Phillies end the Yankees' streak

May 22, 2009 9:42:24 PM PDT
Jimmy Rollins sent A.J. Burnett's first pitch of the night deep over the right-field scoreboard. Carlos Ruiz had his first homer since Game 3 of last October's World Series and Jayson Werth became the first player to reach the left field second deck.

For the Yankees, Mark Teixeria hit the first drive into the suite level, just below the upper deck.

Seven more home runs were hit at baseball's newest launching pad on Friday night when the top home run-hitting teams in each league faced off. Four were hit by the Philadelphia Phillies, who rolled to a 7-3 victory in the first interleague game at new Yankee Stadium and ended New York's nine-game winning streak.

"All the home runs were actually pretty legit, I thought," Rollins said. "It doesn't matter if the field is anything under 500 feet, it's going to give up some home runs."

Raul Ibanez also homered for the World Series champions, who have won seven of eight - all on the road.

Alex Rodriguez hit his sixth since rejoining the Yankees on May 8 and with 559 pulled within four of Reggie Jackson for 11th on the career list. Derek Jeter and Teixeira connected in the eighth, after the Phillies had gone ahead 7-1.

There have been 82 homers at Yankee Stadium, a record for the first 21 games at a major league park, according to the Elias Sports Bureau and five more than were hit at Houston's Enron Field in 2000. There already have been nine games of five or more homers and three of seven or more. Fifty-one of the homers have gone to right field.

"It travels good, there's no doubt," Teixeira said. "But at least to right field and right-center, it's always traveled good, even in the old place."

Rollins, who hit his 29th leadoff homer, envisioned leading off on Thursday.

"I kind of said it would nice to do, first time at Yankee Stadium, my first swing, you know, be a home run. I prayed on it.

Prayers get answered," he said. "It would have been nice had I did it at the old Yankee Stadium, but unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity to play there."

It was 80 degrees at game time and predicted a home-run festival on the first warm, humid night of the season.

"In respect to the temperature and humidity, and the laws of baseball flight, the number of home runs should be down," senior meteorologist Henry Margusity said in a statement. "We can only conclude from the weather data that the number of home runs should only go up this summer. is already predicting higher-than-normal humidity in the New York City area this summer, which means the home run derby should continue at Yankee Stadium."

Given a 5-0, fifth-inning lead, Brett Myers (4-2) allowed three runs and eight hits in eight innings with no walks and five strikeouts. Burnett (2-2) dropped to 0-2 in his last seven starts, giving up five runs and eight hits in six innings and tying his career high for homers allowed with three.

Burnett hit Philadelphia's second batter, Chase Utley, on a shoulder with a pitch. Myers threw his second pitch behind Jeter, prompting plate umpire Mike Winters to warn both dugouts.

"I think that's what we need to do as team," Myers said. "I think everybody protects each other on a team and, you know, I mean it's part of the game. I mean it's kind of like eye for an eye."

Burnett said he wasn't trying to hit Utley but understood what Myers was doing.

"I don't pitch that way. Those guys know that," he said. "He was just sticking up for his teammate."

Chien-Ming Wang, activated before the game after nearly a month on the disabled list, made his third career relief appearance and gave up a long homer deep over the Yankees bullpen to Ibanez. Wang threw 51 pitches, allowing two runs and six hits in three innings while lowering his ERA from 34.50 to 25.00.

"I saw a lot more velocity. I saw a lot more sink when the ball was down," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "His arm strength is back. His sinker was exploding. It was a step in the right direction."

Notes: The Metro-North commuter rail station at Yankee Stadium opens Saturday. The team announced intentions for the station when plans for the original Yankee Stadium were released on Feb. 5, 1921. ... An entire row of $2,500 first-row seats behind the Yankees dugout was vacant in the first two innings and only four of the seven party suites in right field were in use. New York gave free tickets in the $850 and $500 sections of the Legends Suite near the field to sailors in town for Fleet Week. ... The Yankees entered a major league-best 123-87 in interleague play.