Yankees steal one from the Indians, 5-4
Derek Jeter stole two bases and scored on Hideki Matsui's single in the ninth.
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees stole one from the Cleveland Indians.
Jeter homered in the first inning for his 1,000th career run, then stole a pair of bases in the ninth inning and scored on Hideki Matsui's two-out single to lead the Yankees over Cleveland 5-4 Tuesday night, the Indians' ninth straight loss.
"He took us on his shoulders and got us in position to win the ballgame," Yankees manager Joe Torre said of Jeter.
Jeter, hit on the left elbow by a pitch from Bob Wickman (0-2) on Monday, showed no signs of lingering problems. He hit his 16th homer in the first inning.
"He set the tone for the night -- not knowing if he was going to play, then he hits the ball over the center-field fence," Torre said.
Running on his own
Jeter walked against Wickman with the score 4-all in the ninth and stole his 19th and 20th bases. Jeter was running on his own.
Wickman said he was concentrating on the hitter too much.
"Maybe a two-year layoff makes me rusty there," said Wickman, who had elbow surgery. "It's something to work on."
Matsui's drove Jeter in with a liner that sailed over leaping shortstop Omar Vizquel's outstretched glove.
"Ninth inning, to get an opportunity to win and get a hit to win the game it feels great," Matsui said.
After Matsui's hit, Enrique Wilson singled off David Riske, but right fielder Jody Gerut threw out Matsui with a one-hop throw to the plate.
Good relief pitching
Tom Gordon (6-3) pitched a scoreless eighth, and Mariano Rivera got three outs for his 43rd save in 46 chances. New York starters haven't won since Jon Lieber at Seattle on Aug. 13.
"We're lucky to win this game because we did let a lot of things get away from us," Torre said.
New York, which rallied from a 4-1 deficit, has won two straight after losing six of seven and remained 61/2 games ahead of second-place Boston in the AL East. It was the Yankees' 48th come-from-behind win, the most in the major leagues.
Longest skid since 1979
Cleveland, which had been one game behind AL Central-leading Minnesota on Aug. 15, remained eight games behind the Twins. The Indians are on their longest skid since losing 10 straight in 1979.
Coco Crisp hit his 11th home run and made a dazzling catch in left field, taking an RBI double from Kenny Lofton in the fourth inning. Crisp broke to his right, ran full out and dived at full extension to make the backhanded grab just above the ground.
Cleveland scored four runs in the third off Javier Vazquez, who walked Gerut, got two quick outs and then gave up Crisp's line-drive homer, which landed in the front row a few feet inside the right-field foul pole. Vazquez has allowed 27 home runs, fifth in the AL.