Yankees Stop Astros Streak, Moose's Losing Streak

Mike Mussina finally picked up his eighth win of the season, snapping a five-game winless streak and the Yankees played fundamentally-sound baseball for the entire game, halting Houston's win streak at seven games. Jorge Posada homered and Hideki Matsui displayed some fancy footwork as the Yankees took the first game of the series 5-3.

The Yankees took advantage of a lucky hop in the fifth inning to jump out in front. With Alfonso Soriano at first base, Derek Jeter slapped a grounder to second base. Houston second baseman Jeff Kent couldn't handle the strange hop that the ball took and was only able to get Jeter instead of turning two.

Jason Giambi then singled home Soriano to put the Yankees out in front, and Jorge Posada followed with a two-run homerun to give New York a 3-0 lead. Posada's blast was his fifteenth of the season.

Mussina held down the hard-hitting Astros for most of the game. He only made one mistake on a pitch to center fielder Craig Biggio, which Biggio knocked out of the park for a two-run homer.

In the sixth inning, Matsui showed off his dancing skills. The hot-hitting Japanese import knocked a double to right to lead off the inning, then moved to third on a groundout. Raul Mondesi hit a grounder to third base, and Matsui appeared to be hung up. Third baseman Morgan Ensberg went to tag him, but Matsui dodged out of the way and took off for home. Ensberg, thinking he had made the play, threw to first to get Mondesi and looked surprised when Matsui was called safe at home.

Matsui continued his good play of late, going 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Mussina (8-4) lasted seven innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out six. The one walk was an intentional pass handed out to Lance Berkman. The win was his first in over a month, stopping a career-high winless skid. Antonio Osuna relieved him to start the eighth and gave up a homerun to Ensberg on his first pitch.

Mariano Rivera picked up just his sixth save of the season, working a perfect ninth and striking out two. The Yankees had been having trouble getting to Rivera, but the closer notched his second save in four games.

Wade Miller (4-7) took the loss for Houston. Miller allowed five runs on seven hits and four walks over seven innings while striking out five. He was coming off of two straight excellent starts, but ran into a revitalized Yankee offense.

Game two of the three-game series is on Wednesday at 7:05 pm. Jeff Weaver (3-4, 5.30) will take the hill for the Yankees, rejoining the rotation after Jose Contreras was placed on the disabled list with a strained shoulder. Roy Oswalt (4-4, 3.10), the Astros' ace pitcher, will get the start for Houston, looking to get his team back in the series.

Notes: The Yankees released Juan Acevedo before the game, three days after he allowed a three-run homerun to foil Roger Clemens' latest bid at 300 wins, and two days after making a costly throwing error against the Cubs … Jason Anderson and Al Reyes were recalled from AAA Columbus to replace Acevedo and Contreras on the roster … This was the first game between the Yankees and Astros during the regular season … It was also the Astros' first Interleague loss of the season.

Subscribe to PinstripesPlus.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Total Access Pass, ESPN the Magazine, and all premium content on PinstripesPlus.com, Scout™ Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all TheInsiders.com Websites, and Player Pages, detailing the progress and careers of players from high school, the minors, and the pro ranks.

Sample the PinstripesPlus.com Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 5 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual PinstripesPlus.com Total Access Pass™ at $79.95.

Subscribe to PinstripesPlus.com

Pinstripes Plus Top Stories