<
>

Tigers win first series in NY in eight years

NEW YORK (AP) -- All is not well at Yankee Stadium, where New
York's pitching problems might be a widening crack instead of a
blip.

Detroit beat up New York pitching for the second straight game,
and the Tigers left town with a series win over the Yankees for the
first time in eight years, pounding rookie Brad Halsey in a 10-8
victory Wednesday.

"We've played poorly before," Derek Jeter said, "We've just
got to come back."

A 119-game loser last year, Detroit built a 10-3 lead by the
sixth inning behind a three-run homer by Carlos Guillen, who had
three hits.

The Tigers took two of three from the Yankees, who have lost
five of six to the Mets and Tigers since sweeping the Red Sox last
week.

"There's still maybe a little aftereffects after that Boston
series," Alex Rodriguez said.

Since then, the Yankees have allowed 49 runs in a six-game span
for the first time since last Aug. 26-31. Halsey (1-2) gave up
seven runs -- five earned -- and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings, an
outing that put even more pressure on the Yankees to trade for a
veteran starting pitcher or activate Orlando Hernandez, who has
been on a minor league rehabilitation assignment as he recovers
from shoulder surgery last year.

"I'm not going to judge us on this small sample," general
manager Brian Cashman said. "The last few days is just a bad
stretch, that's all."

Halsey has a 7.23 ERA in four starts as a fill-in for Kevin
Brown, who is recovering from a back spasm and intestinal parasite.
Other than Javier Vazquez (3.50), the other starters have high
ERAs, with Brown at 4.13, trailed by Jon Lieber (4.97), Mike
Mussina (5.20) and Jose Contreras (6.10).

"The thinness of our starting rotation is still a concern,"
Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

Detroit won largely without Ivan Rodriguez and manager Alan
Trammell, who were ejected in the first inning for arguing. The
All-Star catcher had been called out on strikes by plate umpire
Angel Hernandez on a pitch at the knees.

"I didn't do anything," Rodriguez said. "I was just smiling
in the dugout. Anybody can smile. The only thing I told him was the
pitch was low. I said to him two times or maybe three that pitch is
low, it is not a strike. Then I go back to the dugout, and he
throws me out. I don't think it was acceptable. ... A lot of people
want to see me on TV."

Detroit, which had lost five straight games coming in, won its
first series at New York since Aug. 9-11, 1996. In mid-June, the
crosstown Mets swept three games from the Tigers at Shea Stadium.

Jeremy Bonderman, 6-6 this year after going 6-19 last season,
took a four-hitter into the seventh and wound up allowing six runs
and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings.

"This team has got more firepower than any team in the
league," Bonderman said of the Yankees. "You're trying to prove
something to them, you're trying to prove something to yourself. I
thought I did pretty well, but I wouldn't want to do it every
day."

After Enrique Wilson's RBI double and Jeter's run-scoring single
in the seventh, Franklyn German relieved and allowed a three-run
homer to Alex Rodriguez, whose second-inning error had led to a
pair of unearned runs. Rodriguez had been hitting .083 (3-for-36)
with runners in scoring position.

Esteban Yan came in with one on and two outs and retired Bernie
Williams on a groundout, then pitched a one-hit eighth. Ugueth
Urbina allowed a two-out infield hit to Rodriguez in the ninth,
then got his 12th save in 14 chances when Jason Giambi hit a
game-ending groundout with a man on.

"Just a blip in the road," Giambi said.

New York, which has overcome deficits of five or more runs in
four of its wins this year, had been confident of a comeback.

"You certainly can't get cavalier about it and think it's
automatically going to happen," Torre said.

Large leads haven't always meant wins for Detroit. The Tigers
led 14-4 at Texas on May 8 and lost 16-15 in 10 innings. Last
Sunday at Colorado, Detroit was ahead 8-0 in the fifth and lost
10-8.

"We've had problems with the relief," Trammell said. "Today
wasn't stellar, either, but we got the job done."

Game notes
Hideki Matsui had three hits, including his 16th homer,
which matched his total last year -- his first in the major leagues
after leaving Japan. ... Detroit CF Alex Sanchez left in the fourth
because of a sore right hamstring, which he hurt in the second when
he fell over first base after bunting in a run. ... Guillen has a
career-high 12 homers. ... Craig Monroe's sixth-inning homer off
Bret Prinz was his third of this season and first in 111 at-bats
since May 18. ... Brown plans to throw in the bullpen Thursday and
will need at least one additional bullpen session and perhaps one
rehabilitation start before New York activates him. ... Giambi,
also recovering from a parasite, played first base for the first
time since June 26.