Yankees rally in 9th to beat Lidge

May 26, 2009 8:34:15 AM PDT
Alex Rodriguez hit a tying homer off Brad Lidge in the ninth inning and Melky Cabrera capped the three-run rally with an RBI single, giving the New York Yankees a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday. John Mayberry Jr. hit a three-run homer in his major league debut and Raul Ibanez also connected, helping the Phillies build a 4-2 lead for new starter J.A. Happ.

Lidge (0-2) came on in the ninth and immediately got in trouble. Johnny Damon drew a leadoff walk and stole second. After Mark Teixeira struck out, Rodriguez smacked a full-count pitch over the short porch in right for his seventh homer - and 10th hit - after missing the first 28 games this season following hip surgery.

Robinson Cano followed with a single, stole second and scored without a play on Cabrera's single to right-center.

It was the third game-ending hit of the year for Cabrera, who raised his arms as he rounded first and dashed with glee all the way across the diamond as jubilant teammates chased him down to celebrate.

The Yankees have won 10 of 11 and are making a habit of these walk-off victories. They had three straight against Minnesota last weekend, and capped this one the same way: pitcher A.J. Burnett pelted Cano and Cabrera with a pie in the face as they waited to do an on-field interview - even getting some whipped cream on radio broadcaster Suzyn Waldman.

For Rodriguez, it was his sixth homer in eight games and No. 560 of his career, three shy of Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson for 11th place.

Like Rodriguez, Yankees captain Derek Jeter homered for the second straight day.

Lidge, who converted all 48 save chances in 2008 - including the postseason - during his first year in Philadelphia, has blown three of 11 opportunities this season. His ERA climbed to 9.16.

Jose Veras (3-1) got one out in the ninth for the win.

The series finale is Sunday, with World Series MVP Cole Hamels on the mound against New York's CC Sabathia in a marquee matchup of ace left-handers.

In his second career at-bat, Mayberry lined a rocket to left field against Andy Pettitte in the fifth inning to snap a 1-all tie. Smiling in the stands and wearing a Phillies cap was Mayberry's father, John, a two-time All-Star who hit 255 homers in 15 big league seasons.

After his homer, the Phillies had some fun with the younger Mayberry, giving him the silent treatment in the dugout for a moment. He cracked a big smile, and they finally jumped off the bench to congratulate him.

His homer led to some confusion on television for Fox, however. The network thought it had a shot showing his father cheering in the stands, but it turned out to be some other Phillies fan. Fox acknowledged its gaffe on the air, then later found Mayberry's dad.

Ibanez's 17th home run broke a tie with San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez for the major league lead. Happ tossed six impressive innings of four-hit ball on a blustery afternoon, but the Phillies fell to 15-6 away from home and 7-2 on this 10-game trip.

It was Happ's first start this season after 12 relief appearances. The 26-year-old lefty replaced a struggling Chan Ho Park in the rotation and struck out four while walking none.

Mayberry was called up after Friday night's game from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he was hitting .277 with a team-high eight homers and 25 RBIs in 37 games. He also flashed some speed in the seventh, legging out a double with his long, smooth strides.

There have been 86 homers at the new Yankee Stadium, a record for the first 22 games at a major league ballpark, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Notes: Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he thinks RHP Joba Chamberlain will be able to make his next scheduled start Tuesday night at Texas. Chamberlain left in the first inning Thursday when he was hit on the inside of his knee by a line drive. If Chamberlain can't take his regular turn, RHP Chien-Ming Wang could start in his place, Girardi said. ... Ibanez was the DH after starting the first 40 games of the season in left field.

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