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Straw Raises The Roof In NY Win


Darryl Strawberry hit a tying pinch grand slam as the New York Yankees scored nine runs in the ninth inning of Game 2 to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-5 Tuesday night. The Yankees' 10-4 win in the first game gave them the doubleheader sweep.

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  • go-ahead run scored when Chuck Knoblauch came home from second on a groundout as first baseman Jason Giambi, accidentally kicked in the head by Derek Jeter, lay motionless on the ground with the ball in his mitt.

    Strawberry, who tied a major league record with two pinch slams in a season, also homered in the first game as the Yankees won 10-4. He reached 20 homers for the first time since 1991, the last of his nine straight 20-homer seasons.

    New York improved to 80-28 as its season reached the two-thirds mark, leaving the Yankees on pace to finish 120-42.

    In the night game, former Yankee Kenny Rogers took a 5-1 lead into the ninth against New York. But Tino Martinez and Tim Raines had singles to knock out Rogers, seeking his 100th career victory.

    Bill Taylor (3-9) relieved and third baseman Mike Blowers booted a grounder, loading the bases with no outs for Strawberry, who homered to straightaway center field. He has connected in each of his last five games and has eight in his last 25 at-bats.

    One ou later, Knoblauch singled and was balked to second. Jeter hit a smash that second baseman Scott Spiezio fielded, but his throw was wide. Giambi got the out, but was in a precarious position and was hit by the right knee of the tumbling Jeter. Giambi was diagnosed with a mild concussion and taken to a hospital for tests.

    Paul O'Neill added his 17th homer to make it 7-5 and Martinez hit a two-run homer, also his 17th, off Tim Worrell. Chad Curtis added an RBI double.

    Graeme Lloyd (2-0) pitched two perfect innings for the win.

    Rogers, facing his former teammates for the first time, allowed three runs and nine hits in eight-plus innings.

    Rogers spent two unhappy seasons in New York before being traded to Oakland in November. He was relegated to the bullpen for two stints last year with the Yankees, and was a frequent target of owner George Steinbrenner.

    The A's scored five runs in the first off Mike Buddie, a reliever making his first major league start because of Andy Pettitte's slightly strained left shoulder muscle.

    Jason Giambi had a two-run double, Matt Stairs and Ryan Christenson had RBI doubles and Rafael Bournigal had a run-scoring single as the first eight batters reached base.

    Buddie settled down after that, allowing just two more hits before being removed after six innings.

    Strawberry and Chuck Knoblauch homered in the opener. Knoblauch, who had two homers and a career-high five RBI in New York's 14-1 win over the A's on Monday night, hit his 13th of the season leading off the first. Knoblauch, who has nine homers since the All-Star break, matched his career high set in 1996.

    "He might look small," Strawberry said of the 5-foot-9 Knoblauch. "But he's got some pop."

    Strawberry added a two-run shot in the fifth to give the Yankees a 7-3 lead.

    "He's terrific," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "When you get a threat like that in the middle of the lineup, it really keeps the pressure on the other team."

    The Yankees also scored four in the third -- on a two-run single by Curtis, an RBI single by Bernie Williams and a wild pitch -- and added three in the ninth on an RBI single by Williams and a two-run single by pinch-hitter Raines.

    Ramiro Mendoza (7-2) allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings in just his second start since early June. Mike Stanton retired eight straight for his sixth save.

    Ed Sprague hit a two-run homer in the second, his 19th this season and second since joining the A's in a trade from Toronto last Friday.

    Jay Witasick (0-1) allowed seven runs and five hits and seven walks in 4 2/3 innings in his first major league start. Only three of the runs were earned.

    Notes

  • Third baseman Scott Brosius made three errors for New York in the first game and Martinez also made one at first, giving the Yankees a season-high four errors.
  • It was Strawberry eighth career slam. The two pinch slams in a season set an AL record and tied the majo league record held by Philadelphia's Davey Johnson and San Francisco's Mike Ivie, who both did it in 1978.
  • The nine runs and nine hits were the most in an inning for the Yankees since Sept. 25, 1996, when they scored 10 runs on 10 hits in the second inning of a 19-2 win over Milwaukee that clinched the AL East title.

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