Rockies 3, Yankees 1
DENVER (AP)—More than just Josh Fogg’s pitches were dancing Tuesday night.
Fogg did a little jig coming off the mound after striking out Alex Rodriguez to end the third inning, pumping his right fist twice and hop-skipping through the grass toward the Colorado dugout.
It was the only move he wasn’t proud of as he won for the first time at Coors Field this season, holding the New York Yankees to four hits over seven innings in the Rockies’ 3-1 win.
“For starters, there’s big outs in games and I knew that was a pretty big one,” Fogg said. “That was one of those things that I’m not proud of. It just came out.”
The Yankees wish he had some fastballs to regret along with his dance.
“If I could do anything special, I’d be doing it all year long,” said Fogg (3-5), who had gone 0-3 with a 6.66 ERA at home before befuddling the Yankees much the way he did Boston’s hitters last week, when he beat Curt Schilling and the Red Sox 12-2 at Fenway Park.
“I throw the same stuff out there every time out and if I happen to make some quality pitches when I really need to, the results are usually good,” said Fogg, who outdueled Mike Mussina (3-4), who allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings on an unusually warm evening in the Rocky Mountains.
“Three runs in six innings, but it wasn’t good enough. We couldn’t get anything going offensively. We only had one or two chances to score some runs and it just didn’t work out,” Mussina said.
The Yankees were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
They loaded the bases in the eighth off reliever Manual Corpas. LaTroy Hawkins relieved to face Jorge Posada, who had been 5-for-13 against him in the regular season, and Posada bounced a one-hopper to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for an inning-ending forceout.
With Mussina on the mound, Wil Nieves was behind the plate and Posada started at first base for the first time in six seasons. He made a couple of nifty plays, one of them a leaping grab of shortstop Derek Jeter’s high throw just before Yorvit Torrealba’s solo homer, his third of the season, gave the Rockies a 3-1 lead in the sixth with the pitcher on deck.
“National League inexperience,” Mussina said. “I didn’t think about who was on deck, I wasn’t paying any attention to it. I would have pitched a little differently if I had thought about it. After 17 years, you’re going to learn a few things about this game and that’s one of them.”
After allowing Rodriguez to score on Matsui’s groundout in the second, Fogg found himself in trouble again in the third when he walked Bobby Abreu after Jeter’s two-out double, but he struck out A-Rod and then retired 12 of the next 13 hitters.
The Rockies used their 1-2 punch of speed at the top of their lineup to take a 2-1 lead.
Colorado tied it in the third when Taveras reached on his major league-leading 21st bunt single, stole second and scored on Garrett Atkins’ single to center. Matt Holliday broke the tie in the fifth when he singled to right, driving in Kaz Matsui, who had singled and stole second.
A sellout crowd of 48,077 came to see the Bronx Bombers bring their show to Blake Street in a series that pitted the hottest teams from each league, both recovering from slow starts, the Yankees having gone 14-4 since May 30 and the Rockies posting a major league-best 18-7 record since May 22.
Posada, usually New York’s starting catcher, took dozens of grounders at first before the game. It was his 12th career start at first base and his first since June 25, 2001, according to Elias Sports Bureau. With the sun in his eyes, he wore sunglasses in the first inning and made a clean grab on Jeter’s throw following Taveras’ grounder to shortstop.
“I didn’t get a ground ball, thank God,” said Posada, who went back behind the plate in the seventh. “I handled myself all right. I made sure I got the foot down.”
Yankees manager Joe Torre also stuck with Melky Cabrera in center field because Johnny Damon is still hurting from an abdominal strain he sustained last week. Damon, also slowed by leg injuries, has been serving as the team’s designated hitter in the absence of injured Jason Giambi but the Yankees can’t use a DH in NL parks.
Damon entered at first base on a double-switch in the seventh and flied out to center in the eighth.