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Yankees win opener before smallest crowd of year

9/10/2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- Rookie Juan Rivera drove in two runs, including
a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, to lead the New York
Yankees over the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 Tuesday in the opener of a
day-night doubleheader.

Andy Pettitte (10-5) pitched into the eighth inning to win for
the sixth time in seven decisions as the Yankees won for the sixth
time in seven games, reducing their magic number to 11 for
clinching their fifth straight AL East title.

Only 8,875 fans showed up for the makeup of a June 6 rainout --
New York's smallest crowd of the year. The Orioles lost for the
15th time in 16 games since reaching .500 on Aug. 23.

Pettitte allowed one run and five hits in 7 1/3 innings, leaving
with a 2-1 lead after giving up a one-out double in the eighth to
Luis Matos.

Ramiro Mendoza relieved and induced a grounder to second by
Melvin Mora. But first baseman Nick Johnson dropped Alfonso
Soriano's throw for his second error of the game, putting runners
on first and third.

Mendoza recovered to get Jerry Hairston to hit into an
inning-ending 5-4-3 double play. Mendoza allowed a ninth-inning
homer to Tony Batista before Mike Stanton got the last out for his
fourth save.

The Yankees didn't walk a batter for the fifth straight game,
extending their walkless streak to 49 innings since Pettitte walked
Boston's Nomar Garciaparra in the fifth inning last Wednesday.

Baltimore starter Jason Johnson (4-13) pitched effectively into
the seventh inning despite being bothered by an upset stomach since
last Thursday's start against Texas.

The Orioles weren't sure Johnson would be well enough to start
the game until he arrived at the ballpark Tuesday. He allowed two
runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings to lose his fourth straight
decision.

New York broke a tie in the seventh. Jorge Posada led off with a
single and Raul Mondesi walked with one out. Posada went to third
on Johnson's flyout and scored on Rivera's eighth hit in 36 career
at-bats.

The Yankees added three runs in the eighth. After Derek Jeter
doubled, Willis Roberts hit Jason Giambi with a pitch in the right
arm, drawing a warning from home-plate umpire Sam Holbrook.

Roberts threw two straight wild pitches to Bernie Williams,
scoring a run. Yorkis Perez replaced Roberts and also threw a wild
pitch, allowing pinch-runner Drew Henson to score the first run of
his career.

Mondesi, who went 3-for-3, added an RBI double.

The Orioles opened the scoring in the fifth inning when Geronimo
Gil doubled with two outs and scored on Matos' line-drive single up
the middle. Pettitte fell to avoid the hard-hit ball, which went
into center field.

Johnson faced the minimum 15 batters through five innings with
help from two double plays before the Yankees tied it in the sixth
on Rivera's sacrifice fly.

Game notes
It was the smallest crowd at Yankee Stadium since last Oct.
1, when 8,112 fans showed up for a game against Chicago. That was a
makeup for a game postponed because of the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks. ... Baltimore is 15-13 against first-place teams in the
AL. ... The Orioles lead the majors with 158 double plays turned.
... The Yankees' 207 homers are tied for the 1998 team for
second-most in franchise history. New York hit 240 homers in 1961.