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Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 29, 2001


Torre wins 500th as a Yankee

NEW YORK -- Ted Lilly chose the wrong day for his first major-league win.

Lilly's feat was overshadowed by Chuck Knoblauch's hitting and Joe Torre's 500th win as Yankees manager as New York beat the Oakland Athletics 7-6 Saturday.

The rookie left-hander didn't even get to keep the game ball from his first win because closer Mariano Rivera gave it to his manager.

"He gets lost in this one," Torre said. "He picked a bad day to win. I'm going to keep the ball because Mariano gave it to me. I'll give him one of the lineup cards because I kept two."

Lilly, who is solidifying his role as New York's fifth starter after beginning the season in the minors, had no complaints.

"I'm not going to be picky," he said. "Regardless of whether I got the game ball, I'll always remember this for the rest of my life."

Torre joined Joe McCarthy (1,460), Casey Stengel (1,149), Miller Huggins (1,067), Ralph Houk (944) and Billy Martin (556) in the 500-win club.

"The people I'm sharing it with are special to Yankee tradition," said Torre, 500-333 with New York. "I knew Casey, Ralph and Billy. To join that group is special."

It was fitting that Knoblauch starred on the day Torre became the sixth manager to win 500 games with the Yankees.

Torre has stood by Knoblauch during his throwing woes the past two seasons and showed his faith in Knoblauch's value when he decided to move the former second baseman to leftfield this spring.

"He's great to play for because he's a great communicator," said Knoblauch, who went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBI. "He's experienced everything on and off the field. He had good years and bad years. He's run the gamut. When he talks he has a certain validity behind it because we know he's been in our place."

Torre said Knoblauch has felt more at ease at the plate this season now that he has been relieved of playing second base.

The sparkplug of the Yankees offense is on an 11-game hitting streak, going 26-for-51 during that span to raise his average to .352. He has nine multihit games in the streak.

"We have seen what a relaxed Chuck Knoblauch can give us," Torre said. "This is the most fun I've seen him have here. When he moved to leftfield, he seemed more relaxed. It's great to see him this way."

ROYALS 8, RED SOX 2: Boston was in a giving mood, and Kansas City was only too happy to receive.

Mark Quinn homered and had three RBI and the visiting Royals took advantage of five Red Sox errors.

"Usually, when a team makes five errors, they end up losing," Royals first baseman Mike Sweeney said. "We've been playing bad baseball and when a team gives you an extra out, you have to take advantage of it."

The Red Sox, who went in tied with the Mariners for the fewest errors in the league with 10, made all five in the first six innings.

The errors led to four unearned runs for the Royals, including the go-ahead run in the third.

INDIANS 7, RANGERS 3: Roberto Alomar hit a two-run homer, his first this season, and Juan Gonzalez threw out two runners from rightfield to lead host Cleveland.

Alomar's shot in the sixth inning off Rick Helling was his first homer in 81 at-bats and made him a .400 hitter (10-for-25) in his career against the right-hander.

Einar Diaz had three doubles and three RBI for the Indians.

ORIOLES 5, TWINS 2: Slumping Brook Fordyce hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs and Chuck McElroy got his first win of the season to lead visiting Baltimore.

McElroy gave up a homer to Tom Prince in the third, then retired 10 of 12 before Corey Koskie singled with one out in the sixth.

ANGELS 4, BLUE JAYS 1: Ramon Ortiz scattered five hits over 71/3 innings before leaving with a right ankle injury for visiting Anaheim.

Ortiz was helped off the field after injuring his ankle while covering first on a grounder to first baseman Scott Spiezio in the eighth. He was hospitalized for X-rays, which were negative. He is day-to-day with a mild sprain.

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