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Yanks Explode! 21 Runs


When it comes to division leaders, the New York Yankees' magic number is 21.

Joe Girardi had seven RBIs and Scott Brosius drove in six both career highs as the Yankees broke out of a batting slump routed the Texas Rangers 21-3 Monday night.

"It was one of those games when everything falls and everything steamrolls," Brosius said. "You've got to enjoy it because you're not going to do it again tomorrow. A game like that just happens every once in a while."

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Game Summary

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  • The Yankees beat Cleveland, the AL Central leader, 21-1 at Yankee Stadium on July 24, but had been slumping at the plate of late, scoring just 29 runs in nine games.

    They snapped out of it with 23 hits against the first-place team in the AL West, the most for the Yankees since a 14-1 win over Seattle on Aug. 25, 1984.

    Before this year, the Yankees hadn't scored 20 runs since a 21-7 rout at Kansas City on Aug. 19, 1962. It was the most runs ever scored against the Rangers, topping a 20-4 loss to California on June 9, 1995.

    "I've been on the other side," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "We weren't trying to rub it in. You can't stand at the plate and not swing. You just hope you've saved something for tomorrow."

    Girardi, who was in an 0-for-17 slump and had just 13 RBIs in 158 at-bats coming in, was 4-for-6. He had a two-run double in the six-run first, an RBI double in the third, an RBI single in the fifth and a three-run triple in the five-run seventh.

    Girardi needed a homer in the ninth to hit for the cycle, but grounded out.

    "It's a strange game," he said. "I've been struggling the whole month of August. You just don't know when it's going to click in."

    Brosius, in a 2-for-37 slide, also was 4-for-6, getting a two-ru single in the first, a three-run homer in the sixth and a RBI single in the seventh. Needing a homer in the ninth for the cycle, Brosius also grounded out.

    Tino Martinez, in a 3-for-21 slump, was 4-for-6 with four RBIs and a homer. Paul O'Neill, in a 3-for-22 slide, was 3-for-5 as New York stopped the Rangers' three-game winning streak.

    Andy Pettitte (11-9) won for the fourth time in five decisions since the July 31 trade deadline, allowing three runs and 10 hits in eight innings. Pettitte has lowered his ERA from 5.65 to 4.46 in his last five starts.

    Pettitte started the night 0-3 with a 16.05 ERA in three previous starts at Texas. He attributed his past struggles at Arlington to the his family and friends, who come to the games from the Houston suburbs and Louisiana.

    "It only took 21 runs and five years to get a win here," Pettitte said. "Obviously the run support was huge. I needed to focus and was prepared tonight."

    John Burkett (4-7) was tagged for eight runs and eight hits in 2 2-3 innings.

    "I'll be asleep in an hour," Rangers manager Johnny Oates said. "We've played good baseball this year. Tonight I don't have an answer. We threw a lot of bad pitches and they took a lot of good swings."

    New York's Nos. 5-9 hitters went 16-for-27 with 13 runs and 20 RBIs. New York had been hitting just .259 in August.

    Rafael Palmeiro hit his eighth homer in an eight-game span, a Rangers' record, connecting in the second for his 38th. Palmeiro, who also hit an RBI grounder in the eighth, has 13 homers in August, a team record.

    New York, which swept Texas in the first round of last year's playoffs and is 7-3 against the Rangers this year, took a 6-0 lead in the first as Martinez and Brosius hit two-run singles and Girardi had a two-run double.

    Ricky Ledee's RBI single and Girardi's RBI double made it 8-2 in the third and Girardi singled in a run in the fifth off Danny Kolb.

    New York, which tied the Indians for the best record in the AL at 76-48, made it 14-2 in the sixth against Mike Venafro on run-scoring singles by Jim Leyritz and Ledee and Brosius' 14th homer.

    Bernie Williams and Brosius hit RBI singles in the seventh off Danny Patterson, and Giardi's triple increased the lead to 19-2. Martinez added his 19th homer, a two-run shot in the eighth off Tim Crabtree.

    Notes

  • Palmeiro's homer was the first allowed by the Yankees since Aug. 14, ending a streak of 79 innings.
  • Williams has 29 RBIs in August, the most in any month for his career.
  • Palmeiro set a team record for RBIs by a left-handed hitter with 120, three more than Al Oliver in 1980.
  • Juan Gonzalez hit 12 homers in August 1992.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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