Site hosted by Build your free website today!
Thursday April 5, 2001
Royals 0 @ Yankees 1

| Back Home | Stats | Pictures | Collectibles | Profile | Moose Watch | News/Highlights |

BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- Mike Mussina felt right at home in the Big Apple.

Mussina pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings in his New York Yankees debut and combined with Mariano Rivera on a five-hitter in a 1-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals that completed a three-game sweep.

Paul O'Neill accounted for the game's only run with a first-inning homer.

A resident of Montoursville, Pennsylvania who enjoys country living, Mussina elected to leave the Baltimore Orioles over the winter and signed a six-year, $88.5 million contract with the Yankees. Mussina began justifying the expense by dominating the Royals, allowing just five hits with no walks and three strikeouts.

"There is a difference playing here as a visitor than as a home player," Mussina said. "It's tough pitching in New York. This team has been talented for years and they usually beat us up, so it's good to be on the other side."

The Big Apple fans gave Mussina (1-0) a warm welcome in his first home game at Yankee Stadium, chanting his nickname "Moose" as he left the field with two outs in the seventh.

Rivera retired all four batters he faced for the save as the Yankees defeated Kansas City for the 26th time in the last 32 meetings.

Mussina joined an already formidable rotation that includes five-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and postseason ace Orlando Hernandez. In the first three games of the season, the three-time defending world champions have a 1.33 ERA.

"This is our strength. Our strength is our starters," manager Joe Torre said. "We have had three quality starts. You don't think in terms of winning two out of three. You go out there every day thinking you have a chance to win."

The only serious Kansas City challenge came in the second when Mark Quinn singled and Dee Brown doubled with two outs. But A.J. Hinch grounded back to the mound, and the Royals did not have another runner past first base the rest of the afternoon.

"He's the type of pitcher who if you don't get him early he's going to settle down and make his pitches," O'Neill said. "When a guy pitches that well, you really want to cash in with the win."

Dan Reichert (0-1) was the hard-luck loser, allowing just four hits in six innings with three walks and three strikeouts. His only mistake came in the first, when O'Neill homered to right field on a 2-2 pitch.

"It was a just a slider that hung up a little bit and he hit it out," Reichert said. "That was the difference in the game. I had good stuff. It was a good start to the season, but a win would have been better."

The Yankees had just two runners as far as second base the rest of the game. With baserunners at a premium, the game was played in a brisk two hours and 16 minutes.

Former Yankee Jason Grimsley pitched two scoreless innings.