By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Derek Jeter had a pair of RBI singles, Alex
Rodriguez drove in three runs and the New York Yankees pounded out
a season-high 18 hits in beating the slumping Cleveland Indians for
the third straight time, 9-1 on Sunday.
Jeter singled during a five-run fifth inning and again during a
three-run eighth, closing within seven hits of 3,000. The Yankees’
captain has four more games during their homestand to reach the
milestone before the team heads out on a six-game road trip.
Curtis Granderson went 4 for 4 and drove in a pair of runs, and
Brett Gardner had a pair of doubles, a triple and scored three
times. A-Rod closed within two runs of Hall of Famer Ted Williams
for 16th place on the major league scoring list.
Freddie Garcia (5-5) didn’t need all that offense, wiggling out
of jams just about every inning while beating Cleveland for the
first time in seven tries. He allowed one run while pitching into
the seventh inning, with six strikeouts and two walks.
The Indians have lost nine of their last 10 after a hot start,
though they held onto first place in the AL Central by a sliver
after Detroit also lost Sunday. Cleveland will try to avoid a
four-game sweep Monday night.
Orlando Cabrera reached 2,000 career hits with a single in the
second inning, a hard shot at Jeter that hopped over the
shortstop’s shoulder and into left field.
That was the biggest highlight of the afternoon for Indians, who
stole five bases and kept getting guys into scoring position but
repeatedly failed to score.
Josh Tomlin (7-4) did his best to keep the Indians in the game,
but his defense failed him in the fifth inning and New York pushed
five runs across.
Gardner led off the inning with a double that right fielder
Shin-Soo Choo lost in the flat, gray sky. Jeter followed with his
RBI single and Granderson singled before A-Rod hit a fly ball that
left fielder Austin Kearns woefully misjudged for a two-run double.
Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher followed with RBI singles, the
second of which it appeared first baseman Matt LaPorta could have
fielded. Jorge Posada’s sacrifice fly made it 6-0.
Cleveland had wasted plenty of scoring chances by then.
Cabrera was stranded on second in the second inning, and
Asdrubal Cabrera was left standing on third base in the third. Choo
reached third the following inning, and the Indians put runners on
second in the fifth and sixth innings without getting them home.
They finally coaxed a run across off Garcia in the seventh, and
loaded the bases against reliever Boone Logan, before Choo lined
out to shortstop to end the inning.
There appeared to be no lingering animosity a day after
Rodriguez was hit in the thigh by a pitch, and two days after Mark
Teixeira was hit and the benches cleared.
New York batters had been hit eight times over the first five
games of the homestand, including one in each of the previous five
contests. That streak was one shy of the franchise’s longest since
1920, set in May 2006 and matched last August and September.
NOTES: The Yankees put RHP Bartolo Colon (strained right
hamstring) and RHP Amauri Sanit (sore right elbow) on the DL before
the game. OF Chris Dickerson and RHP Hector Noesi joined the
Yankees from Triple-A. … Indians DH Travis Hafner (strained right
oblique) took BP before the game. … Jets coach Rex Ryan attended
the game wearing a pinstripe jersey. … New York is a major
league-best 17-3 in day games. … Tomlin allowed six runs in five
innings. … Jeter came out for a pinch runner in the eighth inning
to a nice round of applause.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)