.

Jonny Gomes homered for the Rays, who are 3-3 heading into their home opener against Seattle on Tuesday. Tampa Bay has never finished with a winning record on its first road trip of the year.

"It's great that we're disappointed," manager Joe Maddon said. "It's part of raising our level of expectations."

The Yankees went 4-3 on their season-opening homestand and play 18 of their next 20 on the road. They were scheduled to fly to Kansas City after the game for the Royals' home opener.

Girardi may have a thin bench to work with as he starts his first trip as Yankees manager.

New York was without two regulars against the Rays before Jeter's injury. First baseman Jason Giambi missed his second straight game with a sore left groin and catcher Jorge Posada got the day off.

Abreu's first homer of the season made it 2-0 and the Yankees pushed across two more runs in the sixth against Jason Hammel (0-1). Abreu led off with a triple to right-center and scored on Alex Rodriguez's single. Matsui then doubled down the first-base line to drive in A-Rod and make it 4-1.

That was enough for Mussina (1-1), who allowed two hits and walked one. He improved to 8-1 with a 1.92 ERA in nine career starts against Tampa Bay at Yankee Stadium.

"In and out, keeping the ball down, mixing up pitches, kept us off balance all night," B.J. Upton said.

Brian Bruney, Kyle Farnsworth and LaTroy Hawkins each pitched a scoreless inning to finish off the three-hitter.

Hammel allowed eight hits and four runs in six innings. He struck out two and walked one.

"Hats off to their pitching," Hammel said. "It won't happen often to keep our guys to one run."

Game notes
Tampa Bay DH Cliff Floyd was scratched from the lineup because of a sore right knee. RF Eric Hinske and 3B Willy Aybar each moved up a spot, and Gomes took Floyd's place as the DH and hit seventh. ... Rays LHP Scott Kazmir (left elbow strain) will throw a simulated game before Tampa Bay's home opener Tuesday. ... New Jersey Devils forward Zach Parise pulled the lever that lowered to 74 the number of regular-season games remaining at Yankee Stadium. The Devils play the New York Rangers in the first round of the NHL playoffs, and Parise smiled when the crowd booed him. ... Morgan Ensberg singled to center in the seventh for his first hit with the Yankees. ... The first-pitch temperature was 48 degrees.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.