Mussina, who went 1-4 with a 6.67 ERA in his first five starts, has gone 5-0 in his last seven outings, lowering his overall ERA to 4.96—still well over a run higher than his career 3.57 mark.
Mussina has benefitted from the Yankees’ formidable offense, and sturdy relief work to reel off five straight winning decisions, including Tuesday’s 8-7 victory over Baltimore. The veteran right-hander allowed three runs and nine hits over six innings, striking out two and walking one.
“The first inning was tough,” said Mussina, who put the Yankees in an early 2-0 hole. “From that point on, it got a little better. I made some better pitches, changed speed. We found a way to get some runs, get the lead, and when they tied it up, we took it back again. Offensively, we looked really good.”
New York had scored at least five runs in 11 straight games—its longest such run since 1985—before being shut down by Texas’ Juan Dominguez in Saturday’s 8-1 loss. The Rangers, who took two of three from the Yankees at home from May 21-23, ended New York’s four-game winning streak.
Brad Fullmer and Mark Teixeira homered for Texas, which has a chance to hand New York just its second series loss since it suffered a three-game sweep to Boston at Yankee Stadium from April 23-25—a span of 12 series.
Ruben Sierra homered for the Yankees, who came from behind in each of their previous four wins.