In this, the final part of our four-part series, we analyze and grade the Yankees pitching staff. …
Bullpen Implodes, Halladay Wins 13th Straight
Hammond came on to pitch the eighth and allowed two singles to lead off the inning. Eric Hinske reached first base on an error to load the bases and Hammond left without getting a single out.
Osuna, making his first appearance since June 13, relieved Hammond and faced the same problem. Reed Johnson doubled to drive in two runs and Howie Clark singled home two more. After Chris Woodward flew out for the first out of the inning, Jason Werth hit a run-scoring double that chased Osuna from the game.
Al Reyes was Toronto's next victim, allowing an RBI single to Vernon Wells before retiring Carlos Delgado on a fly ball to finally end the inning.
When the dust settled, the Jays were up 10-2. Jorge Posada's RBI single in the ninth made it 10-3, and that's where the game ended.
Halladay cruised for most of the game, taking a one-hitter into the sixth inning. But with two outs in the sixth, Derek Jeter singled and Jason Giambi took a curveball that found too much of the plate and sent it screaming to right field for his 25th homerun of the season.
Halladay (13-2) won his thirteenth straight start to become the major league's first thirteen-game winner. Halladay is the first pitcher to win thirteen straight since Roger Clemens won 16 straight in 2001 for the Yankees. Clemens also has Toronto's team record with 15 straight wins in 1998.
Toronto's ace lasted eight innings and allowed two runs on four hits. He also struck out six batters.
Mussina went seven innings and allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk while also striking out six. He allowed a homerun to Vernon Wells in the first inning.
The rubber match of the three-game set, as well as the final game before the All-Star break for both teams, is on Sunday at 1:05 pm. Jeff Weaver (4-7, 5.42) will take the hill for the Yanks, looking to build on two straight good starts. Kelvim Escobar (5-5, 4.72) will start for Toronto.