Big Unit pounded for seven runs in three innings

NEW YORK (AP) -- In one stunning inning, the New York Yankees
appeared to exorcise three months of frustration.

The Yankees broke loose for 13 runs in the eighth behind Bernie
Williams and Gary Sheffield, overcoming an early eight-run deficit
to beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 20-11 Tuesday night.

"If there's a turning point in the season, this should be it,"
said Williams, who didn't take batting practice because of his sore
shoulders. "This is incredible, especially this late in the game.
I've never seen anything like this."

And with good reason: The 17-run turnaround matched the largest
victory after trailing by eight runs in major league history. The
Devil Rays led the Cleveland Indians 10-2 before losing 20-11 on
May 5, 1999.

Williams put the Yankees ahead with a bases-loaded triple in the
eighth, and Sheffield had a pair of three-run homers. Derek Jeter
tied a career high with five hits and scored a career-best five

The game mirrored New York's roller-coaster season -- the Yankees
have won seven of eight on this 13-game homestand after dropping
nine of 12 on their last road trip.

Sheffield had seven RBI and Williams drove in five runs for New
York, which trailed 10-2 after four innings. Yankees starter Randy
Johnson lasted just three innings in his shortest outing in nearly
five years, allowing seven runs.

"I had a sense in the dugout, let's see who we are, let's see
what we are," manager Joe Torre said.

Sheffield, Alex Rodriguez and Hideki Matsui hit consecutive
homers in the eighth, and Jorge Posada also connected for the
Yankees in the inning, who had a 13-run second inning during a 19-8
victory over Tampa Bay on April 18.

"Just shocking," Tampa Bay's Jorge Cantu said.

Sheffield's three-run shot and Williams' RBI double in the fifth
off Hideo Nomo began the comeback. Jeter homered in the sixth to
make it 10-7, then the Yankees sent 16 batters to the plate in the
eighth, a half-inning that took 35 minutes.

"I've never been a part of something like that, probably never
be a part of it again," Jeter said.

With New York trailing 11-7, Robinson Cano and Jeter led off
with singles, and Cano scored on pinch-hitter Ruben Sierra's
grounder. Sheffield and Rodriguez singled, chasing Franklin Nunez.

Matsui greeted Travis Harper (1-6) with an RBI double. Jason
Giambi was intentionally walked -- as the crowd chanted "Bernie
Williams!" -- and Williams hit the first pitch over center fielder
Damon Hollins' head for a triple to make it 13-11.

Posada then homered, and after Cano flied out, Jeter and Sierra

Sheffield followed with his second three-run shot of the game to
make it 18-11. Rodriguez hit his 20th homer and Matsui hit a drive
into the black batters' eye in straightaway center field.

"It's unbelievable," Devil Rays catcher Kevin Cash said.
"They just fed off each other. It's unbelievable to hit that many
balls right on the nose that many times. That's really tough to

Buddy Groom (1-0), the fifth of six Yankees pitchers, worked 1
1-3 scoreless innings for the win. He induced a double play with
the bases loaded in the eighth to keep the score 11-7.

In an outing that was as perplexing as it was brief, Johnson
(7-6) opened looking as dominant as he was in his two previous
outings, when he allowed just a run in 16 innings. He struck out
the first two batters and got Aubrey Huff to ground out after
giving up a single to Cantu.

But he started the second with a four-pitch walk to Eduardo
Perez, who had two home runs against Johnson on April 19, and an
out later gave up consecutive homers to Hollins and Cash, both
landing well beyond the left-field wall and riling up the Yankees'

Alex Gonzalez singled and Carl Crawford, who had four hits, had
his third triple in his last six games, drawing loud boos from the
crowd of 44,241.

Julio Lugo added an RBI infield hit -- the fifth straight batter
to reach base -- to make it 5-0.

"The first surprise of the night was Randy getting whacked
around," Torre said.

The Yankees got a run back in the bottom half on Giambi's
ground-rule double and Williams' RBI single, but the Devil Rays
made it 7-1 in the third when Perez led off with a single and Jonny
Gomes homered.

It was the second time this season Johnson has allowed three
home runs in a game after not giving up three in an outing since
Aug. 15, 2000. He also gave up three at Boston on April 14.

The three innings was Johnson's shortest outing since Aug. 25,
2000, against the Mets for Arizona. He had not gone less than six
innings in 14 starts for the Yankees.

"I took a giant step backward," Johnson said. "My location
was off considerably. It was just one of those games you put to

The Devil Rays scored three more off just-recalled reliever
Scott Proctor in the fourth. Pinch-hitter Travis Lee drove in a run
on second baseman Cano's error, and Hollins had a two-run single.

Game notes
Tiger Woods attended the game, two days after finishing
second in the U.S. Open. ... Mike Stanton made his 992nd
appearance, tying him with Lindy McDaniel for 10th on the career
list. ... Lugo stole two bases.