BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- The
New York Yankees
keep coming after you, even on a gloomy 10-hour day.
drove in three runs and
pitched seven solid innings as the Yankees completed a sweep of a day-night doubleheader with a 6-3 victory over the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Sierra won the opener with a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth inning. He followed it up with a game-tying RBI single in the first inning and a two-run double that provided a 5-2 lead in the fifth.
"Veterans have a better chance than young kids to handle the mental part (of being on the bench)," said Yankees manager
, who rested
in the nightcap. "Ruben understands the situation and is comfortable with the decisions."
Mussina (17-7) allowed two runs - one earned - in the first, and nothing else on a cloudy night in the Bronx. He gave up six hits while walking two and striking out one. The veteran righthander has seven wins in his last eight decisions.
"Mussina got behind, 2-0, and he didn't hang his head,"
said. "He kept making his pitches and kept coming at you. That's why he's an All-Star."
chipped in a solo homer for the Yankees, who picked up 1 1/2 games in the standings with their sweep, building a 5 1/2-game lead over Boston atop the American League East Division.
New York also extended its overall winning streak to a season-high eight games and ran its home streak to eight straight for the first time since the 1998 season.
Since losing the first two games of a key series with the
by a combined score of 20-3, the Yankees haven't lost, showing the kind of resiliency that has given them the best record in baseball (92-56).
"We keep putting pressure on the other side," Mussina said. "The guys that were struggling are coming out of it. We have put together a nice streak."
scored two runs in the first inning of Saturday's damp matinee, but the Yankees rebounded with three in the third, then broke three different ties, capped by Sierra's homer off
After an 11-minute rain delay pushed back the start of the nightcap, Tampa Bay again scored twice in the first, but the Yanks answered with a pair of runs in their half and never looked back.
"You can never let down against them," said Lee, whose team has lost five straight games for the second time in less than a month. "They keep coming at you."
(0-3) gave up five runs in 4 2/3 innings and fell to 3-17 lifetime as a starter. His last win in a starting role came April 27, 1996 as a member of the
After Tampa Bay scored twice in its first at-bat, the Yankees needed only five batters to tie it. Their first three batters singled before
lifted a sacrifice fly and Sierra tied it with a hit.
Giambi then belted his first homer since September 3, making it 3-2 with a solo shot to lead off the third. He had only nine hits in his previous 59 at-bats, four of them in Friday's 10-4 win.
"I had some good swings in the first game, but I kept fouling them off and getting behind in the count," said Giambi, New York's home run and RBI leader who was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in the matinee. "I'm pleased with the way I'm swinging lately."
With Mussina cruising to his 199th career victory, New York added two runs in the fifth, when it had one of its four runners thrown out on the bases.
walked and broke to second on a 3-2 pitch to Giambi. With third baseman
playing the lefthanded slugger near second base, Jeter tried beating him to third but was thrown out as he overslid the base on a head-first dive.
Jeter separated his shoulder on an eerily similar play on Opening Day in Toronto and missed six weeks, but Torre wasn't concerned.
"I'm not going to stop him from playing that way," Torre said. "That's what makes him the player he is."
Reyes then walked Posada and was pulled in favor of rookie lefthander
, who immediately allowed Sierra's two-run double to the gap in left-center field that made it 5-2.
The Yankees also had running miscues in the second, sixth and seventh.
doubled with one out in the second but was caught off the bag on a grounder to shortstop. The same thing happened to Posada in the seventh, after
was thrown out trying to go from first to third on a hit-and-run single in the sixth.
"We have to clean up the baserunning," Torre said. "I love the aggressiveness. Boone came in to Zim (bench coach
) and said, `Tell the manager I made a mistake.' Zim said, `I think the manager already knows.'"
Williams, who began his 35th birthday with a pair of homers in the first game, singled home a run in the sixth for a 6-2 lead.
"Bernie carried us in the first game and we put it all together in the second," Giambi said.
Lee homered off
in the eighth to cap the scoring.
fired a scoreless ninth for his second save of the day, 12th straight and 37th of the season.