NEW YORK (AP) -- Johnny Damon showed off his power with a pair of
upper-deck homers and the New York Yankees got another big bat to
play beside him in the outfield.
Damon's two homers backed seven airtight innings by Mike Mussina, who won his fifth straight decision in the Yankees' 4-2
win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Sunday.
Mike Mussina's victory over the Devil Rays was his 50th win at Yankee Stadium since donning the pinstripes. The last right-handed pitcher to win at least 50 games for the Yankees in The Bronx was Mel Stottlemyre, who had 85 victories there from 1964 to 1973, the team's final season at the "old" stadium. Mussina is the third pitcher to win at least 50 games for New York at the "new" stadium (since 1976), joining Ron Guidry (99 wins) and Andy Pettitte (81).• For more Elias Says, Click here.
Immediately after the game, the Yankees acquired All-Star right
fielder Bobby Abreu and pitcher Cory Lidle from Philadelphia for
four minor league prospects -- including 2005 first-round draft pick
C.J. Henry."I think we are going to be a better team on Tuesday," Damon
said anticipating the arrival of his new teammates. "I think it's
a great move for us."Damon took care of the offense on Sunday. He hit his 12th homer
off James Shields (4-5) in the fifth inning to give New York a 3-2
lead before connecting again in the seventh. It was his tenth
career multihomer game and second this season."It's kind of funny," Damon said. "I haven't hit any home
runs in a long while. I haven't even been hitting homers in batting
practice."The two long drives came as no surprise to Yankees manager Joe
Torre."Johnny has that kind of power," Torre said. "I've
experienced it sitting in the same seat, but unfortunately he had a
different uniform on then."That would be 2004 when Damon's grand slam in Game 7 helped the
Boston Red Sox finish off the Yankees in the American League
playoffs and reach the World Series.Now Damon is trying to catch his old team.Mussina (13-3) played his part against Tampa Bay, allowing just
five hits. He struck out eight, walked two and has not lost since
June 15.Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon was impressed."He's been pitching well all year," Maddon said. "His
velocity is up. When you combine that with his competitive nature
it makes it tough. He pitches up with his fastball as well as
anybody."The win was the 237th of Mussina's career, passing Whitey Ford
and tying Clark Griffith and Waite Hoyt for 55th place on the
career list.Mussina was excited about the acquisition of Lidle."He is a veteran pitcher who throws strikes and gets
groundballs," Mussina said. "I think he'll be a solid pitcher for
us."Kyle Farnsworth pitched a scoreless eighth and Mariano Rivera
worked the ninth for his 26th save in 28 chances as the Yankees
bounced back after Tampa Bay's 19-6 win Saturday.Shields yielded four runs and eight hits in seven innings. He
struck out six and walked one.The Yankees got to Shields in the third inning for two runs.
Miguel Cairo singled with one out and moved to second on a single
by Damon. Derek Jeter followed with a two-run double to
right-center.Jeter took third on the relay throw and Shields intentionally
walked Jason Giambi. He escaped further damage by striking out Alex
Rodriguez and getting Jorge Posada to ground into a fielder's
choice.Tampa Bay came right back in the fourth.Travis Lee singled with one out, moved up on a walk to Jorge
Cantu and scored on a single by Jonny Gomes. Then Tomas Perez's
seventh straight hit scored Cantu with the tying run. Mussina then
struck out Josh Paul to end the inning.
The Yankees also sent reliever Matt Smith, catcher Jesus
Sanchez and right-hander Carlos Monasterios to the Phillies in the
trade. ... Perez followed his five straight hits Saturday with hits
his first two times up Sunday. The seven straight hits were one
short of the Tampa Ray record held by Aubrey Huff. ... Attendance
was 54,102, the 33rd sellout of the season.