Randy Johnson threw six no-hit innings in Kansas City last night as the Yankees clobbered the Royals 8-3. The Red Sox were blown-out at home--and had some salt poured onto their wounds down in Florida to boot--as New York's lead is back to nine games. Johnson (16-10) absolutely cruised, getting ahead of batters, and then putting them away. He threw only 81 pitches in seven full innings of work, walking two and striking out eight. To be sure, the Big Unit was aided by home plate umpire Charlie Reliford's more than generous strike zone and an impatient KC lineup. But hey, the Yanks'll take it.
David DeJesus broke up the no-no with a lead off triple in the seventh, but he was promptly picked-off of third by Jorge Posada. Down 5-0 at the time, I was surprised how DeJesus--who robbed Robinson Cano of a hit and also threw the Yankees' second baseman out at the plate earlier in the game--could make such a careless play. Good as he is, I suppose this is why the Royals are in last place.
Posada powered the Yanks with two, three-run home runs. In the sixth, Jason Giambi--who had hit the ball hard in his previous at bat--doubled to the gap in right center. Alex Rodriguez followed with a walk and then Posada crushed a dinger to right. In the eighth, Andy Phillips--who had replaced Giambi in the seventh--doubled and Rodriguez walked again. This time, Posada hit one out to dead center, good for his 19th tater of the season (he also has 79 RBIs).
About the only drag for the Yanks was the performance by Kyle Farnsworth, who gave up a couple of runs in the ninth. Fortunately, the Bombers are winning without Mariano Rivera, who isn't expected to begin throwing a ball around again until tomorrow at the earliest. According to Sam Borden in the News:
"We've been winning some games without him but no one is delusional enough to think we can do that in the future," [manager, Joe] Torre said. "He could go out and pitch right now. What we're trying to do is alleviate the discomfort. He's very important to us. The ability to get it all the way well is our priority."