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Sunday July 22, 2001
Blue Jays 3 @ Yankees 7

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Tino Martinez, Paul O'Neill and the New York Yankees picked up their World Series rings, then went out and played like champions.

Martinez and O'Neill homered into the upper deck in the fourth inning and the Yankees ended a four-game losing streak, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 7-3 Sunday.

Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada also homered as the Yankees avoided a season-high fifth straight loss.

"I think seeing that we were oh-for-our-last-four did more to stimulate us" than the rings, manager Joe Torre said.

Alex Gonzalez homered twice and Brad Fullmer also connected for Toronto, which had won three in a row.

Hall of Famer Yogi Berra presented the three-carat diamond rings in a pregame ceremony. The jewelry includes the words "Tradition" and "Pride" and features three subway cars -- representing the Yankees' victory over the Mets in the Subway Series for their third straight title.

"It's been so long ago, it's almost an afterthought. Right now we're in another pennant race," O'Neill said. "Hopefully, it won't be the last one we receive."

Mike Mussina (10-8), who hopes to earn his first ring this season, walked in from the left-center field bullpen while his teammates gathered on the field to get their rings.

"I haven't seen the rings yet," he said. "Hopefully, a year from now, I get to stand out there and get one."

Torre got his fourth World Series ring with the Yankees, but did not get to enjoy the entire afternoon.

He was ejected in the eighth for arguing after plate umpire Rob Drake issued a warning following a high-and-tight pitch from Yankees reliever Jay Witasick to Jose Cruz Jr.

In the bottom half, Blue Jays reliever Chris Michalak was tossed after hitting Chuck Knoblauch in the lower leg with a pitch.

Toronto manager Buck Martinez was automatically ejected, too, and third-base coach Terry Bevington was thrown out when he joined the animated, finger-pointing argument.

"This is a farce. This is an absolute farce," Torre said. "This is a joke. Baseball can't go on like this.

"The umpire behind the plate sort of overreacted. It got out of hand," he said. "He said he was going according to a note he got. You'd like to believe the people who officiate this game have a better feel."

Drake, who began the season as a Triple-A umpire, crew chief Charlie Reliford and the rest of the umps refused to talk to reporters after the game.

Frank Robinson, baseball's head disciplinarian, watched the disputes from the private box.

Earlier in the game, Toronto starter Chris Carpenter hit Derek Jeter with a pitch. Carpenter is tied with Los Angeles' Eric Gagne for most hit batsmen in the majors with 13.

Torre and Buck Martinez agreed there was no intent on either side to hit anyone.

"I think the rule is flawed," Martinez said. "You have to understand the flow of the game."

Added Michalak: "If you're going to hit anybody, you're not going to throw at their feet."

And this fact, unsaid by the Blue Jays but certainly understood: With Toronto scheduled to face Roger Clemens on Monday night, it would be foolish to begin any kind of beanball war.

Gonzalez, the second batter of the game, hit his first home run since June 13. But the Blue Jays got only one more hit off Mussina until Fullmer homered in the seventh.

Mussina gave up four hits and struck out nine in seven innings. He won for the first time in four starts.

The Yankees backed Mussina with a season-high four home runs.

"This was big for us," O'Neill said. "We haven't been scoring many runs. And we did it with home runs."

Williams hit a solo homer off Carpenter (7-7) in the first. The Yankees broke open the game with three runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth.

Martinez sent a drive to deep right for his 20th homer and a 2-1 lead. After Posada singled, O'Neill also homered into the upper deck in right.

Martinez's third hit, an RBI single, finished Carpenter in the fifth. Michalak relieved and Posada hit his 17th homer.

Gonzalez homered in the eighth.

Game notes
Yankees pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre returned after missing two games because of a chest cold. ... Gonzalez had his first multihomer game this season and third of his career. ... Carlos Delgado's bat shattered on a first-inning grounder, and a jagged piece stuck upright in the infield grass. ... The Yankees' ring ceremony came later in the season than usual. The team took a while before picking longtime designer Balfour over Tiffany to make the jewelry. ... A 58-year-old man who had a heart attack in the upper deck at Yankee Stadium near the end of Saturday's Old-Timers Day game died. He was not identified by the Yankees.