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AL: One import supports another for Yankees

©Associated Press
April 15, 2003

NEW YORK -- Hideki Matsui broke a tie with a three-run homer in the sixth inning to give Cuban defector Jose Contreras his first major-league victory as the Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-9 on Monday night.

Jorge Posada and Raul Mondesi also homered for the Yankees in a sloppy game that lasted 4:08 and saw 12 pitchers walk 21 and hit three batters. The teams also combined for three errors.

Matsui hit a 3-and-1 pitch off reliever Aquilino Lopez into the third row of the upper deck in right to make it 9-6. The Japanese slugger was 2-for-3 with two walks, raising his average to .306 and increasing his team-leading RBI total to 14. He has two homers, the first a grand slam against Minnesota in his first game at Yankee Stadium.

Contreras, making his first appearance since April 6 against Tampa Bay, worked a scoreless sixth for the victory after allowing Eric Hinske's two-out run-scoring single in Toronto's four-run fifth.

Contreras left with one out in the seventh after walking two to set up the Blue Jays' seventh run. He allowed two hits, three walks and a run in 12/3 innings after giving up eight hits and five runs in 31/3 innings in his first three appearances.

Chris Hammond got three outs for his first save after Juan Acevedo allowed a run-scoring single by Shannon Stewart in the ninth.

Hammond entered with runners at the corners and the Yankees just missed a game-ending triple play.

Frank Catalanotto grounded into a double play and Orlando Hudson raced home from third. He narrowly avoided Posada's tag after a throw from first baseman Nick Johnson.

Vernon Wells flied out to end it.

ROYALS 12, INDIANS 4: Mike Sweeney hit a three-run double and a home run as visiting Kansas City sought to start a new winning streak.

Ken Harvey, Brent Mayne and Michael Tucker also homered for the Royals, who had their season-opening nine-game winning streak snapped Sunday by the Indians.

Cleveland first-year manager Eric Wedge got his first ejection in the top of the eighth after reliever Carl Sadler was tossed for hitting Tucker with a pitch.

MARINERS 4, A'S 3: Jeff Cirillo hit a two-run shot in the sixth inning for his first homer of the season, lifting host Seattle past Mark Mulder.

Oakland has dropped five straight after starting 7-1.

Cirillo, hitting .150, had a big smile when he stepped into the dugout, accepting congratulations from teammates shortly after lining a 355-foot shot that landed just inside the leftfield foul pole.

RANGERS 4, ANGELS 0: Ismael Valdes pitched eight sharp innings and Carl Everett homered twice as host Texas snapped Anaheim's five-game winning streak.

Francisco Cordero worked the ninth, preserving the Rangers' first shutout since June 21 against Pittsburgh, when starter Kenny Rogers went seven innings.

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