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Yankees split series with White Sox

NEW YORK (AP) -- Looking for an elusive milestone, Mike Mussina
got a big boost from Bubba Crosby.

The rookie outfielder hit a three-run homer in his first start
for the New York Yankees, helping Mussina earn his 200th win with a
5-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

Crosby also crashed into the fence to make a terrific catch and
earned several standing ovations from Yankees fans who couldn't
help but fall in love with his all-out play.

By the end of the day, they were chanting his name.

"He was all over the place," Mussina said. "He had a great
game and we wouldn't have won without him."

Gary Sheffield drove in two runs to help the Yankees kick-start
their offense a bit and gain a split of the four-game series.

"It was important that we win this game," Sheffield said.

After going 3-3 on their road trip, the White Sox head to
Chicago for their home opener Tuesday against Kansas City.

"Realistically, we had a chance to be 4-2 or even 5-1," Frank
Thomas said.

Mussina (1-2) was coming off two poor starts against Tampa Bay
to start the season, and he got in trouble from the outset in this
one, too. He made an error in the first inning and gave up three
runs, prompting chants of "Moose!" to turn to boos on an overcast
Easter Sunday.

But the right-hander settled down from there, becoming the 100th
major league pitcher to reach 200 wins. It took him five tries.

Teammate Kevin Brown could be next on Tuesday -- he has 199
victories.

"It means I've been playing a long time and I've been lucky
enough to stay healthy and play on some good teams and be
consistent," Mussina said. "I'm pleased with that. I certainly
hope it's not my last one. It's a big accomplishment."

Then he was asked if he'll be around for No. 300.

"Whose?" Mussina said.

Mussina allowed four runs -- three earned -- and seven hits in 6
1-3 innings. He struck out six and walked two.

Tom Gordon retired Magglio Ordonez with a runner on third to end
the seventh, then pitched the eighth to preserve a 5-4 lead.
Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his third save in three
chances. With two on and one out, he struck out Willie Harris, then
retired Jose Valentin on a grounder.

Crosby, acquired from the Dodgers in a deal for Robin Ventura at
the trade deadline last year, was a surprise in making the big
league roster with a huge spring, when he batted .357 with two
homers and 11 RBI.

Now, he's quickly becoming a fan favorite at Yankee Stadium.

After Dan Wright (0-1) walked Sheffield and Jorge Posada in the
fourth, Crosby drove a 2-0 pitch off the facade of the upper deck
in right field for a 4-3 lead. He pointed to the sky as he rounded
the bases and popped out of the dugout for a curtain call.

"The new Babe Ruth in town," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen
said.

Playing a solid center field in place of an ailing Kenny Lofton
and while Bernie Williams served as the designated hitter, Crosby
also drew cheers after crashing into the right-center wall to catch
Magglio Ordonez's drive in the third.

"It seemed like every other inning I was tipping my cap," he
said.

Crosby hit his first big league homer in his first at-bat as a
Yankee, a two-run shot on Friday.

"It's just been a dream come true," he said. "This day's
pretty much tattooed in my mind."

Mussina gave the 4-3 lead right back, allowing a leadoff homer
to Valentin in the fifth, his second in two days.

Sheffield put the Yankees ahead again with a two-out RBI double
in the fifth. New York's powerful lineup has managed 21 runs in six
games since its season-opening Tokyo trip.

The White Sox jumped on Mussina right away, scoring in the first
on Thomas' RBI single and Carlos Lee's two-run double.

Sheffield cut it to 3-1 in the bottom half with a two-out RBI
single.

Wright, winless in 15 starts last season, gave up five runs,
four earned, and four hits in 4 2-3 innings.

Game notes
Valentin committed his third error at SS in two games. ...
Wright did earn one win in relief last season, on Aug. 12 at
Anaheim. ... Mussina is 200-112 in 389 career starts. ... Yankees
manager Joe Torre hopes Lofton (thigh) will be ready to play by
Tuesday night against Tampa Bay. ... Derek Jeter stole his first
base in the first inning, New York's second steal in eight games
this season. ... Mussina, a six-time Gold Glove winner, committed a
key error in the first inning, then made a diving catch of Miguel
Olivo's bunt in the second. ... Crosby made one start for the
Dodgers last season.