August 10, 2006

Johnson flirts with no-hitter in narrow Yankees win

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Randy Johnson took a no-hitter into
the seventh inning and Melky Cabrera, Bobby Abreu and Robinson
Cano homered as the New York Yankees stormed to a big lead then
held on to edge the Chicago White Sox 7-6 on Wednesday.

With Johnson holding the world series champions without a
hit through six innings and the Yankees cruising along with 5-0
lead New York appeared headed to an easy win at U.S. Cellular

But the White Sox ruined Johnson's no-hit bid in the
seventh, scoring two runs, then pushed across four more in the
eighth to force all-star closer Mariano Rivera to record the
final four outs and escape with the win.

For six spotless innings Johnson (12-9) flirted with his
third career no-hitter until Tadahito Iguchi led off the
seventh with a single up the middle.

Two batters later Paul Konerko spoiled the shutout with a
ground rule double to score Iguchi.

After Jermaine Dye doubled off Johnson to score Jim Thome
that was the end of the night for the "Big Unit" as Yankees
manager Joe Torre went to his bullpen.

That was the start of a wild finish.

The White Sox battered New York relievers in the eighth,
Iguchi connecting on a solo home run and Joe Crede following up
with a three-run shot.

But Rivera, who blew just his third save in 31 chances on
Tuesday, came on to slam the door and seal the Yankees' sixth
win in eight games, stretching their lead to three games over
the Boston Red Sox atop the AL east.


In Oakland, Mark DeRosa belted a pair of three-run homers
and Vicente Padilla tossed seven shutout innings to help the
Texas Rangers pound the Athletics 14-0.

Recently acquired slugger Carlos Lee, Rod Barajas and Gary
Matthews Jr. contributed a solo home run each to pull the
Rangers out of a four-game losing skid.

Lee's home run was his first since the slugger was acquired
by the Rangers from Milwaukee on July 28.

DeRosa finished with a career-high six RBI, three coming
off his second homer that keyed seven-run sixth inning.

Padilla (12-7) was brilliant, scattering six hits over
seven innings while striking out six with one walk before
turning the game over to Ron Mahay, who tossed two perfect
innings to complete the shutout.