Yankees Sweep Cards Off The Table

For the first five innings, the final game of the Yankees and Cardinals' series was a pitchers duel between two eight-game winners: Mike Mussina and Woody Williams. The Yankees broke the game open with four runs in the sixth and went on to win 5-2. Mussina picked up his second straight win and the Yankees swept the Cardinals in their first-ever regular-season meeting.

After Williams and Mussina finished cruising through the first two innings, the Yankees finally got on the board in the third. With one out, Derek Jeter reached first on a fielder's choice. The Yankee shortstop stole second base and scored on Jason Giambi's single to left, sliding under Cardinals catcher Joe Girardi's tag to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead.

The Cardinals came right back in the next inning when Albert Pujols launched his 18th homerun of the season to left field to tie the game. With two outs, Tino Martinez walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on Edgar Renteria's infield single and scored on Kerry Robinson's single to center.

Robinson was a late addition to the lineup in centerfield because Jim Edmonds was bothered by a stomach virus.

But those would be the only runs that St. Louis would muster against Mussina. The Moose (9-4) lasted eight innings, allowing just the two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out five.

In the sixth inning, the Yankees finally broke away from the Cards. Jason Giambi and Jorge Posada – who walked three times in the game – walked to lead off the inning. Robin Ventura fouled off five pitches from Williams before finally lining a double into right centerfield. Both runners scored to put the Yankees ahead 3-2.

Hideki Matsui scored Ventura with a single of his own, and then scored four pitches later on a Ruben Sierra double that capped the scoring at 5-2.

Matsui collected a total of two hits in the game, his fourth consecutive two-hit game. He has raised his average to .289 for the season and he is hitting .431 in the month of June.

Mariano Rivera came on to pitch the ninth, and used just three pitches to record his ninth save of the year. His first pitch hit Pujols, his second induced a ground ball from Martinez that turned into a double play. And with his third he got Edmonds – pinch-hitting for Wilson Delgado – to ground out to second to end the game and complete the sweep.

Williams (8-2) was charged with the loss, allowing five runs on six hits and an uncharacteristic six walks over 5 1/3 innings. He also struck out two batters.

Jason Isringhausen pitched the eighth inning in just his second appearance of the season. The Cardinals closer was on the disabled list after undergoing surgery on his shoulder.

The Yankees, who have now won four in a row since they were no-hit last Wednesday by Houston, have a day off on Monday before facing Tampa Bay in a four-game series at home. The first two games are on Tuesday in a day/night double header. Game one is at 1:05 pm and will see the matchup of Jeff Weaver (3-5, 5.45) and Dewon Brazelton (1-5, 6.75). David Wells (8-2, 3.63) pitches the second game for the Yankees. He will face Tampa Bay's Jeremi Gonzalez (2-2, 3.25)

Notes: Cardinal 3B Scott Rolen left the game in the seventh inning with a stiff neck … Matsui made a fantastic catch in centerfield, going back on a ball and catching it over his shoulder … Mussina retired the last 13 batters that he faced.

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