NEW YORK (AP) -
was standing in front of his locker, talking about how little he speaks to
, when the catcher walked by, shouted an exaggerated ''Hi,'' and kept going.
These two are so in sync that Molina didn't stop to see Mussina's grin - he just knew the right-hander was smiling.
Mussina retired the final 17 batters he faced in seven solid innings, Molina hit one of New York's four home runs and the
Yankees snapped Los Angeles' five-game winning streak with an 8-2 victory Saturday.
''It's almost like we've been buddies for 15 years,'' Mussina said. ''We don't need to sit down. ... We make up a game plan
after we've started.''
Molina has been behind the plate for 21 of Mussina's 23 starts, and manager
decided to stay with the combination after the Yankees acquired future Hall of Famer
On Saturday, Molina guided Moose to his 264th career win by using what the catcher called ''feelings.''
''You realize very quickly he has a good idea what he's doing. His feel for it is impressive,'' Mussina said. ''He understands
what's going on. ... He knows how to catch.''
Molina also provided some offense, scoring three times and going 3-for-3, including his first home run since Sept. 5 - a span
of 221 at-bats.
''He's a big part of our team,'' Girardi said. ''Just had an outstanding day.''
After two nights of being outclassed by the Angels in every aspect of the game, the Yankees rebounded with a complete win
of their own despite missing
from the starting lineup.
all homered and Mussina, a six-time Gold Glove winner, made several stellar plays on the mound in front of 54,170 fans on
Old-Timers' Day, helping the Yankees to their second victory in seven games.
Playing without center fielder
, who traveled home to Pine Bluff, Ark., on Saturday morning to attend the funeral of his grandmother, Edna Cobbs, the Angels
dropped to 12-3 after the All-Star break. Los Angeles also was without shortstop
, who jammed his thumb making a spectacular play in Friday's 1-0 win. X-rays of the hand showed a sprain, and manager
said ''sprains can take some time (to heal).''
The Yankees looked as if they were headed for another woeful outing against the team with the best record in baseball. They
fell behind 2-0 in the second inning thanks to fill-in second baseman Betemit's throwing error. And the first four New York
batters struck out against
, three looking.
popped out to break the strikeout spell and
followed with a two-out single to right. Betemit then made up for his error with a tying two-run shot.
Bouncing back from a rough outing against Baltimore, Mussina (14-7) was dominant after loading the bases on two hits and a
walk, and giving up two runs - one earned - in the second. Had Betemit completed the double-play turn, Mussina would have
gotten out of the inning without allowing a run.
''He was just hitting the corners,'' said
, who went 0-for-3 for the Angels. ''That's the way he is. He's going to live on the corners. This guy's one of the great
pitchers of our era.''
With the bases loaded, Mussina got
, who had not grounded into a double play in 203 at-bats, to hit a routine grounder to third.
made the throw to second for an out, but Betemit's relay to first was in the dirt and the ball bounced out of Giambi's mitt,
to score the second run.
''The second inning was just a groundball single to right, a flyball that bounced into the stands and a groundball that didn't
get turned,'' Mussina said.
In the field, Mussina snared a sharp comebacker to start the game, pounced on a bunt in the third and handled another hard-hit
grounder in the fourth.
struck out three in a hitless eighth and
gave up a hit in the ninth to finish the three-hitter.
Abreu homered in the third, Molina connected in the fifth and A-Rod led off the sixth with the 542nd homer of his career and
24th of the season.
''A couple of them were good pitches they put good swings on - Abreu and the one to A-Rod,'' Weaver said. ''You just tip your
cap to them.''
Weaver (9-9) allowed six runs and eight hits in five-plus innings. He struck out five and walked one.
received one of the loudest ovations from fans during Old-Timers' Day introductions. Randolph won six World Series titles
as a player and coach with New York. He was fired as manager of the
New York Mets
in June. ... Angels catcher
, on the DL retroactive to June 6 with right shoulder irritation, played five innings for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday
said Napoli needs four or five starts before being activated.