Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

NY Yankees won 3-0

Game 1: Monday, March 31
NY Yankees8Final
Toronto4
Game 2: Tuesday, April 1
NY Yankees10Final
Toronto1
Game 3: Wednesday, April 2
NY Yankees9Final
Toronto7

Yankees 9

(3-0, 3-0 away)

Blue Jays 7

(0-3, 0-3 home)

    7:05 PM ET, April 2, 2003

    Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario 

    123456789 R H E
    NYY 162000000 9 17 0
    TOR 010210300 7 11 0

    W: M. Mussina (1-0)

    L: M. Hendrickson (0-1)

    S: J. Acevedo (1)

    Almonte homers in first game as Jeter's fill-in

    TORONTO (AP) -- Erick Almonte couldn't believe how well he played in his first game as Derek Jeter's replacement.

    Almonte homered and drove in three runs as the New York Yankees beat Toronto 9-7 Wednesday night to complete an opening three-game sweep of the Blue Jays.

    Erick Almonte

    Erick Almonte's 2-for-5 effort, complete with homer, had the Yanks smiling.

    "This is probably the best game I've had in my life,'' Almonte said. "I'm just happy.''

    Almonte, recalled after Jeter dislocated his left shoulder in Monday's opener, went 2-for-5 in his first major league start.

    On Monday night, he was unpacking in Columbus, Ohio, preparing for the start of the Triple-A season. But on Tuesday he went to Cincinnati and picked up his passport, which was brought from Tampa, Fla., then caught a connecting flight in time to get to New York's late-afternoon game.

    Almonte singled in the second inning Wednesday off former NBA player Mark Hendrickson (0-1) for his first career RBI, then hit a two-run homer in the third against Pete Walker for his first major league home run.

    "He did everything as good as you can do it,'' New York manager Joe Torre said. "I'm just happy for the kid.''

    Todd Zeile, who replaced Jeter as New York's No. 2 hitter, also homered and had three RBIs for the Yankees, who have opened with three road wins for the first time since 1942.

    "To start off this way is a big relief,'' said Zeile, who played his first game as a Yankee.

    Mike Mussina (1-0) was given leads of 7-0 and 9-1. He struck out eight and walked none in six innings but allowed four runs and seven hits.

    Cuban defector Jose Contreras, who struggled Monday in his major league debut, had problems again, his ERA rising to 19.29. Entering with a 9-4 lead in the seventh, he gave up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Greg Myers and consecutive RBI doubles to Frank Catalanotto and Vernon Wells.

    "I just haven't been able to locate the ball where I want to,'' Contreras said.

    Juan Acevedo, the Yankees' closer while Mariano Rivera recovers from a groin pull, got three straight outs for his first save.

    Mike Bordick's record streak for games without an error by a shortstop ended at 110 when he allowed a grounder by New York's Bubba Trammell to tip off his glove in the third inning.

    "The only cool thing about it was that Cooperstown asked me for my glove last year,'' Bordick said. "That was the best part about it.''

    For now, the Yankees haven't been slowed by the loss of Jeter, scheduled for an MRI exam Thursday in Tampa. New York knows he will be out for at least a month, and might find out Thursday if he needs surgery, which would cost him most of this season.

    Jeter left the clubhouse for the dugout so he could congratulate Almonte after he hit the home run.

    "I said nice hit and he just smiled,'' Jeter said.

    Zeile homered in the first and New York added six runs in the second.

    Carlos Delgado homered off the center-field restaurant for the Blue Jays, 0-3 for the first time since being swept by the Kansas City Royals in 1979. Hendrickson allowed seven runs and 10 hits in 1 2-3 innings.

    Game notes


    New York's Bernie Williams hit an RBI double for his 1,000th RBI. ... Yankees RF Raul Mondesi reached into the right-field seats to catch Shannon Stewart's foul ball for the final out. ... Hideki Matsui was 2-for-6 with an RBI grounder. ... Bordick made his first start for the Blue Jays. ... Enrique Wilson, who started in place of Jeter on Tuesday, bought Almonte lunch and a pair of dress shoes earlier in the day. ... Attendance was just 16,222.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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