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Yanks' Hill Delivers In A Pinch

Glenallen Hill quickly is becoming a Yankees' favorite.

On Monday, he homered in his first at-bat for his new team, and on Friday he got his first grand slam - a tiebreaking one in the ninth inning at that.

"The feeling is hard to describe, even if you do it enough times," Hill said Friday night after his pinch homer wiped away a rare Mariano Rivera breakdown and gave New York a 9-5 win over the Minnesota Twins.

"They aren't easy to come by," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

Rivera, handed a 4-2 lead with the bases loaded in the eighth, blew a save for the fourth time in 28 chances when David Ortiz hit a two-run single, then gave up an RBI single to Jay Canizaro that put Minnesota ahead 5-4.

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  • But Paul O'Neill singled off Travis Miller leading off the ninth, LaTroy Hawkins relieved and Bernie Williams flied out. Eddie Guardado (4-3) came in and David Justice hit a ground-rule double to right, with O'Neill forced to hold at third.

    After an intentional walk to Tino Martinez, who ent 3-for-4, Bob Wells came in and Jorge Posada tied it with a single, making him 4-for-4 with three RBIs.

    Hill, obtained from the Chicago Cubs on July 21, hit for Clay Bellinger and followed with a 422-foot drive to straightaway center, his second homer for the Yankees and his sixth career grand slam.

    "I was thinking about putting the ball in play," Hill said after the 12th pinch homer of his career.

    "You have to have a special mentality to come out of there and know you're going to swing from the first pitch," Torre said. "Your attitude is, `You got to get me out.' "

    Wells blew a save for the fifth time in 12 chances as New York stopped Minnesota's four-game winning streak.

    "They do have a lot of weapons the whole world knows that," Twins manager Tom Kelly said.

    Rivera (4-3) finished with a hitless ninth, giving the resurgent Yankees their 10th win in 14 games.

    "That last inning we knew we'd have to play a great inning, but we didn't," Canizaro said.

    Denny Neagle, who won his first two starts for the Yankees after they acquired him from Cincinnati, allowed three hits and four runs in seven-plus innings, struck out six and walked four.

    Neagle, who pitched at the Metrodome for the Twins and the University of Minnesota, took a 4-2 lead into the eighth but walked his first two batters.

    Brad Radke gave up four runs and 12 hits in seven innings.

    Posada's 17th homer put the Yankees ahead in the second, but the Twins took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Cristian Guzman doubled in a run and scored on David Ortiz's grounder.

    New York made it 3-2 in the sixth when Posada hit an RBI double and scored on a single by former-Twin Chuck Knoblauch. Martinez, in a 1-for-17 slide coming in, followed with an RBI double.

    Notes

  • The Yankees activated RHP Ramiro Mendoza from the 15-day disabled list and optioned RHP Darrell Einertson to Triple-A Columbus.
  • The Twins sent OF Chad Allen to Triple-A Salt Lake and recalled OF Torii Hunter.
  • Scott Brosius left Friday's game in the fourth inning with a strained right calf muscle and is expected to sit out Saturday's game.
  • The Twins have not won more than four straight this season.

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