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Yankees lean on Mussina in their eighth win in row

June 14, 2007|From the Associated Press

NEW YORK — Yankees Manager Joe Torre knew exactly what to do after he lifted Mike Mussina in the eighth inning Wednesday night.

"I said, 'I got you tired this time,' " Torre recalled, "and he had a little smile on his face."

Mussina earned his first win in more than a month, Alex Rodriguez hit his major league-leading 25th homer and New York beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 7-2, to extend its season-high winning streak to eight.

Hideki Matsui hit a three-run drive and Jorge Posada also connected for New York (32-31), which has won 11 of 13 to move above .500 for the first time since it was 8-7 on April 20.

"There is a lot of confidence in this clubhouse," Rodriguez said. "It starts with the pitching and defense obviously, and timely hitting."

Mussina (3-3) gave up two runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings to earn his first win since beating Texas on May 9.

"It was a good night to get up to 100 [pitches] or so and felt like I could do mostly what I wanted to do," Mussina said. "Threw a lot of strikes, got a lot of breaking balls over, and when you get seven runs to work with, you don't worry so much about the solo home runs."

Mussina finished with a season-high seven strikeouts in his 242nd win, moving into sole possession of 50th place on the career list. Juan Marichal is 49th with 243 wins.

"I'm really happy for him because I know that he's such a perfectionist that when it's not going the way he feels it should, with his stuff, then he really fights himself," Torre said. "But tonight was good."

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