Thu, Jun 15, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Wang shuts out Cleveland Indians

MAJOR LEAGUES Wang Chien-ming silenced big hitters from the mid-West and Robinson Cano got the only run in the contest


American LeaguePitching with the poise of an experienced ace, Wang Chien-ming (王建民) used his buzzsaw of a sinker to stop the New York Yankees' slide.

The Taiwanese pitcher shut down the Cleveland Indians' powerful lineup, Robinson Cano homered off hard-luck loser Paul Byrd and New York ended its four-game skid by squeaking out a 1-0 victory on Tuesday.

"We needed to win that game," Derek Jeter said. "Wang deserves all the credit."

Meeting for the first time this season, the Indians and Yankees entered tied for the major league lead with 359 runs apiece.

But Wang and Byrd silenced the offenses in an old-fashioned pitchers' duel, and New York's bullpen closed it out.

"That's one thing that has never changed in this game -- pitching can control the hitting," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

After stranding five runners in his first two at-bats, Cano connected on a 1-1 pitch from Byrd (5-5) with one out in the sixth, sending a drive over the right-field fence.

The Indians had their best scoring chance in the top half, when Grady Sizemore led off with a double off the center-field fence and moved to third on a long flyout.

But after an intentional walk to Travis Hafner, Wang got streaking slugger Victor Martinez to ground into an inning-ending double play.

"It worked out perfect for them," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "That kid has a real heavy sinker, too. It has some run on it as well as some down to it."

Aaron Boone reached on an infield single to start the eighth and advanced on a sacrifice, chasing Wang.

Mike Myers and Kyle Farnsworth got out of the inning unscathed, and Mariano Rivera fanned two in a hitless ninth for his 13th save in 14 chances.

"Mo's got that glare about him right now," Torre said.

In his second major league season, the 26-year-old Wang (7-2) pitched five-hit ball for 7 1-3 innings -- improving to 6-1 with a fill-in save in his past nine appearances.

"We needed him and he came through," Rivera said.

Wang walked one, struck out three and has allowed only one run in 14 1-3 innings over his last two starts -- against Boston and Cleveland.

"Most guys, if they make it to second, they say how good he is," Jeter said.

This performance was especially important for the Yankees, who had dropped four straight, all at home, to match their longest skid of the year.

"He goes out there and just goes about his business. I don't think he gets too concerned about what's going on," catcher Jorge Posada said. "You can call any pitch and you know where he's going to be."

Tigers 7, Devil Rays 1

At Detroit, Kenny Rogers earned the 199th victory of his career, leading Detroit over Tampa Bay for its fourth straight win.

Rogers (9-3) allowed a run, four hits and a walk and struck out nine, one short of his career high, in eight innings. He's 199-134 in 18 major league seasons.

The four-time Gold Glove winner also helped himself with a spectacular defensive play in the seventh. Jorge Cantu's hard grounder hit the 41-year-old and rebounded to the first-base line, but he chased it down and made a diving toss to first for the out.

Seth McClung (2-9) was the loser.

White Sox 5, Rangers 2

At Arlington, Texas, Paul Konerko broke a tie with a three-run homer in the sixth and Jon Garland (5-3) pitched 5 1-3 innings to help Chicago beat Texas and win for the sixth time in eight games.

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