Surprise Surprise, Yanks Use Long Ball Again

This was one game Arizona was dying to win. In the off-season, David Wells was thisclose to signing with the Diamondbacks. But after meeting with George Steinbrenner, Wells knew that he belonged in pinstripes. Even with the extra motivation of facing the player who broke a handshake to join the World Series champs, Arizona failed to overcome three home runs and the solid pitching performance by Wells, as the Yanks defeated the D'Backs 6-4.

The Yanks gave Wells an early lead, as Jason Giambi gave the Yanks a 1-0 advantage with a home run to left center in the first inning.

In the fourth inning, Diamondbacks starter Brian Anderson ran into trouble, as Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada laced consecutive singles with one out. Robin Ventura followed with the first of his two key hits, a double to deep left field, as Williams scored and Posada advanced to third to give the Yanks a 2-0 lead. But they were not done yet, as Nick Johnson blasted a two out home run to left center, to make the score 5-0.

Two innings later, Ventura cracked his 15th home run, a solo shot to right field. That was the end of Anderson's night, as he was replaced by veteran Mike Morgan.

David Wells started the game brilliantly, retiring 15 of the first 16 batters he faced with relative ease, and was cruising with a five run cushion. Down but not out, Arizona staged a comeback, led by Luis Gonzalez. After giving up two lead off walks to Tony Womack and Alex Cintron, Womack tried to score on a single by Quinton McCracken. An excellent throw by Shane Spencer in right field to Posada at the plate saved a run, as a sliding Womack was tagged out. Gonzalez followed with a double to right which scored Cintron, but another strong throw by Spencer kept McCracken at third, and prevented another run from scoring. What Spencer could not do at the plate (as he was 0-4 with 2 strikeouts), he did in the field.

Wells ran into more trouble in the 8th, when Cintron led off the inning with a single, and Craig Counell grounding the ball to second basemen Enrique Wilson who was subbing for Alfonso Soriano. Wilson tried to quickly turn a double play, but Jeter dropped the overhand toss from Wilson, while everyone was safe on Jeter's error. The mistake turned out to be costly, as two batters later Gonzalez followed with an upper deck home run to bring the D'Backs within two runs.

Ramiro Mendoza replaced Wells, who left to a mostly standing ovation by the Yankee crowd. Mendoza again made the most of his work, as he retired the remaining five batters for his first save of the season.

In the ballgame, every Yankee starter got a hit except for Spencer, and rookie Marcus Thames who homered off of Randy Johnson just one day ago.

In the final game of the three game series, Mike Mussina (9-2, 4.02 ERA) will face off against Miguel Batista (3-3, 4.81) as the Yanks will try to finish up a sweep of the defending champions.

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