Results tagged ‘ Hanley Ramirez ’

Sanchez lone highlight in lost weekend at Boston

If not for Gary Sanchez, there would not have been much for a Yankees fan to cheer about this weekend. Sanchez kept up his remarkable productivity in his first full month as a major leaguer by going 7-for-19 (.368) with two doubles, two home runs and five RBI in the four games at Fenway Park.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, all of that was for naught as they lost all four games to mark their first sweep of a series of at least four games in Boston since June 4-7, 1990. That was the series where Stump Merrill succeeded Bucky Dent as manager in one of the lowest points in franchise history.

This Yankees team was a far better bunch that the cellar dwellers of 26 seasons ago and entered Red Sox Nation on a high more after a 7-3 homestand put them in solid contention for a Wild Card berth in the playoffs. Thursday night, the Yankees were two outs from being only one game away from the second Wild Card slot and just three games out of first place in the American League East.

But a five-run ninth inning climaxed by Hanley Ramirez’s three-run home run off Dellin Betances knocked the Yankees off course and set the tone for a devastating weekend. Ramirez was it again Sunday night as he slugged two more home runs in yet another Red Sox comeback victory. Just as they had done in the series opener, the Yankees squandered a 4-0 lead in the finale as well.

The Yankees failed to hold leads in three of the four games. CC Sabathia cruised through four innings and nearly got through the fifth as well until his own glaring error opened the gate for the Red Sox. Boston had runners on first and second with one out when Mookie Betts hit a scorching liner to the center of the infield that was gloved by Sabathia. He tried to double Xander Bogaerts off first base but threw wildly past Billy Butler. That play gave a free at-bat to Ramirez, who socked a three-run homer over the Green Monster to make it a one-run game.

Sabathia surrendered the lead in the fifth by yielding successive singles to Travis Shaw, Aaron Hill and Jackie Bradley Jr. Blake Parker did a tremendous job keeping the score 4-4 by striking out David Ortiz, who did not start and came up as a pinch hitter, and retiring Dustin Pedroia on a fielder’s choice and Bogaerts on a strikeout.

Ramirez struck again the next inning, however, by driving a Tyler Clippard changeup over the Monster for his second homer of the game and 28th of the season. Ramirez terrorized the Yankees all weekend by going 9-for-16 (.538) with a double, four homers and nine RBI.

The Yankees’ losing streak has reached five games and leaves them four games behind the Blue Jays for the second Wild Card spot. In addition, the Yankees are two games behind the Tigers and the Mariners and one game back of the Astros, all teams the Yanks had passed during a seven-game winning streak. They get a needed day off Monday before continuing the trip with a three-game series against their Rays at Tropicana Field.

Another Betances breakdown spoils trip opener

For quite a spell Thursday night it looked as if the Yankees were going to shake off Wednesday’s deflating loss to the Dodgers and make a lot of headway in the standings. It seemed all set up for them with leads of 4-0 and 5-1, but try to remember the game was played at Fenway Park.

The Yankees stopped scoring after the fourth inning and so they did not exactly put the Red Sox away despite seven solid innings from Masahiro Tanaka. A solo homer by David Ortiz in the eighth off Adam Warren cut the Yankees’ lead to 5-2.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi had hoped to stay away from Dellin Betances in the ninth but was forced to bring him in when Blake Parker hit Chris Young with a pitch with one out. For the second straight game, however, Betances could not get it done. Two-out hits by Ortiz and Mookie Betts made it a one-run game. Betances then fell behind 3-1 in the count to Hanley Ramirez, who drove the next pitch over the center field wall for a walk-off, three-run home run.

Oh, does this one hurt. A victory would have lifted the Yankees past the Tigers and one game behind the Orioles for the second Wild Card slot not to mention moving to three games of the first-place Red Sox in the American League East and give Boston second second thoughts about its security.

For a team that banged out 14 hits and had four other base runners on three walks and a hit batter, the Yankees should have scored more than five runs. They were 5-for-16 (.313) with runners in scoring position which is good, but they stranded 12 runners, half of them over the final five innings when they were 1-for-8 (.125) with runners in scoring position.

It was the fifth blown save for Betances, whose ERA soared to 2.83, and a tough no-decision for Tanaka, who is 6-0 with a 1.86 ERA in his past eight starts.

And it was another Yankee-killing game for Ortiz, who had three RBI and has six home runs and 11 RBI against them this year. Ortiz’s 34th home run of the season was career No. 537 to move past Mickey Mantle into 17th place on the all-time list. Ortiz has 53 career homers against the Yankees.

Yankees’ comeback re-heats rivalry

The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry seemed pretty dreary last weekend when the Yanks were swept in a three-game series at Fenway Park. It heated up Friday night in a tense, 3-2 Yankees victory at Yankee Stadium, although the Sox’s fury was aimed more at plate umpire Ron Kulpa than the other dugout.

Boston batters were particularly annoyed about Kulpa’s strike zone, which it must be stated was generous. Xander Bogaerts in the seventh and Hanley Ramirez in the eighth were upset about called third strikes, but it really got hairy in the ninth inning when David Ortiz batted with the bases loaded and one out against Andrew Miller, who really had to work to notch his sixth save. Miller had thwarted a rally in the eighth inning with a called strikeout of Jackie Bradley Jr., but the lefthander clearly did not have his A stuff.

The Red Sox reached him for three singles in the ninth to load them up for Ortiz. Miller fell behind 3-1 in the count to Ortiz, who was given the benefit of the doubt by the umpires on a checked swing. The next two pitches were very much borderline, but Kulpa threw his hand up each time. Ortiz beefed after the strike-two call, but Boston manager John Farrell interceded and was ejected for his effort.

After the called strike three, Ortiz walked slowly back to the dugout, then made a turnaround and charged back toward the plate and went ballistic, which resulted in his getting tossed as well. After order was restored, Miller finished off the four-out save by striking out Ramirez.

It was a most satisfying victory for the Yankees, who fell behind 2-0 in the first inning on Ortiz’s seventh homer of the season but came back to tie the score with a run in each of the first two innings against previously unbeaten Rick Porcello, whose record is now 5-1.

That was because Aaron Hicks, who has been struggling in his first season with the Yankees, finally came up with a big hit. He led off the seventh by driving Porcello’s first pitch to right-center for his first home run with the Yankees. Hicks also moved from right field to center field after Jacoby Ellsbury, who had scored the Yankees’ first run on a two-out double by Brian McCann in the first inning, had to leave the game with a tight right hip that will likely sideline him for at least several days.

Dustin Ackley, who played right field after Ellsbury’s departure, drove in the tying run with a two-out single in the second inning. Ben Gamel, who was called up from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, made his major-league debut taking over for Ackley in right field in the eighth and got a putout right away in gloving a liner by Ortiz leading off that inning.

Another key to the Yankees’ victory was starting pitcher Michael Pineda’s recovery from the first-inning when he allowed two runs and four hits. The righthander lasted through the sixth and worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam that inning by getting Bradley on a double play. The Red Sox had 13 hits but stranded 12 base runners. Perhaps they have calmed down by now, but do not bet on it.

Bats come alive, but Yanks drop 5th straight

On a night when the Yankees showed encouraging signs of breaking out of their offensive malaise, their pitchers were responsible for another loss that completed a three-game sweep by the Red Sox at Fenway Park and extended the losing streak to a season-high five games.

The 8-7 final marked the first time in eight games that the Yankees scored more than three runs in a game and only the sixth time in 23 games this year. They were 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position and totaled five extra-base hits, including career home run No. 692 for Alex Rodriguez, who has recovered quite nicely from that tweaked oblique last week. After missing two games, A-Rod has batted .429 with four runs, two doubles, two home runs and six RBI in 14 at-bats.

Sunday night’s game was a reversal for the Yankees in that the sluggish offense was not the culprit in a defeat. For the second time in three nights, Dellin Betances gave up a two-run home run in a late inning that supplied the deciding run. Friday night it was David Ortiz’s blast in the eighth on a first-pitch curveball. Sunday night, it was a monster shot to left field that went entirely out of the park by Christian Vazquez on a first-pitch fastball in the seventh.

Betances shouldered the blame for both games, but he certainly was not alone. Starter Nathan Eovaldi, who flirted with a no-hitter in his previous outing, surrendered leads of 3-1 and 6-4 in the bottom half of the innings in which the Yankees had gone ahead. Eovaldi was back to his old ways in giving up 10 hits in five-plus innings.

The loss was charged to Ivan Nova (1-1), who replaced Eovaldi in the sixth after a leadoff walk. Travis Shaw, who clocked a game-tying, two-run home run off Eovaldi in the fifth, singled off Nova with one down in the seventh. Brock Holt followed with a grounder to third baseman Chase Headley, who had trouble removing the ball from his glove as the Yankees were able to get a force at second base but not a double play. Betances then was summoned to pitch to Vazquez and allowed a home run for his third consecutive appearance.

Vazquez’s homer put David Price in position for the winning decision that ran his record with his new club to 4-0. It was not a pretty outing for Price, who raised his career mark against the Yankees to 14-7 despite a 4.17 ERA. The lefthander yielded six earned runs and eight hits in seven innings and heard booing at Fenway Park where he has pitched to an 8.34 ERA in four starts totaling 22 2/3 innings. Since the start of 2014, the Yanks have batted .303 with 17 doubles, four triples and six home runs against Price.

Jacoby Ellsbury’s second double of the game tied the score at 1 in the third inning. Two batters later, Rodriguez launched his fifth home run this season to make it 3-1. The Red Sox moved back ahead, 4-3, in the bottom half on a two-run single by Hanley Ramirez and a two-out, RBI single by Holt.

Rodriguez doubled home two runs in the fifth and scored on a single by Mark Teixeira as the Yankees regained the lead, 6-4. Again, Eovaldi could not hold it in yielding the bomb to Shaw. The Yankees made it a one-run game in the eighth with a run on a wild pitch by Koji Uehara, but that would be as close as they came.

While the Yankees sank deeper in the basement of the American League East with an 8-15 record, the Red Sox took over first place in the division by a half-game over the Orioles, who await the Bombers at Camden Yards for a three-game series that begins Tuesday night.

Pitchers’ duel decided after their departures

Dodger Stadium has been the sight of many a pitchers’ duel over the past half-century going back to Johnny Podres, Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Don Sutton, Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser against the likes of Warren Spahn, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Dwight Gooden and Greg Maddux, to name just a few.

Add the names of Hiroki Kuroda and Clayton Kershaw to that list. The Yankees righthander and the Dodgers lefthander each sporting 10-6 records put on a dazzling show Wednesday night in a game that was not decided until they had left. Had they not come out of the game, it might still be going on. That is how good they were.

Kuroda was lifted for a pinch hitter in the top of the eighth after pitching shutout ball for seven innings, the eighth time this season he has not allowed a run. Kuroda gave up five singles and only one walk with eight strikeouts. The Dodgers got only two runners to second base during the time Kuroda was on the mound.

It was a great comeback for Kuroda, who pitched at Dodger Stadium, his home from 2008 to 2011, for the first time since he joined the Yankees last year. It was his bad luck to be paired with Kershaw, the National League Cy Young Award winner in 2011 and who was equally effective.

The Yankees got only two runners past first base in eight innings against Kershaw, who gave up five singles and no walks with five strikeouts. Kershaw came out of the game after putting down a perfect sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the eighth to get a runner in scoring position that never came home.

The game was decided following the departures of Kuroda and Kershaw in a bizarre ninth inning as the Yankees rallied to end a 13-inning scoreless stretch for a 3-0 victory. Lyle Overbay, who had driven in both Yankees runs in Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss, ended the shutout with a clutch hit both after and before some shaky Los Angeles defense.

The inning began with a leadoff walk, to Derek Jeter, who was replaced by pinch runner Eduardo Nunez. The Dodgers had a chance for a double play on a ground ball near the middle by Robinson Cano, but shortstop Hanley Ramirez hesitated slightly before feeding second baseman Mark Ellis and only got the force on Nunez.

Alfonso Soriano made the second out on a high bouncer to third baseman Juan Uribe, who had no play at second base so went for the out at first base. With Cano in scoring position, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly ordered pinch hitter Ichiro Suzuki walked intentionally and brought in lefthander Paco Rodriguez to face the lefty-swinging Overbay, who batted for Brent Lillibridge.

Rodriguez had Overbay looking foolish trying to hit his curveball. After two called strikes on check swings, Overbay got the benefit of the doubt from third base umpire Bill Miller, who did not rule that he went around as he had on the previous pitch. Rodriguez finally hung a curve that Overbay lashed into center field for a single to score Cano.

Mark Ellis, the Dodgers’ hero the night before with the game-winning hit, was responsible for the Yankees’ next two runs when he dropped Jayson Nix’s fly ball to shallow right field. Ellis apparently did not hear Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig call for the ball and nearly collided with him as the ball popped out of his glove.

Mariano Rivera, who was honored by the Dodgers before the game as he received a $10,000 donation to his foundation and an enormous fishing pole, notched his 34th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.

While he was stuck with another no-decision, Kuroda had to be pleased about his performance. If anyone in baseball did not want to see the calendar change today, it was Kuroda, who had a magnificent July. In five starts that month, Kuroda was 3-0 with two no-decisions and a 0.55 ERA. Kuroda has made 10 starts in July the past two seasons for the Yankees and is 5-0 with a 2.12 ERA in 68 innings.

No decision for Pettitte as Dodgers rally late

For his sixth straight start, Andy Pettitte was scored upon in the first inning, one of those “uh-oh” moments for Yankees fans. That turned out a minor blemish for the lefthander in what proved a solid outing Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Pettitte was not able to get his record (7-8) back to .500 because the score was 2-2 when he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. Andy allowed eight hits but did not walk a batter and struck out three in seven innings. As is often the case with starting pitchers, the early innings can post problems as they search for a rhythm.

Cuban phenom Yasiel Puig jolted Pettitte with one out in the first inning with a booming double to center field. He crossed to third base on a fly ball to right field and scored on a two-out single through the middle by Hanley Ramirez, one of the hottest hitters in the majors (.383).

Lyle Overbay got the run back leading off the second inning with a home run off Zack Greinke, the third jack in 24 career at-bats against the righthander. Juan Uribe matched that, however, with his sixth home run, a 441-foot bomb into the second deck in left field off a hanging 0-2 curve by Pettitte in the bottom half.

Ichiro Suzuki saved Pettitte a run in the third with a tracer’s bullet of a throw home that nailed Ramirez trying to score from second base with two out on a single to right by A.J. Ellis. Catcher Chris Stewart completed the play with a quick tag on Ramirez’s left thigh before his foot touched the plate. That was the first of five straight scoreless innings for Pettitte, who gave his teammates a chance to stay in the game.

The Yankees drew even in the fourth on another RBI by Overbay. A wild pitch by Greinke that allowed Alfonso Soriano, who led off the inning with a double down the left field line, to move up to third base helped set up the run. With the infield back, all Overbay had to do was make contact, which he did with a grounder to the left side as Soriano crossed the plate.

Pettitte’s work turned out to be most encouraging sign for the Yankees, who had only one hit after Soriano’s double. Ichiro doubled to left with one out in the seventh, but Greinke struck out Jayson Nix and retired Stewart on a ground ball.

It was a bullpen game after that, and the Dodgers won it, 3-2, in the bottom of the ninth on a two-out single by Mark Ellis off Shawn Kelley (3-1). It scored Andre Ethier, who had singled with one down and got a big stolen base two pitches before Ellis dropped a single into left-center. Ronald Belisario and Kenley Jansen (4-3) pitched a perfect inning apiece. David Robertson did the same for the Yankees in the eighth before Kelley took over in the ninth.

Aware that the Yankees had no left-handed bat on the bench, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly used his hard-throwing righthanders out of the pen. With five straight games on National League soil and no designated hitter in play, that situation hurts the Yankees. There is a chance Curtis Granderson could rejoin the Yankees at the end of the week when they move on to San Diego, which will surely help. Keep your fingers crossed.

Mattingly’s return a split decision

Don Mattingly’s return to Yankee Stadium was a half-empty, half-full experience in one day for the popular former Yankees favorite. The Dodgers manager had to be embarrassed by his team’s performance in a 6-4 loss in the afternoon, but the club saved face with a 6-0 victory in the night game.

It was another uneven outing at the Stadium for Phil Hughes, who was touched for two runs and five hits in the very first inning and slogged his way through six innings by yielding five earned runs and 10 hits. His record fell to 3-6 with a 5.09 ERA. It is even worse at the Stadium where Hughes is 1-4 with a 6.69 ERA. He has given up 49 hits, including seven home runs, in 35 home innings.

“I struggled to find a rhythm and my pitch count went up,” Hughes said. “I have to do better; that’s for sure.”

Of course, Hughes would have needed to pitch shutout ball to have any chance to win the second game because the Yankees’ bats went silent after the first-game victory. They scraped for three hits, all singles, off Dodgers starter Chris Capuano and fared no better against two relievers. Two of the Yankees’ hits were in the infield. They had one runner advance past second base and only one base runner at all after the fourth inning as the Dodgers retired 16 batters in a row. This was the sixth shutout loss of the season for the Yankees.

Hughes allowed at least five runs in a start for the fifth time. Although manager Joe Girardi said he has not been thinking about moving him out of the rotation, Hughes has cause for concern. The Yankees have two starting pitchers with major-league backgrounds at Triple A Scranton in Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda, so there may be other options for Girardi down the road. With the two games Wednesday, the Yankees will need a starting pitcher out of the rotation Sunday.

Asked if he felt his spot in the rotation is in jeopardy, Hughes said, “My only concern is pitching well. Things I can’t control I can’t concern myself with.”

The Dodgers have struggled all year, but they were on all cylinders in the night game. Their first four batters got hits off Hughes. Hanley Ramirez, who was 6-for-8 (.750) with four RBI in the two games, had RBI singles in the first and fifth innings.

Yankees fans at both games definitely came away with a positive impression of Cuban-born rookie Yasiel Puig, who was 4-for-9 (.444) with one double, one home run, one RBI, one stolen base and four runs scored. He also played flawless defense in right field.

Perfect finish: Mo vs. Puig (guess who won?)

How painful it must have been for Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, winner of nine Gold Gloves at first base during his playing days with the Yankees, to watch his club make so many fielding mistakes in the day game of Wednesday’s split-admission doubleheader. The Dodgers made four errors, two coming on a bizarre play by relief pitcher Ronald Belisario in the seventh inning as the Yankees took charge with three runs en route to a 6-4 victory.

Dodgers second baseman Skip Shumacher twice bobbled ground balls by Robinson Cano, but neither error was costly. The seventh-inning double blunder by Belisario was another story. With runners on first and second and one out, Vernon Wells hit a soft popup between the plate and the mound. Belisario appeared to let the ball drop in hopes of getting a double play. He kicked the ball instead for the first error, then tried to recover and threw wildly for a second error and a run scored.

Ichiro Suzuki, who was all over this game, lofted a single down the left field line that gave the Yankees a four-run lead, which proved important an inning later when Hanley Ramirez, who had four hits for the Dodgers, smoked a two-run home run off Preston Claiborne.

In a pitching match-up of two Asians, Yankees righthander Hiroki Kuroda (Japan) and Dodgers lefthander Hyun-Jin Ryu (South Korea), Ichiro stole the show. He ended a 115-at-bat homerless streak in the sixth with a leadoff dinger off Ryu. After getting that two-run single, Suzuki saved a run with a leaping catch on the warning track of a drive by Adrian Gonzalez that almost surely would have scored Yasiel Puig, who had led off the inning with a double.

“I knew the ball was not going to be a home run, that it was still in the park,” Ichiro said of the Gonzalez drive. “The only question for me was which way I would turn because the ball was hit right over my head.”

Ichiro turned to his right, leaped and reached for the ball all in one motion. His 3-for-4 day at the plate continued a hot stretch that began on the West Coast trip. Suzuki has 10 hits in his past 22 at-bats, a .455 run that has raised his season batting average to .274. The Yankees’ left-handed hitters did a good job against Ryu. Their other two runs were the result of a double in the second inning by Lyle Overbay.

“Ichiro has been swinging the bat extremely well,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He has the ability to get hot. When we got Lyle, we didn’t anticipate his getting so many at-bats against left-handed pitching, but we have really needed him.”

After David Robertson did one of his Houdini acts in the eighth (walk two batters, get the next two out), Mariano Rivera went for his 25th save in the ninth, and no one was leaving Yankee Stadium until they saw him go for the third out against Puig. Mo fell behind 2-0 in the count before coming back to strike him out.

Puig made quite an impression in his first game at the Stadium. He had two hits and in each case attempted to stretch a single into a double, once successfully and once not. But his aggressiveness was noted and appreciated, not the least of which by Rivera.

“I like to see young boys played hard like that,” he said. “That is the way he played to get to the major leagues and the way he should play in the major leagues.”

Rivera stopped short of saying he could appreciate the drama of the ninth inning: the worldly veteran closer against the up-and-coming youngster, any more than he did Sunday at Anaheim when he faced three-time Most Valuable Player Albert Pujols with the bases loaded to get the final out of that game.

“I cannot think about that because I have a job to do in either case,” Rivera said. “It is important for me to concentrate on getting the job done.”

And nobody does it better.

Former Yanks farmhand 2nd in Rookie voting

It turned out that the Yankees did not trade a future American League Rookie of the Year Award winner to get Curtis Granderson from the Tigers 11 months ago.

Austin Jackson, a highly-touted prospect in the Yankees’ system, went to Detroit along with relief pitcher Phil Coke in the three-team trade also involving the Diamondbacks Dec. 8, 2009 that brought Granderson to the Bronx and included sending pitcher Ian Kennedy to Arizona.

When Jackson got off to a smoking start for the Tigers as their center fielder and leadoff hitter, Rookie of the Year talk surrounded him for much of the first half. Jackson tailed off somewhat in the second half, although he still had a fine year. It just was not as good as that of Rangers closer Neftali Feliz, who set a rookie record with 40 saves and was the choice of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for the Jackie Robinson Award that was announced Monday.

Felix, 22, was listed first on 20 of the 28 ballots submitted by two writers in each league city, second on seven and third on one to amass 122 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. Feliz’s saves total broke the previous rookie mark of 37 by 2000 winner Kazuhiro Sasaki of the Mariners.

Feliz, who had a 4-3 record with a 2.73 ERA in 70 relief appearances, is the first Dominican pitcher to win the award and the third winner from the Dominican Republic overall, joining Alfredo Griffin and Angel Berroa. Dominican-born winners in the National League were Raul Mondesi, Rafael Furcal, Albert Pujols and Hanley Ramirez.

A closer has won the AL award three times in the past six years. Oakland’s Andrew Bailey won in 2009 and Huston Street in 2005. Feliz is the fifth closer honored. The first was the Orioles’ Gregg Olson in 1989. Yankees pitcher Dave Righetti, now the Giants’ pitching coach, was a starter when he won the award in 1981. Feliz is the second Rangers player to win the award. The other was first baseman Mike Hargrove in 1974.

Jackson, who received the other eight first-place votes and was the runner-up in the balloting with 98 points, led all AL rookies in runs (103), hits (151), doubles (34), triples (10), extra-base hits (48), stolen bases (27) and total bases (247). Jackson batted .293, stole 27 bases and scored 103 runs, but he struck out 170 times, a very high total for a player who hit only four home runs.

In the National League, Giants catcher Buster Posey beat out Braves right fielder Jason Heyward for the award. Posey, 23, was named first on 20 of the 32 ballots cast by two writers in each league city, second on nine and third on two to finish with 129 points. Posey hit .305 with 18 home runs and 67 RBI and handled a pitching staff that helped the Giants win the NL West title. His 21-game hitting streak from July 4-28 was the longest of the season by a rookie in either league.

Heyward (.273, 18 HR, 72 RBI) received nine first-place votes and was the runner-up with 107 points. Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia (13-8, 2.70 ERA) got one first-place vote and placed third with 24 points. The other two first-place votes went to Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez (.273, 19 HR, 85 RBI), who finished fourth with 18 points.

Posey was the sixth NL catcher honored, joining Johnny Bench, Earl Williams, Benito Santiago, Mike Piazza and Geovanny Soto. Catchers who won the award in the AL were Thurman Munson, Carlton Fisk and Sandy Alomar Jr. Other former Giants winners were Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda, Willie McCovey, Gary Matthews and John Montefusco.

The victories by Feliz and Posey marked the third time since the award’s inception in 1947 that the winners were opponents in the World Series. The other years were 1981 when Righetti and the Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela started Game 3 at Dodger Stadium and 1951 when Mays and Yankees infielder Gil McDougald played in all six games of the Series.

It should have happened in 2003 with the Yankees’ Hideki Matsui and the Marlins’ Dontrelle Willis, but Matsui lost out to Berroa in a disputed election.

Mixed bag for Yanks

ANAHEIM, Calif.

There were mixed reviews for the Yankees in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Angel Stadium, a 3-1 National League victory.

Joe Girardi became the first American League manager to lose an All-Star Game since the Indians’ Mike Hargrove 14 years ago at Philadelphia. If you don’t think 1996 was a long time ago, consider that only six players on the rosters that year are still active – three from each league – Andy Pettitte, Alex Rodriguez and Ivan Rodriguez from the AL and Chipper Jones, Mark Grudzielanek and Jason Kendall from the NL.

Girardi did a good job getting players into the game. All the position players except for A-Rod did time. Girardi left himself short in the ninth, however, and did not have anyone to pinch run for David Ortiz after he opened the inning with a single. A-Rod was available, but Girardi said he needed him either to pinch run for hamstring-aching Adrian Beltre if he reached base or to be the designated hitter had the game gone into extras.

Beltre did not reach base and struck out. Blue Jays catcher John Buck dumped a flare to right in front of the Cubs’ Marlon Byrd, but he fired a blazer to Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal covering second to force the plodding Ortiz and essentially kill the rally. So Alex Rodriguez never got to swing the bat.

Phil Hughes was hung with the losing decision, the first Yankees pitcher to lose an All-Star Game since Tommy John in 1980 at Dodger Stadium. Hughes came on in the seventh and got the first out before yielding singles to Reds third baseman Scott Rolen and Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday. Rolen’s reputation for savvy base running was evident as he challenged Angels center fielder Torii Hunter and got to third.

Girardi pulled Hughes at that point for White Sox lefthander Matt Thornton, who got righty-swinging Chris Young of the Diamondbacks on a foul pop. Byrd worked out a walk in an eight-pitch at-bat to fill the bases before lefty-swinging catcher Brian McCann cleared them with a double, which earned him the game’s Most Valuable Player Award.

A wild throw in the fifth inning by Dodgers pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo had given Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano the opportunity to drive in what proved to be the only AL run with a sacrifice fly. A base-running blunder by Twins catcher Joe Mauer, thrown out at third base trying to advance on a grounder to Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez, spoiled the AL’s chance for another run that inning.

Derek Jeter reached base twice in his three at-bats with a walk and a single. Pettitte pitched the third and looked sharp striking out the Dodgers’ Andre Ethier and the Brewers’ Corey Hart before Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina reached the lefthander for a single. Pettitte ended the inning by retiring Ramirez on a fielder’s choice. Nick Swisher batted as a pinch hitter in the seventh and struck out on a nasty curveball by the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright. CC Sabathia was not eligible for duty because he pitched Sunday.