NEW YORK (AP) -- Mike Mussina and the Yankees ended Jim Thome's
seven-game homer streak -- one short of a major league record -- and
Raul Mondesi hit his first homer for New York in a 7-1 victory over
the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.
The Yankees held Thome in check, including in a key moment in
the seventh inning. With New York leading 4-1, reliever Mike
Stanton retired Thome on a harmless fly to center field with the
bases loaded to end the inning.
Thome went 0-for-3 with a walk as he failed to match the record
shared by Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly and Dale Long.
Mondesi, acquired from Toronto for a Double-A reliever Monday,
homered in the second inning off Chuck Finley (4-11) and hit an RBI
double in the sixth as New York won for the sixth time in seven
Jason Giambi added a three-run homer for the Yankees, who are a
season-high 22 games over .500 and 12-0 against the AL Central.
Cleveland (37-46) lost its fifth straight and dropped nine games
below .500 for the first time since 1993.
The Indians woes were magnified in the seventh inning, when they
failed to score after loading the bases with no outs.
Mussina (12-3) got Omar Vizquel to hit a comebacker and went
home for the force. Stanton came in and retired pinch-hitter Ellis
Burks on an infield popup to bring up Thome, the AL's home-run
leader with 26.
Thome flied out to center on an 0-2 pitch, leaving the Indians
12-for-70 with the bases loaded this season.
Mussina allowed one run and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings to win
for the ninth time in 10 decisions.
The Yankees, who rely heavily on the home run, manufactured a
run in the first inning. Alfonso Soriano led off with a double,
moved to third on Jeter's groundout and scored on Bernie Williams'
Mondesi homered to lead off the second, ending Finley's
eight-start homerless stretch.
The Indians scored in the third after Jeter's injury. With
McDonald on first and none out, Eddie Perez hit a slow roller in
front of home plate. Catcher Chris Widger, in his first game with
the Yankees, fielded the ball and threw to second.
Jeter took the throw on a short hop as McDonald rolled up
Jeter's left leg. McDonald was booed as he left the field. Jeter
was helped off by trainer Gene Monahan.
Matt Lawton followed with a single and Vizquel's double cut New
York's lead to 2-1. With runners on second and third and two outs,
Mussina pitched around Thome before walking him intentionally on a
3-0 pitch. The move paid off when Travis Fryman flied out to left.
Wilson started a two-run rally in the sixth with a single.
Wilson went to third on Williams' double and scored on Jason
Giambi's sacrifice fly. Mondesi added an RBI double.
Finley allowed four runs and eight hits in seven innings,
dropping to 17-10 against New York in his career.
Yankees LF Shane Spencer returned to the lineup after
missing five games with a sprained left wrist and went 1-for-4. ...
The Indians were swept at Yankee Stadium for the first time since
July 1999. ... The Yankees grounded into two double plays, giving
them an AL-leading 84 on the season.