Series: Game 1 of 3

NY Yankees leads 1-0 (as of 6/8)

Game 1: Tuesday, June 8
NY Yankees2
Game 2: Wednesday, June 9
NY Yankees7
Game 3: Thursday, June 10
NY Yankees10

Rockies 1

(21-36, 8-20 away)

Yankees 2

(36-20, 19-8 home)

    7:05 PM ET, June 8, 2004

    Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    COL 000010000 1 6 0
    NYY 00200000 - 2 6 0

    W: J. Vazquez (7-4)

    L: J. Fassero (0-6)

    S: M. Rivera (24)

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press