Dramatic wins have become so commonplace for the Yankees this year. What made Saturday night's 12-9 victory over Texas different was Ryan Bradley.
Scott Brosius made Bradley a winner by hitting a three-run, eighth-inning homer off former-Yankee John Wetteland, and New York came away with the wild victory despite five RBI from Juan Gonzalez.
"It was a long night," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "Brosius hit a ball I didn't think was going out, and Ryan had some good timing for his first win. He had a big smile ear to ear."
Bradley, 9-4 combined with a 2.20 ERA and seven saves at three minor league levels this season, was called up from Triple-A Columbus Friday when the Yankees sent down Mike Buddie.
"Joe told me this would be a good place to get my first win," said Bradley, who hadn't pitched above A-ball until July 29. "I made some good pitches."
New York (94-32), which is trying to become the first team to win 100 games before September, wasted leads of 2-0, 4-3 and 8-6, while Texas blew 3-2 and 9-8 advantages. The Yankees, on pace to break the record of 116 wins set by the 1906 Chicago Cubs, have won 14 of their last 17, including five of six over Texas, which dropped 2½ games behind Anaheim in the AL West.
Gonzalez hit a three-run homer off Cone in the third inning, then tied the score with a two-run shot off Stanton in the seventh. Will Clark homered on the following pitch for a 9-8 lead.
But Tino Martinez and Chad Curtis singled off Xavier Hernandez (5-3) in the eighth and Brosius hit an opposite-fild homer with two outs, his 15th of the season.
"I knew what Wetteland was going to try to do," Brosius said. "I knew he would be aggressive and come at me. I even choked up on my bat and I was as surprised as anyone when the ball went out. It was a hard fought game. It had everything in it."
| Juan Gonzalez (back) spoiled Dave Cone's bid for a 19th victory. (AP) |
"Brosius did a great job," Wetteland said. "He went to the opposite field with my fastball. He really smoked it and it surprised me."
Cone, who is 18-4 and leads the major leagues in wins, was tagged for six runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
"David made a couple of dumb pitches," Torre said. "This was one high-wire act he couldn't escape."
Texas made five errors, which tied a season high and led to three unearned runs.
"It was one of those games that puts a knot in your stomach," Rangers manager Johnny Oates said. "I hope the sun comes up tomorrow. The errors killed us. I don't care who you are, you've got to catch the ball. We had the hitting to win this game."
Mariano Rivera finished off the Rangers, getting four outs for his 33rd save.
Joe Girardi and Derek Jeter hit RBI singles to put the Yankees ahead in the second, but Gonzalez's 36th homer gave Texas the lead in the third. It was his longest homer at The Ballpark in Arlington, a 449-foot shot into the second level of the left-field stands.
Williams hit a two-run single in the fourth after Clark dropped a throw at first and third baseman Todd Zeile let a grounder roll through his legs. Ivan Rodriguez tied it at 4 in the bottom half with his 100th career homer.
New York went back ahead in the sixth, chasing John Burkett, who allowed five runs -- three earned -- and 10 hits in five-plus innings. Jeter hit RBI single of Tim Crabtree, Paul O'Neill had a sacrifice fly and Williams hit a run-scoring single.
Tom Goodwin pulled Texas to 7-6 in the bottom half with a two-run double. An error by second baseman Mark McLemore on a grounder increased the Yankees' lead to two runs in the seventh.
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