rounded third base, headed home and saw teammates gesturing upward with their hands.
''I was just going to step on home plate, just normally,'' he said, ''but they told me to throw my helmet. So I threw my helmet.''
The usually reserved Japanese star homered off
in the ninth inning Monday night to beat the
and give the streaking
New York Yankees
2-1 wins in three straight games for the first time in franchise history.
''I've never done it before, so yeah, in that sense, yes, it's a little uncomfortable,'' Matsui said through a translator,
''but I'd like to follow whatever the team's rules are.''
Matsui lined a a 2-2 pitch into the right-field seats off Johnson (3-4) for his second game-ending homer in the majors - the
other was as a rookie on July 17, 2003, against Cleveland's
. A.J. Burnett got Matsui with a whipped cream pie in front of the Yankees dugout.
New York (55-37), which tied Boston atop the AL East for only the second time since early June, stretched its post All-Star-break
winning streak to four and moved 18 games over .500 for first time since the end of 2007 season (94-68). The Yankees got some
stellar defense, throwing out runners at the plate on consecutive pitches in the eighth to keep the score tied at 1.
(6-1) escaped a two-on jam in the ninth when
hit an inning-ending flyout.
Matsui then homered with one out in the ninth, taking two balls and fouling off three pitches before his 15th homer this season.
He's struggled at times following left knee surgery last Sept. 22 and might be in his final season with the Yankees. But he
is hitting .349 with five homers and 14 RBIs in 43 at-bats since missing nine straight starts while during interleague games
at NL ballparks from June 19-28.
''Maybe the 10 days was really good for him,'' Yankees manager
said. ''I think when you battle through injuries and trying to strengthen your body and get back, and pressing and pressing
to get back to healthy, it can wear on you.''
hit a first-inning homer off
's second-inning homer against Baltimore's
tied it. The three homers raised the total at new Yankee Stadium to 152 in 46 games, just eight shy of the total hit all of
last season at New York's old home.
' one-out single and
' double off the right-field wall chased Pettitte in the eighth.
grounded to first baseman
. The two-time Gold Glove winner made an off-balance throw home, to the first-base side of the plate.
caught it, with the ball visible, reached across his body and put his glove down, where Izturis slid into the tag.
''We hit the ball to the wrong guy, that's all there is to it,'' Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.
Teixeira gave Molina the credit.
''For me, the tag is more impressive because, you know, he's got to know exactly where the plate is, exactly where the guy's
sliding, and he's blind,'' he said.
Coke's first pitch to
bounced away from Molina toward the Yankees dugout. Molina rushed and threw to Coke for the tag.
''It never happens,'' Molina of plays at the plate on consecutive pitches, ''but you've got to be prepared for those days.''
Roberts appeared to miss the plate as he tried to slap it on a headfirst slide.
''I saw it going in the dirt, and I lost it for a split-second,'' Roberts said. ''I got a good initial jump - split-second
probably cost me.''
He appeared to argue with plate umpire Adrian Johnson.
''I just asked him where he tagged me, and he said my arm,'' Roberts said. ''I didn't think he tagged me on the arm - maybe
NOTES: The Yankees hadn't never won three straight games 2-1, according to STATS LLC. The last time they won three straight
games scoring fewer than three runs each game was July 11-13, 1991, at Anaheim, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ...
Baltimore has lost eight straight games at the Yankees, dropped to 1-12 on the road this year against AL East and has lost
25 of last 27 road games against division rivals dating to July last year. ... Thirteen of the 16 homers allowed by Pettitte
this year have been at home. ... Pettitte matched his season high with 7 1-3 innings, allowed six hits and struck out eight,
his highest total since Sept. 5 against Seattle. ... Hernandez, recalled from Double-A Bowie, didn't allow a hit after the
second and retired 16 of his last 17 batters. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed one run and three hits in six innings.
... Baltimore agreed to a minor league contract with former Mets and Rangers OF