ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The old Randy Johnson responded to Joe Torre's
new motivational tactic.
A day after the New York Yankees got a tongue-lashing from their
manager, Johnson outpitched Mark Mulder in a matchup of two of the
game's best left-handers and beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-0
"I thought we played with a lot more intensity today," Derek
Jeter said. "It doesn't hurt that Randy pitched well, too."
Jeter and Alex Rodriguez each had two RBI for the Yankees in
their third victory in 11 games on a season-high 12-game trip. New
York's sloppy three-error performance in an 8-1 loss Friday night
prompted the usually even-keeled Torre to call a closed-door
"Certainly, we're closer to the team you saw today than last
night," Torre said. "Last night was just a horrible experience
for all us. We just have to build on something."
Johnson (6-5) allowed four two-out hits in seven innings to
bounce back from losses in consecutive starts. He earned his 252nd
win to pull ahead of Cardinals Hall of Famer Bob Gibson for 41st
place on the career list. Johnson struck out seven and walked none
to win for the first time in St. Louis since April 16, 2002, when
he was with the Diamondbacks.
"I think this road trip's been pretty rough for just about
everybody," Johnson said. "I felt pretty comfortable out there,
especially after we scored some early runs."
It was a much better day all-around for Torre, who received a
standing ovation when he removed a number from the right-field wall
as part of the countdown for the final year of Busch Stadium. Torre
played for six seasons in St. Louis, winning the MVP and a batting
title in 1971, and managed the Cardinals from 1990-95. He received
what amounted to a victory lap around the warning track after the
ceremony with team mascot Fredbird piloting a miniature car.
"It was much nicer to do it with a four-run lead than it would
have been otherwise," Torre said. "I always felt very close here,
especially in my playing days."
The Cardinals, who lost for just the third time in their last 20
interleague games, will be trying to win consecutive series against
the American League's highest profile teams in the finale on
Sunday. St. Louis began the week by taking two of three from the
Boston Red Sox in a World Series rematch.
"[Johnson] was really oiled up and throwing well," Cardinals
manager Tony La Russa said. "The only way to win that game was
Johnson, who had entered 1-5 on the road with a 5.35 ERA in five
start starts, dominated a lineup minus the Cardinals' top two
left-handed hitters. Jim Edmonds, banged up a bit in recent games,
and Larry Walker both got the day off despite good numbers against
Edmonds is 6-for-25 with two home runs and Walker is 11-for-28,
but manager Tony La Russa said both needed a break. Both pinch-hit
in the eighth, with Edmonds drawing a walk off Tom Gordon and
Walker taking a called third strike from Mariano Rivera for the
third out with runners on second and third.
Gordon left with two outs in the eighth after taking a grounder
off his right hand. Rivera finished the five-hitter by getting the
last four outs for his 14th straight save after blowing his first
two opportunities this season.
Mulder (7-4) lost his third straight start, allowing four runs
on seven hits in six innings. Since 2001, Mulder leads lefties with
79 victories and Johnson is second with 73.
A poor decision by Cardinals third baseman Abraham Nunez opened
the door for the Yankees' three-run fourth. With one out and
runners at first and second, Nunez had time to make at least a
forceout at third after fielding Johnson's tapper just beyond the
grass apron but instead he threw to first and the runners moved up.
"Nobody was yelling to throw it anywhere and everybody was
moving," Nunez said. "I didn't think I had an out anywhere
The next batter, Jeter, hit a two-run single and Matsui followed
with an RBI double off the right-field wall for a 4-0 lead.
Rodriguez added an RBI infield hit in the ninth.
The Yankees made no errors on Saturday and benefited from a nice
throw by Matsui in left to save a run in the fourth. Matsui easily
caught Reggie Sanders at the plate trying to score from second on
Mark Grudzielanek's line-drive single with two outs in the fourth.
The Yankees have lost eight games on a trip for the first
time since they went 3-10 from Aug. 14-27, 1995. ... A nice
recovery by Grudzielanek at 2B saved a run in the third for St.
Louis. 3B Nunez deflected Williams' infield hit with runners at
first and second to Grudzielanek, who threw to plate to put Jeter
in a rundown where he was eventually thrown out at third. ...
Johnson is 2-4 with a 2.88 ERA for his career at Busch Stadium and
6-6 with a 3.58 ERA overall against the Cardinals.
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