Escobar Defeats Mussina, Yankees Lose In The Rain

Kelvim Escobar out-pitched the Yankee's Mike Mussina and Mike Bordick drove in two runs against his former teammate as the Blue Jays sent New York to their fifth-straight home loss 6-2.

The Yankees made some noise early, taking advantage of the weapons they had left in their depleted arsenal. Alfonso Soriano led off the game with a bunt single and stole second base. After Juan Rivera moved him to third, Soriano scored on Jason Giambi's RBI double to make the score 1-0.

Unfortunately for Yankees fans, they wouldn't have much more reason to cheer – and they haven't for some time now.

Rivera was called up from triple-A to replace Bernie Williams. Williams was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a torn muscle in his knee and will require surgery. Rivera started the game in left field – Hideki Matsui took over in center – and went 1-4 on the night.

The Yankees were also without Derek Jeter Friday night. Jeter was scratched from the lineup shortly before the game after feeling some tightness in his hamstring. The tightness was likely a result of the ugly weather in New York, and the move was precautionary.

After the first inning, Escobar (2-1) kept the Yankee bats under control. The converted closer picked up the win after throwing five innings, allowing just the one run on three hits and four walks while striking out four batters. The win was Escobar's first win as a starter since August 25, 2001 when he shut out the Baltimore Orioles.

Bordick knocked in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the second inning off of Mussina, his former teammate on the Orioles. The hit extended Bordick's hit streak to 11 consecutive games, tying his career high, and was also part of a three-run Blue Jays rally that put the Yankees away for good.

The Jays added on runs in the fourth, seventh and eighth innings to make the score 6-1.

Mussina (7-3) was charged with the loss for his sub-par performance. The Moose had been going for his Major-League-leading eighth victory, but allowed four runs in six innings on seven hits and two walks to deny him that distinction.

Pete Waker, Tanyon Sturtze and Jeff Tam combined to throw three scoreless innings of relief for the Jays, but Cliff Politte was tagged for a homerun by Raul Mondesi in the ninth inning to make the score 6-2.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Sturtze hit Jorge Posada in the foot with a pitch. Posada had been hit twice the night before and seemed displeased on his way to first base. Sturtze left the game for Tam, who got Matsui to ground into a double play. Posada slid hard into second base while being called out and shoved Mike Bordick. Posada was ejected for his actions and John Flaherty caught the ninth inning.

Posada isn't the only frustrated Yankee. The Bronx Bombers lost for the ninth time in twelve games, and have lost nine of their last ten home games. The loss Friday night, coupled with Boston's victory over Cleveland, dropped the Yankees out of first place in the AL East for the first time since the middle of last season.

David Wells (6-1, 3.07) will try to get the tail-spinning Yankees under control Saturday afternoon. Wells has a career record of 38-14 at Yankee Stadium and will try to halt the Yankees current losing streak there. He will be opposed by the Blue Jays' Cory Lidle (7-2, 4.68) in game three of the four-game series, which is Saturday at 4:05 pm.

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