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Yankees bullpen takes it on the chin

7/12/2003

TORONTO (AP) -- Even Chris Hammond wishes the Yankees would just
hurry up and trade for a reliever.

New York's bullpen gave up six runs in the eighth inning, and
Toronto's Roy Halladay won his 13th straight decision as the Blue
Jays ended a four-game losing streak with a 10-3 victory Saturday.

"I hear the bullpen talk. It's something you can't avoid,"
said Hammond, who admitted he and his fellow Yankees relievers even
talk about it in the bullpen. "I hear that we need help. I finally
just said 'Quit telling me, I'm sick of hearing it.' If they are
going to do it, do it."

Hammond didn't get an out in the eighth. He allowed three runs.

The 37-year-old left-hander strongly suggested the bullpen needs
help.

"To stay in first place you have to feel confident all of the
time or most of the time," Hammond said.

Jason Giambi hit his 25th home run for the Yankees, who entered
the day two games ahead of Boston for first place in the AL East.

Yankees manager Joe Torre said the bullpen is too green.

"Knowing that we do have inexperience there, the other guys
come in and try to do too much," Torre said.

Vernon Wells homered for the Blue Jays, and Frank Catalanotto
hit a go-ahead, two-run single off Mike Mussina (10-6) in the
seventh to give Toronto a 4-2 lead. Reed Johnson drove in three
runs.

The Blue Jays, who had 14 hits, broke the game open in the
eighth.

Hammond allowed consecutive singles to Carlos Delgado and Greg
Myers before right fielder Karim Garcia dropped an easy fly ball
for an error, which loaded the bases.

After Johnson hit a two-run double off Antonio Osuna, Howie
Clark hit a two-run single and Jayson Werth an RBI double. Wells'
RBI single off Al Reyes made it 10-2.

Halladay (13-2) became the first 13-game winner in the majors.
He hasn't lost in 17 starts since April 15 against New York.

"It's really not something I've looked back on, and maybe I
won't until the end of the season," Halladay said.

The 26-year-old right-hander is the first Toronto pitcher to win
13 straight decisions since Roger Clemens won a club-record 15 in a
row in 1998.

Halladay allowed two runs on four hits in eight innings,
striking out six and walking none.

"It was a fun game for me, coming out and knowing you are
facing one of the best teams in baseball. It's a good challenge,"
Halladay said.

Halladay would have been a strong candidate to start the
All-Star game for the AL, but he pitched on three days' rest. He
might not even pitch an inning Tuesday in Chicago.

Mussina allowed four runs on eight hits in seven innings.

Wells hit his 23rd home run in the first inning, tying a career
high he set last year. Johnson's two-out RBI single in the fourth
gave Toronto a 2-0 lead.

Halladay allowed just one hit until Derek Jeter singled with two
outs in the sixth and Giambi followed with his home run.

Game notes
Yankees outfielder Raul Mondesi has mild tendinitis in his
left wrist and is day-to-day. Mondesi was hurt swinging in his last
at-bat Friday night. ... New York activated Osuna from the 15-day
disabled list. He had been sidelined by a strained right groin
since June 14. Osuna allowed three runs on three hits. He got one
out. ... The last major league pitcher to win 13 straight decisions
was Clemens, who won 16 in a row with the Yankees en route to a
20-3 record and his sixth Cy Young Award in 2001.