Yankees having a blast

They hit 3 HRs; win streak at 8

The Yankees' Alex Rodriguez reacts as he is hit by a pitch from Jeremy Guthrie. The Yankees' Alex Rodriguez reacts as he is hit by a pitch from Jeremy Guthrie. (Ray Stubblebine/ Reuters)
Associated Press / May 21, 2009
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Nick Swisher is walking around in a mohawk. A.J. Burnett has been pelting teammates with whipped cream pies. Derek Jeter sat on the jury in Kangaroo Court.

So much for the straight-laced pinstripes of old.

Shedding their corporate image, the New York Yankees are reveling in this winning streak with a childlike enthusiasm.

"It's been a great run for us," Swisher said. "I think having fun creates winning."

Swisher hit the first of three consecutive homers that sent Phil Hughes and the host Yankees to their eighth straight victory, 11-4 over the Baltimore Orioles last night.

Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera also hit solo shots to right field in the second inning against starter Jeremy Guthrie (3-4) - all with two strikes.

Cano had three hits and three RBIs, and Mark Teixeira hit a run-scoring double off the center-field fence for the Yankees, on their longest winning streak since taking eight in a row last July. New York broke it open with a six-run eighth that included Jeter's two-run double off the top of the right-field wall.

"I liked a little bit of everything," manager Joe Girardi said.

Hughes (2-2) struck out a career-high nine in five innings, limiting a Baltimore lineup that tagged him for eight runs and eight hits in 1 2/3 innings May 9.

It was an important start for the 22-year-old righthander, whose big league future is uncertain because Chien-Ming Wang appears close to coming off the disabled list.

Athletics 7, Rays 6 - Brett Anderson pitched into the seventh inning to pick up his first major league win and Orlando Cabrera was one of six Oakland players to drive in at least a run in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Anderson (1-4) gave up four runs - two earned - and four hits over six-plus innings. The victory came in his seventh career start, all coming this season.

Tampa Bay lefthander Scott Kazmir had another dismal outing, allowing seven runs, eight hits, four walks and hitting a batter in 4 1/3 innings. Over his last five starts, Kazmir has given up 31 runs - 29 earned - over 23 innings.

Indians 6, Royals 5 - Mark DeRosa had three hits and drove in the tiebreaking run in the eighth, Kerry Wood atoned for his horrid outing the night before, and Cleveland held on for a comeback victory in Kansas City.

Wood, rocked for four runs in the ninth inning Tuesday in a disheartening 6-5 loss to the Royals, walked the bases full with one out in the ninth. But he struck out Mark Teahen and David DeJesus for his sixth save in eight opportunities - his first since May 1.

Tigers 5, Rangers 3 - Justin Verlander allowed three hits in six innings and host Detroit, despite hitting into a triple play, won its fifth straight game.

Verlander (6-3) gave up one run and walked two to improve to 4-0 with a 1.02 ERA in his last five starts. He did fall short of becoming the first pitcher in Tigers history to strike out 10 or more batters in four straight starts, finishing with eight.

White Sox 7, Twins 4 - Jermaine Dye's grand slam capped a seven-run fourth inning, leading host Chicago over slumping Minnesota, which has lost six straight.

John Danks allowed five hits and two earned runs over 5 2/3 innings for the White Sox, who had lost five straight games before opening a homestand with two victories over the Twins. Danks (3-3), won for the first time in nearly a month.

Cardinals 2, Cubs 1 - In St. Louis, Chris Carpenter returned to the rotation with five scoreless innings, and Chris Duncan snapped a 1-for-21 slump with two hits and an RBI in the Cardinals' victory over Chicago.

Marlins, 8-6; Diamondbacks, 11-9 - Justin Upton hit his second three-run homer of the game in the 13th inning to help Arizona beat Florida for a split in a doubleheader overshadowed by the death of Diamondbacks pitcher Scott Schoeneweis's wife.

In the opener, Dan Uggla homered and drove in four runs in Florida's 8-6 win.

Astros 6, Brewers 4 - Wandy Rodriguez pitched seven strong innings, Miguel Tejada and Hunter Pence both had two RBIs and host Houston ended Milwaukee's seven-game winning streak.

Reds 5, Phillies 1 - Aaron Harang limited the NL's highest-scoring lineup to a solo homer, and Brandon Phillips drove in three runs, leading host Cincinnati to victory that ended Philadelphia's winning streak at five games.

Pirates 2, Nationals 1 - Pittsburgh scored on a wild pitch in the ninth inning to but host Washington's hapless bullpen for the third straight night.

Braves 12, Rockies 4 - Yunel Escobar hit a three-run homer in a nine-run fourth inning and Atlanta beat visiting Colorado for its second straight lopsided win in the series.

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