NEW YORK (AP) – Jason Giambi hit a two-run homer, and Ruben Sierra drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single to lift the New York Yankees to their seventh win in eight games, 9-4 over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.

Randy Johnson (9-6) struggled through six unremarkable innings, but the Yankees improved to a season-high six games over .500 for the third time behind Giambi’s 10th homer of the season – fifth in six games, Gary Sheffield’s late three-run homer and Cleveland starter Jake Westbrook’s wildness.

The teams return from the All-Star break with four games against their respective division leaders, beginning Thursday. The Indians host the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox, and the Yankees head to Boston to play the Red Sox.

Mariano Rivera earned his first two-inning save since July 11, 2003, at Toronto. It was his 20th straight save after blowing his first two chances this year.

With New York trailing 2-1 in the fourth, Giambi homered deep into the bleachers in right-center on Westbrook’s first pitch after Hideki Matsui reached on shortstop Jhonny Peralta’s fielding error.

The Indians tied it in the fifth on Travis Hafner’s one-out sacrifice fly after Johnson allowed singles to Aaron Boone and Grady Sizemore leading off.

In the bottom half, the Yankees scored three time with two outs. After retiring the first two batters, Westbrook (6-11) walked Sheffield and Alex Rodriguez. Matsui followed with an RBI double, and Giambi was walked intentionally to load the bases.

Sierra, a switch-hitter batting left-handed, lined a 2-2 pitch to the opposite field to drive in two runs and make it 6-3.

Hafner’s third RBI of the game, a one-out single in the seventh off Ryan Franklin made it 6-4. Sheffield hit his 17th of the season off Bob Howry in the eighth to close out the scoring.

Johnson allowed the leadoff batter to reach base in each of the first five innings. But he used seven strikeouts, two nice plays from third baseman Rodriguez and a pair of runners caught stealing by catcher John Flaherty to limit the damage.

In the first and third innings with the infield playing in, Rodriguez snared hard-hit, one-out grounders by Victor Martinez to hold the runner at third.

Flaherty bailed Johnson out in the fourth. With runners on first and second with none out, Flaherty threw out Jose Hernandez at third after Peralta struck out. Flaherty, who has become Johnson’s personal catcher, then threw out Ronnie Belliard trying to swipe second to end the inning.

Johnson was done after six innings, having thrown 109 pitches. He allowed three runs and nine hits, and struck out eight while walking one.

Rookie Melky Cabrera had trouble with another ball hit to straightaway center field – he misplayed two Saturday – and it led to Cleveland’s first run. An out after Sizemore doubled on the game’s first pitch, Hafner hit a liner to center that Cabrera got a late jump on. The ball nicked off his outstretched glove and rolled toward the wall as Sizemore scored.

Boone doubled in a run in the second. In the bottom half, Flaherty had a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to bring the Yankees to 2-1.

Notes: The crowd of 54,256 was the Yankees ninth straight sellout and 20th this season. … Boone was 8-for-16 against his former team in the four-game series. … Matsui had three hits and scored three runs.

AP-ES-07-10-05 1628EDT


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