NEW YORK (AP) -- Jason Giambi didn't take long to put his name
next to Babe Ruth's in New York Yankees lore.
Giambi hit a grand slam through the rain in the 14th inning
Friday night, rallying the New York Yankees to a 13-12 victory over
the Minnesota Twins.
"This is the setup we've been waiting for since we signed Jason
Giambi," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "I don't know how many
times I've been asked when is he going to have his defining
He just did.
According to the Yankees, it was the 21st time a player has hit
a game-ending grand slam with his team down three runs. Babe Ruth
was the only previous Yankee to do it, on Sept. 24, 1925.
"Well that's not too shabby," said Giambi, who hadn't found
his groove after signing a $120 million contract with the Yankees
in the offseason. "I was just trying to keep the rally going, hit
a single. I just got a ball out over the plate."
The Yankees hit six homers, including a tying solo shot by
Bernie Williams with one out in the ninth. But New York stranded
nine runners in the first four extra innings and gave up three runs
in the 14th before winning in the bottom half.
|“||This is the setup we've been waiting for since we signed Jason Giambi. I don't know how many times I've been asked when is he going to have his defining moment. ”|
|— Yankees manager Joe Torre|
"It certainly made everything worthwhile," Torre said. "This
was such a frustrating game with a five-run lead all those chances
in extra innings."
and Derek Jeter singled with one out. Williams walked to bring up
Giambi, who had been thrown out at the plate in the 13th trying to
making a perfect relay after Torii Hunter's throw.
With only a few thousand fans left from a crowd of 39,470,
Giambi hit a shot into the right-center field bleachers that set
off a wild celebration.
"I had taken a lot of first pitches and I thought I'd try to
get the first one there," Giambi said.
The Yankees poured out of the dugout as Giambi rounded the bases
and mobbed him as he crossed the plate.
"Jason Giambi looks like Babe Ruth," Hunter said. "He swings
just like him from the left side. He's a great hitter."
The Twins walked off the field dejected after falling to 0-4
against the Yankees this season.
"My teammates battled for five hours and I gave it away in 10
minutes," Trombley said. "I just didn't get it done."
New York tied the team record for most homers in a game at
Yankee Stadium, doing it for the third time ever and first since
also homered. The Yankees have 20 homers in the past five games, a
team record, and lead the majors with 68 this season.
Sterling Hitchcock (1-0) got the win despite allowing three runs
had run-scoring hits in the inning.
The game lasted 5 hours, 45 minutes, ending on the 494th pitch.
"We thought we had this game in the bag," Hunter said. "But
once again the Yankees showed they can come back and bite you."
Trailing 8-3 to nemesis Mike Mussina in the sixth, the Twins
scored six runs in the inning, going 7-for-7 at the plate, with two
outs coming on sacrifices and one on the bases.
Mussina, 18-2 in his career against Minnesota, had retired nine
straight batters before Brian Buchanan led off the sixth with a
high popup. The ball fell for a double when Jeter, the shortstop,
miscommunicated with left fielder Rondell White.
The next five batters got hits, with run-scoring singles by
Kielty, Hocking and Jones, and an RBI double by A.J. Pierzynski
making it 8-7.
David Ortiz added a sacrifice fly and Buchanan hit an RBI
Rick Reed, who allowed four homers in 4 2-3 innings against the
Yankees on Sunday, gave up three more. Williams' solo homer gave
New York a 1-0 lead in the first.
After the Twins scored three in the second, Ventura hit a
two-run homer into the batter's-eye black section in center field
in the fourth.
With two on and one out later in the inning, Soriano hit a long
drive to left-center. Jones, who made two leaping catches in left
field earlier in the game, broke the wrong way on the ball but used
his speed to recover. He leaped at the wall and the ball bounced
out of his glove and over the fence for Soriano's 10th homer.
Williams has two multihomer games this season and 15th for
his career. ... Reed gave up six runs -- five earned -- and eight
hits in four innings. ... Mussina gave up seven runs and nine hits
in five-plus innings -- the most runs he's allowed since giving up
eight in a 12-2 loss to Texas on Aug. 2. ... Ventura's homer was
the 23rd in the regular season to reach the black section at the
remodeled Yankee Stadium, which opened in 1976.