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Cone Gets 17th In Yanks Win


They're so consistent, it's almost boring. No matter what, the Yankees always take a lead.
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  • New York trailed Minnesota by two runs in the fourth inning Wednesday. Only a fool would have expected the Twins to hold on.

    Of course the Yankees came back and clubbed Minnesota, winning 11-2. And with it, they set a modern major-league record by leading for some part of at least 41 consecutive games.

    "You run out of superlatives at some point," said David Cone, who recovered from early wildness to become the first 17-game winner of the season.

    Scott Brosius tied a career high with five RBI and Joe Girardi hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the fourth inning as the Yankees (87-29) won their seventh straight and reached .750 for the first time since July 16.

    "They get angry when they get behind in the game," said manager Joe Torre, whose career record moved above .500 (1,169-1,168) for the first time since he was 17-16 in 1977, his first season as manager of the Mets.

    New York, which has swept 18 of 43 series this season, has won 10 of 11 games, outscoring opponents 101-27. The Yankees are on pace to win 122, smashing the record of 116 set by the 1906 Chicago Cubs.

    "I'm amazed at how dedicated, how resilient, how tough this club is," Torre said. "I hope that we stay that way."

    Bernie Williams and Brosius hit seventh-inning homers for the Yankees, who matched their season high with 18 hits and extended their streak of games with homers to 14, their longest since a 16-gamer in 1994.

    Cone (17-4) improved to 11-0 at home, beating the Twins fo the eighth time in 10 career decisions. He let Minnesota load the bases in each of the first two innings, throwing 11 consecutive balls at the start of the second.

    But the Twins, who lost for the 10th time in 11 games, got only Terry Steinbach's RBI groundout in the first. Todd Walker followed with an inning-ending groundout, and Cone escaped the second when Brent Gates bounced into an inning-ending 3-6-1 double play.

    "I was all over the place. It could have gotten ugly," Cone said. "With each consecutive ball I threw, I backed off more and tried to throw it down the middle."

    The right-hander had problems planting his left foot in the hole in front of the pitching rubber, saying "I kind of felt like I was spinning off." Torre even had rookie Mike Jerzembeck start to warm up.

    "I kind of took it as a wake-up call," Cone said. "Either I turn it around right away or I'm out of the game."

    After Walker's RBI double in the third, Cone retired 13 of his final 14 batters, and the Yankees quickly got him a lead, coming from behind to win for the 41st time this season.

    Tino Martinez and Darryl Strawberry singled off LaTroy Hawkins (7-11) leading off the fourth, and Brosius singled home a run with one out. With the runners going, Girardi lined the ball up the left-center field gap for a 3-2 lead and the record.

    The previous mark of 40 consecutive games with leads was set by the Yankees in 1932.

    "We're not too concerned about records or anything like that," Williams said. "We just want to win every game."

    Hawkins threw a wild pitch that scored Girardi from third and left two innings later following an RBI single by former Twin Chuck Knoblauch, who had been 0-for-10 in the series.

    Williams hit his 16th homer off Mike Trombley leading off the seventh and Brosius hit a two-run shot, giving him 14 -- including four in four games. New York added three runs in the eighth on Chad Curtis' RBI single and Brosius' two-run double.

    Cone wound up allowing two runs and six hits in seven innings.

    "We didn't capitalize on our chances," Minnesota's Matt Lawton said. "We shouldn't have let him off the hook but we did, and we probably deserved to lose because of it."

    Notes

  • Bruce Springsteen autographed Williams' guitar in the New York clubhouse before game. "The Boss" was then seated in the front row.
  • The Yankees are 58 games over .500 for the first time since 1939 and can finish 13-33 (.283) and still win 100 games.
  • They are 45-8 at home, where they play 28 of their final 46 games and have outscored opponents 66-14 during the first seven games of this homestand.
  • New York has two four-game sweeps, eight three-game sweeps and six two-game sweeps, and has also won two series shortened to one game.
  • The Yankees have won 19 of 23.
  • Minnesota has been outscored by the Yankees 53-23 this season (including 25-5 in the series), going 2-7.
  • Torre led he Mets to wins in 11 of his first 15 games as manager and 15 of his first 22. His lowpoint was 135 games under .500.
  • New York also had 18 hits three other times this year.
  • It was the fourth five-RBI game of Brosius' career.

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