Mussina wins 10th as Yanks beat Houston

June 14, 2008 7:40:24 PM PDT
Mike Mussina pitched six solid innings for his 10th win and helped put the New York Yankees three games above .500 for the first time this season in an 8-4 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday night. Alex Rodriguez hit a fan-aided solo homer and Melky Cabrera, Jose Molina and Wilson Betemit each added a pair of RBIs for the Yankees, who've won eight of 11.

Mussina (10-4) allowed three runs and six hits to reach 10 wins for the 17th straight season, extending his American League record. It's the third time in his career and the first time since 2003 he's done it within 15 starts.

Mussina got off to a rocky start in his 260th victory, allowing a double and a single in the first inning before Carlos Lee's three-run homer. The 39-year-old got on track after that, retiring the seven of the next eight batters before a single by Lee with one out in the fourth.

He wouldn't allow another hit until a double by Miguel Tejada with one out in the sixth, but he retired the next two batters to get out of the inning.

Kyle Farnsworth pitched a scoreless eighth inning before Edwar Ramirez did the same in the ninth for New York.

Rodriguez needed some help from a fan in right field to get his 11th home run in the second inning. Hunter Pence tracked A-Rod's drive to the wall in right and leaped. Replays showed that it appeared the ball hit Pence's glove, but a man in the front row wearing an Astros jersey pushed Pence's glove out of the way with his glove and the ball dropped into the stands for the homer.

Pence fell to the ground, got up and turned and said something to the fan before turning back around.

The homer broke a streak of 13 2-3 innings without an earned run for Wandy Rodriguez.

With two outs in the third inning and Johnny Damon on second, the Astros intentionally walked Alex Rodriguez. Wandy Rodriguez struggled after that, walking Jason Giambi and Cabrera consecutively to score Damon and tie it at 3-3.

Molina followed with a two-run single to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead. Wandy Rodriguez struck out Alberto Gonzalez to end the inning.

He settled down and retired the next six batters before being replaced by Tim Byrdak in the sixth inning.

Houston cut the lead to 5-4 in the seventh on a run-scoring double by Brad Ausmus. His hit down the left-field line rolled right by Alex Rodriguez and into the left-field corner, allowing Michael Bourn to score.

Pinch-hitter Robinson Cano, who was hitless in his previous 17 at-bats, had an RBI single in the eighth to stretch the lead back to two runs.

The Astros intentionally walked Alex Rodriguez for the second time in the ninth inning before he and Damon scored on a double by Betemit that made it 8-4. Damon doubled to start the inning.

Giambi doubled and scored on a double by Cabrera to cut Houston's lead to 3-2 later in the second inning.

Wandy Rodriguez (2-3) allowed six hits and five runs in five innings.

Notes: Gonzalez, called up from the minors on Friday, started at 2B for Cano.