Brewers 4, Yankees 3
MILWAUKEE (AP)—The ball just isn’t slicing the Yankees’ way right now.
“Two more inches,” Jenkins marveled. “It was one of those balls where you’re running all out. Luckily, I had enough Rawlings to glove it.”
With pressure mounting from impatient owner George Steinbrenner, the $200 million Yankees fell to 1-6 on their 12-game road trip and dipped below .500 at 28-29.
“We’re certainly going to have to earn our money to turn this thing around because it’s just not a lot of fun right now,” manager Joe Torre said.
Jeter then sliced a drive to right that appeared headed for the corner— probably an extra-base hit that would tie the game. But Jenkins, running at full speed, reached out and made a terrific grab, leaving Jeter grimacing as he rounded first base.
Most of the crowd of 37,627 figured the game was tied, and so did Jeter.
“I don’t know what he was doing over there,” Jeter said, referring to Jenkins. “I guess it was good placement on his part, good coaching or scouting, whatever. But when I hit it, I thought the game was going to be tied.”
Turnbow saw the ball come off Jeter’s bat and, “I was just like, ‘Get foul! Get foul!”’ he said.
Then, he noticed Jenkins was in position to rob Jeter of the tying hit thanks to first base coach Dave Nelson, who positioned Jenkins just right.
Nelson motioned for Jenkins to take a few steps in and a couple steps toward the line so he could have a play at the plate to throw out pinch-runner Tony Womack should Jeter hit a single in front of him.
“I wasn’t concerned about the double over his head,” Nelson said. “And then I also felt that the way Turnbow was throwing that Jeter wasn’t going to pull the ball.”
Still, he thought it was all for naught when the ball left Jeter’s bat.
“I just said, ‘Oh shoot, that’s trouble,”’ Nelson said.
Because the play occurred deep in the corner at Miller Park, most of the Brewers had to watch the first base umpire, Sam Holbrook, make the call—some just watched for Jeter’s reaction.
“It seems like when you’re scuffling, you don’t get any breaks,” Jeter said. “And then when you’re playing well, it seems like everything goes your way. If we had won 10 in a row, Jenkins is probably in right-center and the ball drops.”
Spivey broke a 3-all tie with his fifth homer leading off the sixth, sending Johnson’s first pitch over the left-field wall. It was the first hit Johnson allowed since Cirillo’s solo shot in the third.
Johnson (5-5) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out eight.
“I’m just not pitching as well as I thought I would be,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, everybody’s struggling at the same time.”
Jason Giambi started the comeback with a run-scoring single. Then, with the bases full and one out, first baseman Wes Helms made a diving stop of Cano’s high-hopper, but instead of flipping to pitcher Doug Davis covering the bag for the second out with the pitcher on deck, he made a sidearm throw home that was off-target, allowing Jorge Posada to score the Yankees’ second run.
Giambi tied it at 3 when he scored from third on Davis’ wild pitch with Johnson up at bat.
Davis recovered to strike out Johnson and Jeter with runners at second and third and had to rescue himself again an inning later when he walked the bases full with nobody out before striking out Posada and inducing Giambi to hit into a double play.
The Yankees didn’t get another baserunner until the ninth.
Davis (8-5), who allowed three runs and four hits with five walks and eight strikeouts, finished his up-and-down outing with a 1-2-3 sixth before giving way to Matt Wise, who pitched a perfect seventh and eighth. Turnbow earned his ninth save in 11 opportunities.
Lee doubled in the seventh, his eighth hit in his last eight at-bats, tying a club record. … Jeter opened the game with a single for the sixth straight time, a career best. … With C Damian Miller expected to miss the three-game series, the Brewers designated RHP Gary Glover for assignment and purchased C Julio Mosquera’s contract from Triple-A Nashville. … Baseball commissioner Bud Selig made his first appearance at Miller Park this season, joining Mark Attanasio, who bought the team from the Selig family last winter.