Yankees 5, Mariners 0
NEW YORK (AP)—Roger Clemens arrived at Yankee Stadium a little too late to see the dustup.
Jarrod Washburn hit Phelps in the back with the first pitch to him in the sixth inning, and umpires warned both dugouts for the second time in three days. Yankees reliever Scott Proctor followed with an inside pitch to Yuniesky Betancourt with none on and two outs in the seventh. Betancourt pointed his bat toward the mound, catcher Wil Nieves grabbed him, and the benches and bullpens emptied—but no punches were thrown. Proctor and Yankees manager Joe Torre were ejected.
Clemens announced his return during the seventh-inning stretch, speaking to fans from the owner’s box as a crowd of 52,553 at Yankee Stadium and hundreds of thousands watching on television looked on.
Phelps singled leading off the fifth and advanced when Washburn (2-3) walked Johnny Damon with two outs. Phelps, whose left arm hit Johjima’s left shoulder, said he was running hard on Derek Jeter’s single to beat a throw from center fielder Ichiro Suzuki and put the Yankees ahead.
“I was determined to do whatever I had to do to score that run,” Phelps said. “I had to be aggressive, and that’s what I did. I’m rounding third base and I know he can throw with the best in baseball. You don’t have time to think it over. I saw him squatting down like he was going to receive the throw. I’m not going to let him just tag me out.”
Phelps appeared to have a clear path to the plate without making contact with the catcher.
“I was kind of surprised because I had the plate open for Phelps to run right through it,” Johjima said through a translator. “Maybe he was a little excited because he had a base hit.”
Betancourt thought Proctor’s pitch to him was out of line. Proctor wouldn’t go into details when asked if he expected to be fined or suspended.
“What happens, happens,” he said.
Because he was ejected, Torre didn’t get to see how his players reacted when they learned—along with the fans—that Clemens had rejoined the Yankees.
“I missed the fun of the whole thing, didn’t get a chance to witness it,” Torre said.
Before Clemens’ announcement, Darrell Rasner pitched the way the Rocket hopes to.
Rasner (1-1) threw first-pitch strikes to 15 of his first 18 batters and 17 of 22 overall. He struck out four and walked two in 5 2-3 innings, combining with four relievers on a four-hitter in New York’s first shutout of the season.
Rasner was brought up from the minors to make the start, and the Yankees had planned to send him right back down. After the game, Torre said the Yankees would wait until Monday to make a roster move to open a roster spot for Matt DeSalvo, scheduled to start the series finale.
Hideki Matsui got his 2,000th professional hit as the Yankees won for the fifth time in six games after losing eight of nine. The sixth-inning hit originally was scored an error on left fielder Raul Ibanez, who allowed the fly ball to drop on the sunny afternoon, but later was changed to a double. It gave Matsui has 1,390 hits in Japan’s Central League and 610 more with the Yankees, gaining him entry to the Golden Players Club for Japanese players with 200 wins, 250 saves or 2,000 hits.
“Matsui and I were joking on the bench, which one of our 2,000th hits was worse, his or mine?” Jeter said. “At least I had to run for mine, a little dribbler to third base. His was a ball the outfielder lost in the sun and it just fell in.”
Washburn gave up three runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. … Bobby Abreu also hit an RBI single in the fifth, and Nieves added a run-scoring grounder in the sixth. New York added a pair of unearned runs in the seventh when Abreu hit a run-scoring double off Chris Reitsma and scored on Matsui’s single. The runs were unearned because of a throwing error by Adrian Beltre on Jeter’s leadoff grounder to third.