NY ends skid

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 23, 2001

The Associated Press

Mike Mussina walked in from the bullpen as his New York Yankees teammates got their World Series rings, and he thought ahead.

Monday, July 23, 2001

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Mike Mussina walked in from the bullpen as his New York Yankees teammates got their World Series rings, and he thought ahead.

”Hopefully, a year from now, I get to stand out there and get one,” he said.

Mussina then helped the three-time defending World Series champions regain sole possession of first place in the AL East, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 7-3 Sunday to stop the Yankees’ four-game losing streak.

Tino Martinez and Paul O’Neill homered into the upper deck in the fourth inning, and Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada also homered for the Yankees, who took a one-game lead over second-place Boston.

Hall of Famer Yogi Berra presented the three-carat diamond rings in a pregame ceremony. The jewelry includes the words ”Tradition” and ”Pride” and features three subway cars – representing the Yankees’ victory over the Mets in the Subway Series for their third straight title.

”It’s been so long ago, it’s almost an afterthought. Right now we’re in another pennant race,” O’Neill said. ”Hopefully, it won’t be the last one we receive.”

At Yankee Stadium, Mussina (10-8) allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings and struck out nine. Chris Carpenter (7-7) gave up six runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings.

New York manager Joe Torre, Toronto manager Buck Martinez, Blue Jays reliever Chris Michalak and Toronto coach Terry Bevington were ejected following an inside pitch by Jay Witasick and a hit batter by Michalak.

Alex Gonzalez homered twice and Brad Fullmer also connected for Toronto, which had won three in a row.

White Sox 13, Red Sox 8

Paul Konerko homered for the third straight game, and Carlos Lee hit a three-run homer.

Chicago, which stole seven bases – its most in 15 years – took a 5-0 lead, but visiting Boston closed to 6-5 and 8-7 before Lee homered in the seventh.

Tim Wakefield (6-5) had trouble controlling his knuckleball and lost his third straight start, allowing six runs – five earned – five hits and five walks in three-plus innings.

Indians 6, Tigers 3

Bartolo Colon (9-7), pitching while appealing a seven-game suspension, allowed two runs and seven hits in five innings, and Jim Thome hit a three-run homer, his 31st of the season.

Cleveland closed within one game of Minnesota, the AL Central leader, the Indians’ smallest deficit since June 29.

Thome hit his 31st homer off Jeff Weaver (9-9) and Roberto Alomar had two RBIs for the Indians. John Rocker, who recently lost his closer’s job, pitched a 1-2-3 eighth at Jacobs Field.

Mariners 6, Twins 3

Mark McLemore had four RBIs and Paul Abbott (9-2) took a two-hit shutout into the ninth as Seattle won its third straight at the Metrodome.

Abbott, 7-0 in 11 starts since May 28, was bidding for his first shutout in 113 career starts before David Ortiz’s two-run single in the ninth. Jeff Nelson finished the six-hitter.

Minnesota has lost eight of 11 since the All-Star break. Rookie Kyle Lohse (3-2) gave up four runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings.

Devil Rays 7, Rangers 4

Greg Vaughn hit a grand slam off Pat Mahomes with two outs in the seventh at Tampa Bay after Juan Moreno (1-1) loaded the bases with a walk to Ben Grieve.

Tanyon Sturtze (5-8) gave up four runs and eight hits in seven innings. Esteban Yan finished for his 11th save.

Royals 5, Athletics 4

Rey Sanchez went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and singled in the winning run off Jim Mecir (2-7) with two outs in the ninth at Kansas City.

Roberto Hernandez (3-3) was the winner despite wasting a 4-2 lead before he got an out in the ninth, his fifth blown save in 22 chances.

Angels 9, Orioles 4

Orioles 5, Angels 1

Scott Spiezio hit a bases-loaded triple in a four-run seventh as visiting Anaheim extended its winning streak to six – its longest since 1998 – in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

Ben Weber (5-1), who worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth, was the winner, and Lou Pote got his second save with three scoreless innings. Willis Roberts (7-8) was the loser.

Jay Gibbons homered off Toby Borland (0-1) and Jason Johnson (9-6) allowed only an unearned run in 6 2-3 innings as Baltimore won the second game and stopped a six-game losing streak. Buddy Groom got five outs for his eighth save, finishing the Orioles’ third win in 16 games.