Fogg cools off Yankees
DENVER ” Josh Fogg won for the first time at Coors Field this season, holding the New York Yankees to four hits over seven stellar innings in the Colorado Rockies’ 3-1 win Tuesday night.
Fogg (3-5) had gone 0-3 with a 6.66 ERA at home before befuddling the Yankees much the way he did Boston’s hitters last week, when he beat Curt Schilling and the Red Sox 12-2 at Fenway Park.
This time, he outdueled Mike Mussina (3-4), who allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings on an unusually warm evening in the Rocky Mountains.
The Yankees loaded the bases in the eighth off reliever Manual Corpas. LaTroy Hawkins relieved to face Jorge Posada, who had been 5-for-13 off him in the regular season, and Posada bounced a one-hopper to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for an inning-ending forceout. ‘
Brian Fuentes pitched the ninth for his 19th save in 21 chances, allowing a leadoff double to Hideki Matsui before retiring three in a row.
With Mussina on the mound, Wil Nieves was behind the plate and Posada started at first base for the first time in six seasons. He made a couple of nifty plays, one of them a leaping grab of shortstop Derek Jeter’s high throw just before Yorvit Torrealba’s solo homer, his third of the season, gave the Rockies a 3-1 lead in the sixth.
The Rockies, who have won a club record-tying five straight series, used their 1-2 punch of speed at the top of their lineup to take a 2-1 lead after the Yankees got on the board first.
Rodriguez singled in the second, took third when center fielder Willy Taveras misplayed Posada’s fly ball into a double and scored on Matsui’s groundout.
After escaping the second inning with just one run coming across, Fogg found himself in trouble again in the third when he walked Bobby Abreu after Jeter’s two-out double, but he struck out A-Rod and then retired 12 of his next 13 hitters.
Colorado tied it in the third when Taveras reached on his major league-leading 21st bunt single, stole second and scored on Garrett Atkins’ single to center. Matt Holliday broke the tie in the fifth when he singled to right, driving in Kaz Matsui, who also singled and stole second base off Nieves.
This was nothing like the Yankees’ last visit to Blake Street, in 2002, when Coors Canaveral was still the norm and balls flew out of the ballpark with regularity.
There were several records that still stand from the Yankees’ last visit, including most runs in a three-game series (70), most runs by an opposing team (41) and biggest attendance (146,530).
They packed the place again Tuesday night to see the Bronx’ Bombers bring their show to Blake Street in a series that pitted the hottest teams from each league, both recovering from slow starts, the Yankees having gone 14-3 since May 30 and the Rockies having posted a 7-0-1 mark in their last eight series.
Posada, usually New York’s starting catcher, took dozens of ground balls at first before the game. It was his 12th career start at first base and his first since June 25, 2001, according to Elias Sports Bureau. With the sun in his eyes, he wore sunglasses in the first inning and made a clean grab on Jeter’s throw following Taveras’ grounder to shortstop.
“I just wanted his bat in there,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “And having played him there before, it’s not to me as much of a gamble. The only thing we needed for him to do was be comfortable doing it. And he’s convinced me he is.”
Posada went back behind the plate to start the bottom of the seventh.
Torre also stuck with Melky Cabrera in center field because Johnny Damon is still hurting from an abdominal strain he sustained last week. Damon, also slowed by leg injuries, has been serving as the team’s designated hitter in the absence of injured Jason Giambi but the Yankees can’t use a DH in NL parks.
Damon entered at first base on a double-switch in the seventh and flied out to center in the eighth.
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