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Hocking out at second to end game

NEW YORK (AP) -- After Javier Vazquez pitched a great game, Jorge
Posada made a pretty impressive throw himself.

Vazquez won his fourth straight start and pitched into the
eighth inning to lead the New York Yankees past Colorado 2-1
Tuesday night in the Rockies' first visit to Yankee Stadium. After
Vazquez came out, Posada threw out pinch-runner Denny Hocking from
his knees to end the game.

Vinny Castilla singled with one out in the ninth, and Mariano
Rivera struck out Jeromy Burnitz, then went to a 2-2 count on
Matthew Holliday. That's when Rockies manager Clint Hurdle sent
Hocking.

Posada's throw from behind the plate drew a roar from the
near-capacity crowd of 51,852, already noisy and standing because
of Rivera's two-strike count. Rivera got his 24th save in 25
chances.

"We're trying to steal a base just to get an infielder to move,
open up a channel somewhere," Hurdle said. "Rivera's a pretty
formidable closer. We're just trying to make something happen
late."

The throw punctuated yet another strong performance from Vazquez
(7-4). He retired his first 13 batters, struck out six and gave up
five hits in seven-plus innings.

"He was basically playing catch with Jorgie," Torre said.

The Yankees got a two-run single from Jason Giambi to win for
the 12th time in 14 games. The AL East leaders, playing their first
interleague game this season, have the best record in the major
leagues at 36-20.

Colorado made it exciting in the eighth, too. Former Yankees
backup catcher Todd Greene singled off Vazquez to start the inning
and Tom Gordon relieved.

Pinch-runner Choo Freeman went to second when Luis Gonzalez
sacrificed and later appeared to take third when Posada dropped a
pitch, but the ball glanced off of batter Aaron Miles and Freeman
was sent back to second. He moved up when Miles grounded out, but
Royce Clayton grounded out.

Jeff Fassero (0-6), at 41 the oldest player on the Rockies, was
making his third start this season, and it was easily his best. He
allowed six hits, all singles, and walked four, giving up his only
runs on Giambi's hit in the third.

But the Rockies couldn't get Fassero a win in just his ninth
major league start since September 2000, when the left-hander
played for Boston. He played for the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis
before making the Rockies as a non-roster invitee in spring
training.

"I'm doing what I wanted to do when I came here, which is
start," Fassero said. "I hope that I made a good impression, but
it's the manager's decision whether I go out there in five days
again or not."

Burnitz was the first to reach base against Vazquez, singling
with one out in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to 12, his
longest this season. Holliday and Mark Sweeney followed with
singles, leading to the run.

Rockies pitcher Shawn Estes, who wasn't in the game, was ejected
from the dugout in the fifth inning by plate umpire Tim Timmons.

"Tim threw Shawn Estes out of the game for being cute," Hurdle
said. "Yeah, for being cute. That's what he told me."

Timmons and crew chief Bruce Froemming had left the stadium and
were unavailable for comment.

"I think that's the first time anybody's ever been tossed for
being cute," Estes said. "I didn't say a word to him. Not a word.
I was waving to him. He was looking in the dugout the whole inning
and I waved to him. Before I knew it, he tossed me. I never took
the whole thing seriously until I realized I had been thrown out.
I'd be interested to see his report."

Alex Rodriguez walked with two outs in the fifth to reach base
in his 45th straight game, a career high.

Game notes
Luis Gonzalez lost his grip when striking out to end the
fifth inning, sending his bat helicoptering toward Rodriguez at 3B.
A-Rod sidestepped the bat at the last moment and the Yankees ran
off the field. ... New York's Miguel Cairo was caught off first
base after singling in the fourth. Fassero threw to 1B Todd Helton
after Cairo took too big of a secondary lead. Cairo ran toward
second, but Helton threw to SS Clayton and Cairo was called out for
leaving the baseline. ... DH Gary Sheffield walked in his first two
plate appearances. ... Vazquez received a warm ovation after
allowing his first runner on Burnitz's single to right with one out
in the fifth. ... Burnitz made a nice play in the first inning,
running all the way over to the 399-foot sign in left-center to
snag Hideki Matsui's drive.