NEW YORK (AP) — Alex Rodriguez hit a colossal home run, Curtis Granderson also connected and the New York Yankees got back on track with an 11-7 victory over the skidding Cleveland Indians in a game that quickly grew testy Friday night.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi and Cleveland counterpart Manny Acta got into a face-to-face screaming match when both benches and bullpens emptied after Mark Teixeira was hit by a second-inning fastball from struggling Indians starter Fausto Carmona.
No punches were thrown and there appeared to be little pushing and shoving — if any. Plate umpire Dale Scott issued warnings to both teams, and there was no further trouble.
Ivan Nova (5-4) pitched seven sharp innings for New York, and Derek Jeter had one hit to move within nine of 3,000. Jorge Posada, breaking out of a season-long slump, added three hits and an RBI on a night when his figurine was handed out to fans.
One of them sat on a ledge near the Yankees dugout as he singled home a run to cap a three-run first. Posada has four straight multihit games, raising average from .169 to .215.
Bouncing back from a three-game sweep by the rival Red Sox, their second at Yankee Stadium in a month, New York sent a wild Carmona (3-8) to his fifth straight loss and finished with 15 hits. The Yankees had dropped 10 of 14 at home.
Robinson Cano had three hits and an RBI, and Teixeira stroked a three-run double that made it 10-2 in the seventh. Rodriguez followed with an RBI double.
In the fourth, the three-time MVP hit his 625th career homer into the second row of bleacher seats in left-centre, where an excited fan caught it on the fly. The ball sailed some 450 feet, beyond a loading-bay ramp that sits between Monument Park and the visitors’ bullpen.
Yankees staff members could not remember a home run ever reaching that area at the new stadium, which opened in 2009.
Carlos Santana homered for the Indians, barely clinging to first place in the AL Central. Coming off a 1-6 homestand, they have lost 12 of 16 overall.
The opener of a four-game series was the first meeting this season between the teams. It didn’t take long for both sides to get heated.
One pitch after Granderson hit his team-high 19th homer into the second deck in right to give New York a 4-0 lead, Carmona threw a pitch that was headed straight for Teixeira’s upper back.
Batting left-handed, Teixeira ducked down and was hit squarely behind the right shoulder as he crumbled to the dirt. The slugger slammed down his helmet and gestured toward Carmona as he got up, appearing to yell “Throw the ball over the plate!”
Carmona, who threw 14 of his first 18 pitches for balls and walked three in a 40-pitch first inning, motioned back.
Girardi was the first Yankee out of the dugout, rushing onto the field to usher Teixeira toward first base and away from a potential fight. The angry manager gestured at Carmona, and soon both benches and bullpens had emptied as players streamed onto the field.
Both sides milled close together between the mound and first base. Acta moved into the fray and was trying to assure Girardi that Carmona did not hit Teixeira intentionally. But the managers quickly got into a heated, nose-to-nose argument as an umpire attempted to keep them apart, and Acta could be seen cursing at Girardi on a television replay.
The game was held up for a few minutes and, after players dispersed, plate umpire Dale Scott warned both dugouts against further trouble.
The banged-up Yankees might be feeling a little sensitive these days about inside pitches.
Teixeira left Tuesday night’s game against Boston writhing in pain after getting hit on the right kneecap by a first-inning pitch from Jon Lester, and Red Sox ace Josh Beckett plunked three New York stars Thursday night: Jeter, Rodriguez and Granderson.
Five walks and four hits allowed by inexperienced relievers in New York’s injury-depleted bullpen prompted Girardi to bring in Mariano Rivera for the final two outs. He gave up a two-run single to Matt LaPorta, then closed it out.
NOTES: Indians 2B Orlando Cabrera went 0 for 4 and remains one hit shy of 2,000. He was ejected by Scott for arguing a called third strike in the eighth. … Indians OF Travis Buck and his wife were shaken up in a taxi crash Friday morning and sent to the hospital for precautionary examinations. Buck was scratched from the starting lineup, but returned to Yankee Stadium before the game and was available off the bench, the team said. … Cord Phelps replaced Buck at DH and singled in the fifth for his first major league hit. Phelps was called up Wednesday from Triple-A Columbus. … Carmona is winless in seven starts since a 4-1 victory May 3 at Oakland. He dropped to 1-5 against the Yankees. … Granderson is 17 for 39 (.436) with three homers against Carmona. … Yankees C Russell Martin sat out for the third straight game because of a stiff back. He said there’s a “good chance” he’ll be ready to play Sunday. … Posada had 10 hits in a stretch of 13 at-bats before striking out in the sixth. In the first month of the season, he went 9 for 72.
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