Abreu and Damon power Yankees

April 23, 2008 6:53:54 AM PDT
With A-Rod out, the Yankees still powered their way past the White Sox.Bobby Abreu hit a go-ahead grand slam in the seventh, Johnny Damon added a three-run shot in the eighth and Jason Giambi also homered, helping Chien-Ming Wang get his 50th career win in a 9-5 victory Tuesday night.

"The guys did a good job of getting on base and we scored eight of our runs off home runs," Damon said. "When you are able to get a grand slam and a three-run homer, it makes things a lot easier."

The Yankees had struggled scoring runs with only 85 in their first 20 games. But with the injured Alex Rodriguez missing his first game while in Miami for the birth of his second daughter, New York's offense took off.

"We're supposed to score runs. We're an offensive team. That's what we're here for," said Abreu, who's used to having Rodriguez bat behind him.

"You have a guy like behind you like Alex, they are going to just come right at you. It's a different thing. You just have to get yourself prepared when Alex is not here," Abreu said. "I just make my adjustments and that's pretty much what it is."

Abreu connected for his seventh career grand slam off Octavio Dotel with two outs in the seventh to rally New York from a 3-2 deficit. It was his sixth homer in only 14 games at U.S. Cellular Field.

"I like to hit here. It's a very nice ballpark to hit. The first time I came here it felt good," Abreu said.

For Dotel, it couldn't have been worse. He struck out Derek Jeter with the bases loaded for the second out of the inning, but then fell behind Abreu.

"I don't want to walk him in that situation. I wanted to throw a strike and he got me," Dotel said. "I didn't want to be perfect. I just wanted a strike and he didn't let me get to that point."

Wang (4-0) worked six innings, allowing 10 hits and three runs, to become the first Yankees starter to win his first four decisions since Kevin Brown won his first five in 2004.

Rodriguez, who strained his quadriceps Sunday in Baltimore, will rejoin the team Thursday when his injury will be re-evaluated.

Joba Chamberlain, in the headlines the last two days after Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said the hard-throwing 22-year-old should be in the rotation and not the bullpen, relieved with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh.

With New York leading 6-3, he struck out Carlos Quentin, walked Joe Crede to force in a run and then got Juan Uribe to foul out to catcher Jorge Posada to end the inning. Chamberlain allowed a hit in 1 2-3 innings.

Jose Contreras (1-2) took a 3-2 lead into the top of the seventh, but walked Morgan Ensberg and gave up a single to Melky Cabrera before Boone Logan relieved. Damon beat out an infield single to load the bases before Dotel came in and struck out Jeter. But Abreu delivered.

"Fortunately, I put the ball in the air. I wasn't looking for it. I was just trying to hit the ball well," Abreu said.

Contreras, 0-3 against the Yankees last season, gave up seven hits and was charged with four runs in 6 1-3 innings.

The White Sox took a 3-2 lead in the fifth when Orlando Cabrera singled, Jim Thome walked and Paul Konerko hit an RBI double.

Damon's leadoff groundball went off Konerko's glove and down the right-field line for a double in the first. He moved to third on Abreu's single and scored on Hideki Matsui's fielder's choice grounder.

Giambi, batting just .109 entering the game, hit his third homer leading off the second for a 2-0 Yankees lead off Contreras.

Chicago bunched three hits off Wang to tie it in the bottom of the inning as Quentin singled, Crede doubled and Uribe hit a two-run double.

A.J. Pierzynski homered off Kyle Farnsworth in the ninth.