Moose pitches Yanks past Twins

July 23, 2008 1:44:01 PM PDT
Mike Mussina baffled the Twins for eight innings, Alex Rodriguez hit a two-run double and the New York Yankees beat Minnesota, 5-1, Wednesday for their 10th straight home win.Justin Christian drove in two runs with a double, and Richie Sexson had a sacrifice fly and 13 putouts and three assists at first base as the Yankees completed a 6-0, post-break homestand with sweeps of Oakland and the Twins.

Up next is a trip to Boston, with the Yankees taking their mediocre 23-23 road record into Fenway Park for three games starting Friday.

The Twins did not get a runner past second base against Mussina (13-6) in losing their fourth straight game. Mussina scattered six hits, retiring 14 of the first 17 batters and walking none for the third straight start.

He has given up just five runs in his past five starts and now has 263 career wins.

Cries of "Moose" from the crowd of 54,114 reached a crescendo as the 39-year-old right-hander with a deep bending motion struck out the final two batters of the eighth, then tipped his hat to the crowd just before descending into the Yankees dugout.

LaTroy Hawkins gave up three hits, including Mike Lamb's RBI single in the ninth, before giving way to Mariano Rivera. The closer struck out pinch-hitter Jason Kubel with runners on second and third for his 25th save.

The 10-game winning streak at home is the Yankees' longest since Sept. 9, 1998, to April 14, 1999. The last time New York won 10 in a row at Yankee Stadium in a single season was July 26-Aug. 14, 1998.

Robinson Cano went 2-for-4 and was in the middle of yet another Yankees scoring opportunity.

Hitting .560 since working on his swing with his father in the Dominican Republic during the All-Star break, Cano singled in the fifth and scored on Christian's two-run double down the left-field line to give New York a 2-0 lead.

Glen Perkins (7-3) was coming off throwing six shutout innings against the powerful Texas Rangers and had won five straight decisions. He last loss on May 30, against the Yankees.

Perkins, who is considered one of the main reasons why Francisco Liriano's agent has asked the union to investigate why his client has not been called up despite dominating Triple-A hitters for the past six weeks, gave up a season-high five runs on eight hits and a walk.

He gave up a double off the left-center wall to Rodriguez in the sixth that scored Derek Jeter and Bobby Abreu, who ran through third base coach Bobby Meacham's stop sign, and slid in just ahead of the relay that catcher Mike Redmond could not handle.

Rodriguez advanced on the throw and Sexson followed with his sacrifice fly to make it 5-0.