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Damon belts two homers in Yankees rout

NEW YORK (ESPN.com news services) -- Johnny Damon sparked the New York Yankees to a
feat they had accomplished only once before: scoring in every inning of a full game.

"It's definitely the way it's supposed to be," he said.

Damon prepped for his return to Fenway Park with his first
multihomer game with the Yankees, scoring a career-high five runs
to go along with three hits and three RBI Saturday in a 17-6 rout
of the Toronto Blue Jays.


The Brewers, Tigers and Yankees all scored 16 or more runs Saturday. The last time three teams scored 16 or more runs on the same day was on Sept. 15, 2000 -- Angels (16) at the Twins; A's (17) at the Devil Rays; Astros (16) versus the Pirates.

Yankees manager Joe Torre was especially impressed with the way
Damon scored the final run. With New York up by 10 in the eighth,
Damon hit a leadoff popup that second baseman Aaron Hill allowed to
hit off his glove. Damon sprinted, reached second on the error and
scored two pitches later when Miguel Cairo singled.

"It's just the way I play this game. That's the one thing you
can always do, is to go out there and hustle," Damon said. "It is
a good example, not just for our team, but for the Little Leaguers
coming up."

Jason Giambi hit a three-run homer in the first inning for New
York, which overcame a 2-0 deficit and a poor start by Randy Johnson (4-2). The only other time the Yankees scored in every
inning of a full game was in a 14-1 win over the St. Louis Browns
at Yankee Stadium on July 26, 1939.

In that one, watched by a crowd of 4,843, Bill Dickey had three
homers, four hits and five RBI. Tommy Henrich drove in four runs
and Joe DiMaggio had three hits.

In this one, which drew 50,119, Damon, Giambi and Jorge Posada
all hit upper-deck homers, and Giambi drove in four runs. He has 25
RBI -- a figure he didn't reach last season until July 4.

"I'll take it, especially after the way I started off last
year," Giambi said. "It's exciting to get going."

Two days before Damon goes to Boston with the Yankees for the
first time, he singled to lead off a four-run first inning against
Josh Towers (0-5), the first five-game loser in the major leagues.
Damon hit a solo homer to right in the second, then a two-run drive
into the right-field upper deck in the fourth that boosted New
York's lead to 9-5.

"It's got to be my best game here," he said. "Not a bad time
to get things going."

He joked that before the big day he had been outhomered 2-1 this
season by Cincinnati pitcher Bronson Arroyo, his former Red Sox
teammate.

"Now it's 3-2, so I'm happy about that," Damon said. "I've
been tinkering with what I need to do at the plate, and right now
it seems like I'm a bit more balanced and my swing is a lot quicker
through the zone."

No AL team has scored in all nine innings. It's been done seven
times in the NL and twice in the American Association, when it was
a major league in the 1880s.

It was the sixth time an AL team scored in all eight innings in
which it batted, the first since the Kansas City Royals beat
Oakland 16-6 on Sept. 14, 1998.

Damon led off for the Royals in that game and scored three runs.

"Obviously, it's a feat that does not happen all the time," he
said. "I'm proud that it's the second time my teams have done
it."

Both clubs got a scare in the fifth inning, when Gary Sheffield
collided at first base with Shea Hillenbrand. The pair tumbled over
in pain, and both left the game.

Sheffield, who drove in two runs with an infield single on the
play, bruised his left knee and right wrist.

"Sheff is OK. His wrist is a little sore, so we'll have to see
how that is tomorrow," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "It was
just a scary thing when you see those two big bodies merge."

Hillenbrand, hit on the back of the head, was scheduled for a CT
scan.

"I saw him after he came in, and he was dizzy, obviously,"
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

Johnson, whose ERA rose to 4.71, was repeatedly booed. He
allowed six runs, six hits, four walks and two hit batters, leaving
after five innings and 109 pitches. Coming in, he had walked only
three batters in five starts.

After New York took a 5-2 lead, Johnson allowed Toronto to tie
the score in the third, when Vernon Wells hit a run-scoring
groundout, and Troy Glaus and Hillenbrand followed with RBI
doubles.

"I pitched poorly," Johnson said. "Five, six runs should be
enough, you would think."

New York came back again in the bottom half on Hideki Matsui's
run-scoring double and Posada's RBI grounder, which made it 7-5.

Towers was even worse than Johnson, giving up seven runs and six
hits in 2 1/3 innings. His ERA rocketed up to 10.45.

"I don't even know if I can put it into words -- give me a 2-0
lead, come back to tie at 5, it's embarrassing. It's just
embarrassing," he said.

Game notes
Toronto's Reed Johnson tied a major league record when he
was hit by pitches three times. He also was hit by three pitches
April 7 at Tampa Bay. ... The Yankees became only the second team
in the last 30 years to start 9-0 in day games, according to the
Elias Sports Bureau. The 2003 Seattle Mariners won their first 17.
New York is 3-10 at night. ... Toronto LHP Scott Downs was placed
on the bereavement list after his infant daughter was hospitalized,
and RHP Shaun Marcum was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse.