Yankees Rock Appier, Pettitte Wins 8th Straight

Kevin Appier (7-7) lasted just two outs into Tuesday night's game between the Yankees and Anaheim Angels. The Bombers put up four runs in the first inning to knock out Appier and Andy Pettitte (13-6) cruised to his eighth-consecutive winning decision – a new career high – as the Yankees won 6-2.

Pettitte was rolling along throughout most of the game. He had his curveball working so well that catcher Jorge Posada was having trouble handling it. On several occasions, Pettitte struck out a batter swinging, but the curve was so sharp that it bounced away from Posada. Fortunately, the catcher was able to recover and throw to first or tag the batter each time.

The left-handed Pettitte pitched eight strong innings, allowing two runs on nine hits while striking out nine batters and walking none. One of the hits was a solo homerun to Garret Anderson in the eighth inning. Pettitte also allowed a run in the third inning on three consecutive Angel singles, but he struck out the final two batters to end the inning with runners at second and third.

Appier didn't have quite the same stuff that the Yankee starter did. With two outs and Derek Jeter on first base, Appier simply came undone. He gave up a single to Bernie Williams, another base hit to Hideki Matsui, and a third straight one to Posada before walking Nick Johnson to load the bases for Robin Ventura.

Ventura, who was in the process of breaking out of his month-long slump, lined a single to right-centerfield that scored two more runs to give the Yankees a 4-0 lead and knock Appier out of the game. Scot Shields relieved and walked Karim Garcia before retiring Alfonso Soriano on a pop out.

The Yanks added a run in the third inning on Posada's second RBI single of the game. Posada went 3/3 with a walk to lead the Yankees. Matsui and Jeter each had three hits as well. One of Matsui's other hits was a solo homerun in the seventh inning that put the Yanks up 6-1.

Raul Mondesi was not starting in right field Tuesday night, and it was revealed during the game that he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for OF David Dellucci and two other players.

Anaheim's bullpen was solid in relief of Appier. Shields, Francisco Rodriguez and Ben Weber combined to throw 8 1/3 innings of two-run relief. Appier allowed five hits and four runs while walking one and striking out one in his 2/3 of an inning.

The second game of the three-game series is on Wednesday at 10:05 pm eastern time. Roger Clemens (9-7, 4.01) will take the hill for the Yankees to face the Angels' John Lackey (7-9, 4.96).

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