Yankees' batters reign in soaking of Cardinals

Sunday, June 15, 2003

NEW YORK -- Thanks to Jason Giambi and Hideki Matsui, the runs came as fast as the rain for the New York Yankees.

Giambi hit a pair of two-run homers and Matsui had four RBIs as the Yankees roughed up the Cardinals 13-4 on a damp Saturday.

Ruben Sierra and Raul Mondesi also homered as the Yankees won their third in a row since manager Joe Torre called a team meeting after New York was no-hit by a record six Houston pitchers.

"When you're on the bench, you can feel a lot more electricity," Torre said.

With rain already falling and winds swirling as a storm approached, Matsui got the big hit in the first inning. His three-run double with two outs made it 3-0, and a pitch later the umpires called for the tarp. A delay of 1 hour, 27 minutes followed.

"We didn't slow down after the rain," Giambi said.

Giambi homered in the second inning and Matsui hit an RBI single for an 8-2 lead. Giambi's homer made it 10-2 in the third and the recently acquired Sierra homered for the second straight day in the fourth.

Along with his two homers, Giambi singled and walked twice. He began the day with one homer at Yankee Stadium all season. Giambi has three multihomer games this year and 22 in his career.

"You know it's just a matter of time," Torre said.

Bothered by an eye infection, Giambi was hitting below .200 recently. But the former AL MVP has reached base in 22 straight games and raised his average to .240.

"Not having to take the drops anymore, my eyes have cleared up," he said.

A day after Roger Clemens earned his 300th career victory and got his 4,000th strikeout, the Yankees won with hitting. New York built an 11-2 lead after four innings, and that let Andy Pettitte (6-6) coast.

Former Yankees star Tino Martinez did the only damage for the Cardinals, twice hitting two-run homers and drawing a big cheer from the crowd of 55,174 each time.

"You play hard for them and win, they appreciate it and remember it," Martinez said.

Matt Morris (7-4) leads the NL with four complete games, but the New York bats and the bad weather combined to chase him after just two outs.

Morris, who felt tightness behind his shoulder after his last start, did not return following the delay. He said manager Tony La Russa made the right call in pulling him, but Morris was disappointed -- he grew up in nearby Middletown, N.Y.

"I was lobbying for this start anyway, and the rain made it difficult," he said.

Instead, La Russa called on Brett Tomko, who was scheduled to start Monday at Milwaukee.

Tomko gave up an RBI single to Sierra in the first and basically took one for the team, absorbing a nine-run, 12-hit pounding over 5 1/3 innings. All four Yankees homers came against him.

La Russa praised Tomko for staying out there, calling him "our hero."

Pettitte was pulled after seven innings. He gave up two runs and five hits, striking out eight and walking one.

He had won only once in his previous seven starts and was tagged for six runs in 1 2/3 innings last Sunday night at Wrigley Field.

"I felt strong to start with," said Pettitte, who threw into a net in the clubhouse during the delay.

Notes: Despite losing two straight days in the Bronx, the Cardinals are 9-8 at Yankee Stadium. That includes five World Series. ... Former Yankees C Joe Girardi got a big ovation when he entered in the sixth inning for St. Louis. His picture was flashed on the scoreboard and he waved to the fans. ... Matsui tied a season high with four RBIs. ... The Cardinals gave up 13 runs for the second time in four days. They lost 13-1 at Boston on Wednesday.

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