Series: Game 3 of 4

NY Yankees leads 2-1 (as of 7/9)

Game 1: Thursday, July 7
NY Yankees7
Game 2: Friday, July 8
NY Yankees5
Game 3: Saturday, July 9
NY Yankees7
Game 4: Sunday, July 10
NY Yankees9

Indians 8

(47-40, 26-21 away)

Yankees 7

(45-40, 28-19 home)

    4:05 PM ET, July 9, 2005

    Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    CLE 032020001 8 12 0
    NYY 200010031 7 11 0

    W: S. Elarton (6-3)

    L: D. May (1-4)

    S: B. Wickman (23)

    Indians snap four-game skid

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Bob Wickman was in trouble.

    The Cleveland Indians' lead was down to one in the ninth inning, and the New York Yankees had the tying and winning runs on base with nobody out. Scott Elarton's second straight win was in jeopardy, but he wasn't all that nervous.

    "You kind of get used to it with Wicky," Elarton said after the Indians' 8-7 victory Saturday. "He's done it so many times. He knows how to get out of those situations and it's really not as stressful as it might seem."

    Wickman got Robinson Cano to hit into a double play, and then retired Alex Rodriguez for the final out as the Indians snapped a four-game losing streak.

    Jose Hernandez got the start against new Yankees lefty Darrell May and hit a pair of two-run homers and drove in five runs.

    Cleveland, which had dropped 10 of 12 to the Yankees and 11 of 12 to them on the road, ended New York's six-game winning streak. The Yankees fell back into third place in the AL East, behind Boston and Baltimore, after passing the Orioles on Friday.

    Elarton (6-3) followed his complete-game victory on Monday over Detroit with a seven-inning effort.

    "He has been as consistent as any starter we have, if not more so," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "He's a true example of what we talk about in terms of just giving the team a chance to win the ballgame."

    Hideki Matsui brought New York to 7-6 with a three-run homer in the eighth inning off Arthur Rhodes, but Travis Hafner's second RBI double of the game gave Cleveland a two-run lead in the ninth.

    Wickman allowed Ruben Sierra's third homer leading off the ninth, but managed to get his 23rd save in 26 chances.

    Hernandez broke out of a slump to provide the offense.

    In 37 games since April 21, Hernandez was hitting just .218. He homered twice against Cincinnati on June 24, but entered with only three home runs and 16 RBI on the year.

    "I think I always don't have a good start," Hernandez said. "I usually pick it up later on, like June and July."

    Elarton gave up back-to-back homers in the first inning to Gary Sheffield and Rodriguez before settling down and winning for the fourth time in five decisions.

    "I didn't really feel very good the first inning," Elarton said. "I made two bad pitches to those guys. It's pretty much a guaranteed hard-hit ball if you miss over the plate."

    He gave up three runs and six hits in matching his second longest outing of the season. Keeping a low pitch count was the difference.

    "He did everything you could ask him to do," Wedge said.

    May (0-1) lasted only 4 1/3 innings in his Yankees debut that came a day after he was brought up from Triple-A Columbus and one week following his acquisition from San Diego.

    Pitching in place of injured Carl Pavano, May allowed seven runs, eight hits and a season-high three home runs. He was 1-3 with a 5.61 ERA with the Padres working in and out of the bullpen.

    "I wasn't able to hit my spots when I wanted," May said. "When I tried to go away, I left the pitches up and that's what hurt me."

    After a 1-2-3 first inning, including a three-pitch strikeout of leadoff hitter Grady Sizemore, May fell apart in the second.

    Casey Blake led off with an infield single, and Hernandez ripped a 2-1 pitch over the left-field wall to tie it at 2. Jhonny Peralta followed with another shot to left, this time after May fell behind 3-1.

    May retired the first two hitters in the third, but Casey Blake doubled just over the outstretched glove of center fielder Melky Cabrera, who had a rough day defensively in his third major league start.

    "It's an experience he's going to have to go through," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "Unfortunately, it was a one-run game so it sticks out like a sore thumb."

    Hernandez followed with another drive to left on a 3-1 pitch for his ninth career multihomer game, giving Cleveland a 5-2 lead.

    Cleveland added two more runs off May in the fifth when Hafner doubled in Coco Crisp, who had singled, and Hernandez brought home Hafner with a single against Scott Proctor.

    "He did a great job in getting us kick-started," Wedge said of Hernandez.

    New York cut the deficit to 7-3 in its half of the fifth as Sierra led off with a double and scored on Cano's two-out single.

    Matsui reached base for the 35th straight game, tops in the majors this season.

    Game notes

    Hernandez drove in a career-best seven runs on April 12, 2001, with Milwaukee. ... Sheffield tied Cal Ripken Jr. for 33rd place on baseball's list with his 431st homer. ... Yankees 1B Jason Giambi returned to the lineup after leaving Friday's game in the sixth inning because of tightness in his left leg. ... The Indians recalled INF Brandon Phillips from Triple-A Buffalo and optioned LHP Brian Tallet. Phillips started at second base and went 0-for-4. He filled in for Ronnie Belliard, who was bothered by leg cramps. ... The Yankees' old-timers game was cut to 1 1/3 innings by a brief rain shower.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press