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Yanks Survive A's Scare

For 4 2-3 innings, the New York Yankees couldn't even get the ball out of the infield against Tim Hudson. That all changed suddenly.

Chuck Knoblauch homered and drove in four runs as the Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics 7-4 Monday night to move 2,000 games over .500 in their history.

The Yankees, who trailed 4-0 in the fifth inning, rallied with four runs in the fifth and three in the eighth to improve to 8,475-6,475 since moving to New York before the 1903 season.

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Game Summary

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  • "I think after we faced him once, we were a little more patient with him," said Yankees manager Joe Torre, whose team has won seven of eight to improve to 81-49 and remain a game ahead of Cleveland for the best record in the AL. "All of a sudden good things started to happen for us."

    Hudson was brilliant early in his first game against the Yankees, allowing only two runners on a walk and an error while striking out seven. He overpowered them with his fastball and got them to swing at breaking balls that darted out of the strike zone.

    "We came in with a game plan and all of a sudden we had to change it," said Jorge Posada, whose single with two outs in the fifth was the Yankees' first hit and the first ball out of the infield.

    "We hadn't seen him before and you can't tell much by film. He was throwing more offspeed pitches than we expected. We were more patient and waited for him to get the ball up."

    Hudson then got in front of Luis Sojo 1-2 before throwing three straight balls, and things really fell apart for Hudson as he faced the order for a third time.

    Knoblauch hit a 1-1 itch just over the fence in left for his 14th homer to cut Oakland's lead to 4-3. Derek Jeter singled and scored on Paul O'Neill's double. Bernie Williams walked before Hudson got Tino Martinez to fly out to end the 34-pitch fifth inning.

    "They managed to get me into a lot of high-pitch counts," Hudson said. "I felt like I was on top of my game. But when you pitch against New York they're not exactly some sandlot team."

    From there the Yankees' bullpen took over until the offense woke up again in the eighth. Allen Watson pitched 2 2-3 scoreless innings, getting out of a first-and-third, one-out jam in the fifth, Jeff Nelson (2-1) struck out the side in the eighth, and Mariano Rivera finished for his 38th save.

    Yankees relievers are 4-1 with eight saves and a 1.60 ERA in their last 18 games.

    "Whenever a team gets down and a guy comes in from the pen to keep the other team close, that lifts your team," Nelson said. "Allen shut the door on them and gave the guys the chance to win."

    T.J. Mathews (8-4) walked Williams leading off the eighth. Buddy Groom came in with one out and gave up a single to Chili Davis, who was in a 3-for-35 slump, and walked Ricky Ledee.

    Jason Isringhausen, a former Met who rode the subway to Yankee Stadium on Monday, failed in his first appearance in New York since being traded to Oakland.

    He walked Posada on four pitches, breaking a 4-4 tie, and allowed RBI singles to Sojo and Knoblauch, who finished 3-for-5.

    "Knoblauch's so much more patient than last year," Torre said. "He's much more contained and a consistent, compact hitter. He has really been a big difference for us in the leadoff spot for us, getting on base and getting the big hits."

    Oakland fell two games behind Boston in the AL wild-card race. The Red Sox beat Kansas City 9-1.

    "We just have to play well and go home still in the wild-card race," said manager Art Howe, whose team is 2-2 on its seven-game road trip. "Wen they finally got a hit, they put a bunch together. You have to give them credit. That's why there are where they are."

    The Athletics scored two runs in the second and two in the fifth to take a 4-0 lead against Hideki Irabu. Ben Grieve led off the second with a single and Miguel Tejada hit his 18th homer on the first pitch.

    Matt Stairs hit a two-run single in the fifth to knock out Irabu.


  • Oakland OF Tim Raines, out for the season with Lupus, visited his former Yankees teammates and was given his 1998 World Series ring by New York manager Joe Torre.
  • The Yankees are expected to call up OF Darryl Strawberry, INF Clay Bellinger and RHP Dan Naulty when rosters expand to 40 on Wednesday.
  • Tejada has nine homers and 34 RBIs in August.
  • John Jaha struck out all three times against Irabu.

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