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With full lineup in hand, Yanks win with ease

7/10/2003

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Joe Torre hadn't enjoyed filling out his
pregame lineup card so much in months. Looking at the boxscore was
a special treat for New York's manager, too.

"That was nice," he said with a smile.

David Wells kept his cap and glove while pitching 7 2-3 strong
innings Wednesday night to lead the suddenly healthy Yankees to a
6-2 win over the Cleveland Indians.

The Yankees, who were held to one hit by rookie Billy Traber on
Tuesday, welcomed back Derek Jeter, Alfonso Soriano and Bernie
Williams to their lineup. It was the first time the trio of stars
had played together since May 21.

Jeter had a season-high four hits -- three off C.C. Sabathia
(8-4) -- and two RBI. Williams drove home two in his first game
back in six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.

Soriano had missed Tuesday night's series opener with hand
injuries.

"It felt great after (missing) 42 games and being out,"
Williams said. "It felt good to be playing and getting some games
under my belt before the All-Star break.

Wells (11-3) bounced back from one of his worst career outings,
taking a shutout into the eighth before giving up two runs. He
allowed nine hits, walked none and struck out one while improving
to 7-0 on the road. He is also 7-0 following a loss or no-decision
this season.

"I felt great from the start," Wells said in quotes read by a
team spokesman. "I just stayed back and got more on top. In my
last start, I was throwing more from the side."

Wells left immediately after the game to attend a memorial
service in San Diego for his recently deceased grandfather.

In his previous start, Wells gave up five home runs to Boston,
setting a career-high and matching a Yankee record in just 5 2-3
innings.

He was so upset, that after being pulled from the game, Wells
turned his glove and cap into souvenirs, tossing them into the
stands at Yankee Stadium.

But there was nothing for him to be upset about as he improved
to 18-4 in his career against Cleveland, where he has had past
run-ins with Indians fans.

"Oh yeah," Wells said when asked if he has extra motivation
pitching at Jacobs Field. "I always like it here. They're pretty
rude and crude. It's never going to change."

Wells didn't have any trouble until the eighth, when the Indians
scored their two runs on two singles and a double.

"I've seen him better," Indians third baseman Casey Blake said
of Wells. "But he threw four pitches for strikes. He got some
double plays, and we never got a big inning going."

With their lineup as strong as it has been in nearly two months,
the Yankees wasted no time against Sabathia, scoring two runs in
the first inning off the All-Star lefty, who couldn't find the
strike zone.

Soriano led off with a walk and Jeter dropped down a perfect
bunt before Giambi walked to load the bases. Williams followed by
hitting a hard one-hopper that handcuffed shortstop Ricky
Gutierrez, who was charged with an error as Soriano scored.

Sabathia struck out Hideki Matsui, but walked Jorge Posada to
force in New York's second run. Ruben Sierra then beat out a return
throw to first on a double-play grounder, allowing Giambi to score
and make it 3-0.

Williams made it 4-0 in the seventh, snapping an 0-for-23 slide
with an RBI single.

New York went up 6-0 in the eighth on Jeter's two-run double.

Sabathia, the Indians' lone All-Star, allowed two earned runs
and five hits. He walked a career-high six and struck out six in
his first loss since June 5 -- six starts.

"I can't beat the Yankees, let alone anybody, if I'm going to
give up six walks," said Sabathia, who dropped to 1-5 with a 7.28
ERA in six career starts against New York. "I was overthrowing. I
was pumped up."
^Notes:@ Soriano had 11 assists, one shy of the major league record
for a second baseman. ... Wells is 8-2 in 11 career starts at the
Jake. ... Sabathia, who turns 23 on July 21, is the Indians'
youngest All-Star since Dennis Eckersley in 1977. ... Soriano
wasn't expected to play because of a bruised left hand -- he was hit
by a pitch from Pedro Martinez on Monday -- but was a last-minute
addition. ... Yankees OF Karim Garcia said the violent thunderstorm
that swept through Jacobs Field before Tuesday night's game was
scary. While New York was taking batting practice, a giant
lightning bolt hit near the ballpark, sending players and fans
scrambling. Garcia bolted to the dugout. "That's as fast as I've
run all year," he joked. ... Indians OF Shane Spencer was not at
the ballpark. He was with his wife, Heidi, who went into labor with
the couple's first child.