Yanks' Top Lineup Scary and Effective

Thursday, September 28th 2006, 5:19 am
By: News On 6

The lineup the New York Yankees put out against the Baltimore Orioles was so good that the player with the second best average in the AL was batting 9th. Was it any wonder they scored 16 runs?

The Yankees sent their top lineup out for the first time this season, flexing their offensive muscle in a 16-5 victory over visiting Baltimore on Wednesday with a display that likely sent shivers down the spines of potential playoff opponents.

``Wow! I haven't seen a lineup like this,'' Johnny Damon said.

Neither has anyone else in the American League. Each of the 9 players has been an All-Star at least once in their careers and they didn't disappoint, with every starter getting at least 1 hit and scoring at least 1 run.

Damon, Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu, Jorge Posada, and Robinson Cano all homered.

``The best lineup I've seen in my life,'' Baltimore catcher Ramon Hernandez said. ``When the # 2 hitter in the league is hitting 9th, that's telling you something.''

In other AL games, it was: Toronto 7, Detroit 4; Kansas City 6, Minnesota 4; Oakland 7, Seattle 6 in 10 innings; Tampa Bay 11, Boston 0; Chicago 2, Cleveland 1 in 8 innings; and Los Angeles 6, Texas 5.

Chien-Ming Wang (19-6), selected by the Yankees to start next week's playoff opener, tied Minnesota's Johan Santana for the major league lead in wins, allowing 4 runs and 10 hits over 6 innings in his regular season finale.

It was more than enough.

The lineup was a long time in the making. Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui are back after missing most of the season with wrist injuries, joining Abreu, acquired in late July from Philadelphia. Giambi returned Wednesday following a 6 game absence caused by a torn ligament in his left wrist.

He erased a 1-0 deficit in the 2nd inning with his 37th homer, a 2 run drive down the right field line off Kris Benson (11-12).

Abreu homered for the third straight day, a solo shot in the 5 run 3rd that included Posada's 3 run drive. Damon homered leading off the 5 run 4th, Cano connected for a 2 run homer off Winston Abreu in the 6th and Derek Jeter nearly joined them in the 7th, when he doubled off the center field wall.

``We,'' manager Joe Torre said, ``can score some runs.''

Blue Jays 7, Tigers 4

At Detroit, Ted Lilly (15-13) pitched 6 strong innings and Toronto hit 4 home runs, but the Tigers held on to their 1 game lead over Minnesota in the AL Central.

Detroit's magic number for clinching the division is 3. If the Tigers and Twins finished tied for 1st, Detroit would get the division title because it won the season series 11-8.

B.J. Ryan pitched the 9th for his 36th save.

Detroit's Nate Robertson (13-13) allowed 6 runs and 10 hits, including 4 homers, in 4 2-3 innings.

Bengie Molina hit a 3 run homer, his 19th, in the 1st. The Blue Jays made it 6-0 with solo homers by Gregg Zaun, Troy Glaus and Aaron Hill.

Royals 6, Twins 4

At Minneapolis, David DeJesus and Mike Sweeney homered, and Mark Redman pitched 8 strong innings for Kansas City, which ended an 8 game losing streak.

Redman (11-10) allowed 3 runs and 9 hits for the Royals. Joe Nelson worked the 9th for his 9th save, allowing a leadoff homer to Michael Cuddyer.

Carlos Silva (10-15) lasted 4 innings for the Twins, whose 4 game winning streak was snapped.

Devil Rays 11, Red Sox 0

At Boston, Tim Corcoran allowed 4 hits over 6 2-3 innings and Rocco Baldelli hit a 3 run homer during Tampa Bay's 9 run 7th.

Boston's David Ortiz, who had homered in his last 3 home games and 4 of 7 overall to establish a club record with 54, walked his first 3 times up and flied out in the 8th.

Corcoran (5-9), winless in 12 starts since the All-Star break, walked 5 and struck out 7. He was booed each time he walked Ortiz.

Josh Beckett (16-11) gave up 8 runs and 8 hits in 6 2-3 innings.

White Sox 2, Indians 1, 8 innings, rain

At Cleveland, Brandon McCarthy (4-7) struck out 8 in his first start in more than 4 months to help Chicago to the rain shortened win.

The White Sox had the bases loaded and 1 out in the 8th inning when play was stopped. The umpires waited 1 hour, 58 minutes, before calling the game.

Charlie Haeger worked 1 2-3 innings for his first save in 6 career appearances.

Ross Gload hit his third homer with 2 outs in the 1st against Fausto Carmona (1-10) to put Chicago ahead 1-0. Alex Cintron's bases loaded sacrifice fly made it 2-0 in the 6th inning.

Angels 6, Rangers 5

At Anaheim, California, Tim Salmon, playing out the final week of his major league career, hit his 299th home run and Howie Kendrick drove in the go ahead run in the 7th inning off C.J. Wilson (2-4).

Mark Teixeira had 2 homers, his 31st and 32nd, and 5 RBIs for the Rangers.

Brendan Donnelly (6-0) pitched 1 1-3 perfect innings in relief of Jered Weaver, who allowed 5 runs and 10 hits over 6 2-3 innings.

Francisco Rodriguez got 3 outs for his major league leading 45th save.

Athletics 7, Mariners 6, 10 innings

At Seattle, Bobby Kielty hit an RBI double in the 10th inning after Dan Johnson had a tying triple in the 9th to lead Oakland one day after it clinched the AL West, its first division title since 2003.

Hiram Bocachica led off the 10th with a single against George Sherrill (2-4), went to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Kielty's double.

Jay Witasick (1-0) pitched a perfect 9th for the win and Huston Street got 3 outs for his 37th save.