Sports

Former Bronx Bomber Helps Beat Yankees

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Jason Giambi

By HOWIE RUMBERG   AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Jason Giambi hit a long homer against his former
team and Ubaldo Jimenez overcame early wildness to pitch seven
impressive innings, leading the Colorado Rockies to a 4-2 victory
Friday night over New York in a rare trip to the Bronx.

Troy Tulowitzki homered again in New York City and Todd Helton
hit an RBI single for Colorado. No. 9 batter Chris Iannetta walked
three times and scored a run. The Rockies were swept by the Yankees
in a three-game series in 2004, their only other trip to the Bronx.

A.J. Burnett (7-6) became the first pitcher in Yankees history
to strike out four batters in one inning when he followed up three
ineffective innings with the major league record-tying performance
in the sixth.

The gangly right-hander struck out Iannetta and Carlos Gonzalez
looking before Chris Nelson swung at a pitch in the dirt. The wild
pitch bounced off catcher Russell Martin and went to the backstop,
allowing Nelson to reach base. Helton struck out swinging to end
the inning.

Seattle’s Felix Hernandez was the last to strike out four in a
game _ in the eighth inning on June 3, 2010, against Minnesota.
Giambi answered the Bleacher Creatures after they gave him the
rare honor of chanting a visiting player’s name in the first
inning. He crushed a drive into their section deep in the
right-center bleachers with an out in the second. Fans did not
throw the ball back as is usually done for an opponent’s home run.

It was Giambi’s first visit to New York since he came with
Oakland in 2009, the season after finishing his seven-year contract
with the Yankees. He finished 3 for 4 with a walk and two runs
scored before being lifted to applause for a pinch runner in the
ninth.

Tulowitzki wears No. 2 in part as a tribute to Derek Jeter and
was hoping the Yankees’ shortstop would get his 3,000th hit while
the Rockies were in town. But Jeter is on the disabled list with a
calf strain and it is not certain that he’ll even be ready to be
activated when he is eligible to come off the DL on June 29.

The Big Apple has been good to Tulowitzki this year. He homered
in four straight games against the Mets in April and has hit five
of his 14 homers in New York. He connected off Burnett in the
fifth.

Jimenez (3-7) walked Curtis Granderson twice in the first three
innings and Alex Rodriguez drove him in both times _ a double in
the first and a sacrifice fly in the third. But after the third,
Jimenez started relying more on his changeup and a curveball.
Jimenez, whose last outing was cut short by a leg cramp, allowed
two runs and four hits to lower his road ERA to 2.16 in six starts
this season.

Huston Street gave up a hit in the ninth and got two fly balls
to die in the strong wind to finish for his 23rd save.
Burnett walked five, all in the third and fourth innings, but he
limited the Rockies to two runs on an RBI single by Helton and a
run-scoring groundout to Ty Wigginton.

Helton hit a one-out single with the bases loaded, but
Tulowitzki ended the threat with a double-play grounder to
Rodriguez.

Wigginton grounded out to third for a 3-2 lead after Giambi
walked and Seth Smith doubled to open the fourth.
Burnett allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings. He
struck out five and walked five.

NOTES: Yankees RHP Bartolo Colon (hamstring), threw 31 pitches
in his first bullpen session. He also ran sprints in the outfield
for the second consecutive day and is scheduled to throw 50 pitches
in a simulated game Monday. … Giambi hit 95 home runs at the old
Yankee Stadium.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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