NEW YORK (AP) -- Mike Mussina knew there was no arguing with
pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre this time.
Mussina left his start in the third inning because of tightness
in his right groin, then the San Diego Padres capitalized on his
absence to beat the New York Yankees 10-2 Friday night in their
first game at Yankee Stadium since losing Game 2 of the 1998 World
"Whether we want to admit it or not, not having to face him for
the rest of the game is an added bonus," said Adam Eaton, who
pitched seven sharp innings for San Diego.
Phil Nevin hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning and Mark
Loretta had two doubles, an RBI and three runs scored for the
Padres, who jumped on reliever Felix Heredia (0-1) in the fourth to
snap a 1-all tie.
Mussina struck out four of his first six batters and seemed to
be on his way to another stellar start before he hurt the groin on
his last pitch to Khalil Greene for the second out of the third.
After struggling to retire Sean Burroughs, the right-hander
talked to Stottlemyre, who immediately decided Mussina was done for
the night as a precaution.
"I'm not concerned about it," Mussina said. "It doesn't hurt
walking around, just stretching down from the mound."
On Sunday, Mussina persuaded Stottlemyre to let him start the
ninth and try for a shutout. This time, Mussina knew coming out of
the game was the right call.
"This happens once in a while. I'll just have to stay ready and
get back when I can," he added.
Mussina's injury occurred just two days after teammate Kevin
Brown left his start against Colorado with a strained back. New
York manager Joe Torre is hoping the day off Monday will help the
two pitchers recuperate.
"I'm just going to let it play out the next two days and see
what our options are (after Monday)," Torre said. We'll see how
far along Brownie and Moose are then."
The Yankees lost their first interleague game since being no-hit
by six Houston pitchers exactly a year ago. They had won 13
straight interleague matchups and four in a row overall.
Eaton (3-6) has won consecutive starts after losing six straight
decisions. He allowed four hits and two runs while striking out
four and walking three. He gave up two runs in six innings against
Milwaukee on Sunday.
"In this ballpark against this lineup, yeah, it's one of his
finer games," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said.
Akinori Otsuka pitched two perfect innings for his second save.
After Alex Rodriguez gave the Yankees an early lead with a solo
homer to right in the first inning, the Padres scored an unusual
run on an infield hit, a stolen base and two errors.
Kerry Robinson got the first hit off Mussina with one out in the
third and stole second. He advanced to third when catcher Jorge
Posada's throw hit him sliding into the bag. Robinson then scored
after left fielder Hideki Matsui's throw back into the infield hit
second base and bounced back into the outfield.
"It wasn't pretty," Torre said. "He's just so used to getting
it in quickly and he short-hopped it."
Loretta greeted Heredia with his first double leading off the
fourth and scored one out later on Nevin's single.
The Padres added two runs in the fifth on Burroughs' RBI single
and Loretta's groundout. Burroughs' hard slide into second
prevented second baseman Enrique Wilson from attempting to complete
the double play.
"I think we're a pretty aggressive baserunning club," Nevin
said. "It's something that we've definitely talked about."
The Yankees loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth, but
Eaton gave up only one run on Gary Sheffield's sacrifice fly. He
got Posada to fly to left and struck out Matsui.
"I was surprised to be out there," Eaton said. "Anytime the
manager shows that kind of confidence in you, that means a lot."
Rodriguez reached base for a career-high 48th straight
game. ... The Yankees played Ray Charles' rendition of "America
the Beautiful" during the seventh inning stretch in honor of the
singer, who died Thursday. ... There was a moment of silence before
the game for President Ronald Reagan, whose funeral was earlier