NEW YORK -- The Arizona Diamondbacks
have witnessed the ability of Cody Ross
to deliver timely hits from afar.
On Thursday night, they got their first up-close look at his skill in clutch situations.
Ross' one-out single in the 12th inning snapped a tie, and the Arizona Diamondbacks salvaged the finale of their three-game interleague series at Yankee Stadium with a 6-2 victory over the New York Yankees
"He's got some experience at doing it," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said.
Ross made a name for himself with the San Francisco Giants
when he won the MVP of the 2010 National League Championship Series while helping the Giants to their first World Series title since 1954. He's a .284 career hitter with runners in scoring position, and a .272 hitter in "late and close" situations, both well above his overall .262 average.
"It's a feel thing," Ross said of his penchant for late hits. "Once the game is on the line, you bear down and focus."
Arizona reliever Heath Bell
said. "It's great. He's like one the best clutch hitters in the game, and when it's extra innings, he's got a pretty good shot at doing something special. He's not always going to hit a home run. He's just to going to get on and do something."
The Diamondbacks did not need a home run from Ross when he came up in the 12th. The bases were loaded after Gerardo Parra doubled, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli was called for catcher's interference for the second time in the game, and Miguel Montero was grazed on the shoulder by a pitch from David Phelps
"He just made some mistakes," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Phelps. "He got a couple of balls up."
Ross, a .292 career hitter with the bases loaded, sliced a single to shallow left, scoring Parra. It was Ross' third hit in his final three at-bats. Eric Chavez, who spent the previous two seasons in New York, followed with a three-run double to deep center field.
Arizona showed some resiliency in winning a game in which it blew a late lead for the second straight night. Closer J.J. Putz allowed a solo home run to Cervelli with one out in the ninth. On Wednesday, the Diamondbacks squandered a 3-1 advantage in the eighth.
"The first two games, we let it slip by us," Bell said. "We didn't give up. It shows a lot of character."
Cervelli was excited about his home run, but after getting charged with two errors, he was disappointed in himself.
"They were a little late on their swings," Cervelli said. "I was too close their hitters twice. It's not an excuse."
Bell (1-0) earned his first win for Arizona by working out of trouble in the 11th. He gave up singles to Kevin Youkilis and Ichiro Suzuki but retired Eduardo Nunez on a lineout to Ross in right field.
Three innings earlier, Arizona reliever David Hernandez
worked out of a bases-loaded jam by striking out Robinson Cano and Youkilis. A night earlier, Hernandez gave up a home run to pinch hitter Travis Hafner.
"It was a big night for David," Gibson said.
The Yankees lost for the second time in their last nine games, failing to generate much offense off Arizona starter Patrick Corbin. The left-hander gave up a solo home run to Cano in the sixth but just one other hit while striking out seven in seven innings.
New York starter Phil Hughes also pitched well, allowing two runs and six hits in seven innings. Both runs came on home runs, as rookie Didi Gregorius and Martin Prado hit solo shots.
NOTES: While discussing the latest injury news for Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, general manager Brian Cashman indicated that the crack in Jeter's ankle will take four to eight weeks to heal and then the team captain will need the equivalent of a full spring training. Cashman also said Jeter would address the media sometime during the next homestand, which begins April 25 against Toronto. "(He is handling) it like a pro," Cashman said. "He said, 'I will see you in four to six weeks.' He will never let anybody see any area of weakness or problem. His attitude is, 'You are going to see me sooner than later.'" ... Gregorius made his debut for the Diamondbacks. He appeared in eight games last season for the Cincinnati Reds
. "He's got pull power," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's pretty aggressive at the plate, but he battles. He sees the righties really well. He said he doesn't see lefties as well, and we told him to make a little adjustment, open up a little bit and get your eyes squared to the pitcher, and it's helped him a lot." ... Brooklyn Nets
center Brook Lopez threw out the first pitch two nights before the team's playoff opener against the Chicago Bulls
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