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Yankees 5 @ Blue Jays 2

Tuesday April 9, 2002

Mussina W2-0 | 8IP | 2H | 2ER | 1BB | 10K | 1.20ERA

TORONTO (AP) -- For a week now, each New York Yankees starting pitcher has been more dominant than the one the night before.

Mike Mussina allowed two hits in eight innings and Rondell White hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth as the Yankees won their seventh straight game, 5-2 over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.

"This is unbelievable man. Our pitching staff is the best in baseball," White said.

Raul Mondesi and Felipe Lopez hit solo homers off Mussina (2-0) for Toronto's only hits. Mussina, who pitched seven scoreless innings against Baltimore last week, struck out 10 and walked one.

Since a 10-3 loss at Baltimore on Opening Day, New York has allowed just eight runs and won all seven games for its best start since going 9-1 in 1999.

Every Yankees starter has won since Opening Day.

"This is a unique situation," Mussina said. "We've done what we're supposed to do for seven straight games. That's a lot of the reason why we've won."

Lopez's homer in the third inning was the first that New York has surrendered since Baltimore's Tony Batista hit a grand slam on Opening Day off Roger Clemens in the fourth inning -- a span of 60 innings.

"It's just tough to beat their pitching. They bring out a No. 1 guy five days in row," Toronto starter Roy Halladay said.

Bernie Williams, who entered 4-for-24, went 3-for-3 with two walks and an RBI to raise his average to .259.

With the game tied at 2, Williams led off the eighth with a walk off reliever Dan Plesac (0-1). Two outs later, White homered off closer Kelvim Escobar, giving New York a 4-2 lead. White's homer hit off the facing of SkyDome's Windows restaurant in center field.

White said it might have been the hardest-hit ball of his career.

"It might have been the best. I knew it was gone. I just starting jogging," White said. "It felt great, it felt wonderful."

Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his fourth save.

Toronto has lost five straight.

Mussina struck out five of his first six batters and didn't allow a hit until Lopez homered with one out in the third.

"This was a dynamite game," New York manager Joe Torre said. "Pitching is our strength."

Halladay pitched five scoreless innings before the Yankees scored twice in the sixth.

After Alfonso Soriano led off with a single, Jeter singled and Williams followed with an RBI single. Jason Giambi then drove in his third run of the season with a broken-bat single to center, giving New York a 2-0 lead.

Mondesi's homer with two outs in the bottom half tied it at 2.

Halladay allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings, striking out eight and walking one. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed one run in eight innings in his first start.

"He's showing what he's made off," Toronto manager Buck Martinez said. "He stopped the bleeding. He did a great job."

Jeter's RBI single in the ninth made it 5-2.

Game notes
Mussina has struck out 10 or more batters in a game 33 times in his career. ... Jeter robbed leadoff hitter Vernon Wells of a hit in the first inning when he went into the hole toward third base and made an off-balance throw to nail the speedy Wells. ... Giambi has an RBI in each of the last three games. ... New York rookie Nick Johnson has been hit by a pitch a major league-high five times this season. ... New York beat Toronto 16-3 Monday.


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