05/22/09 11:36 PM ET
Yanks' streak snapped by powerful Phils
Hurlers allow four homers; A-Rod, Jeter, Teixeira go deep
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
A.J. Burnett watched his first pitch of Friday evening land in the right-field seats and saw it set the tone for a wild night, as the game's top home run-hitting clubs faced off at Yankee Stadium. The Phillies outslugged the Yankees, 7-3, snapping New York's nine-game winning streak.
"Obviously it's a little different at times here, but if you make a mistake here at this level, they're going to launch it no matter where you are," Burnett said.
A Major League record 82 round-trippers have now been hit through 22 games at the new ballpark in the Bronx, with seven clearing the fences on a humid evening to kick off Interleague Play.
Jimmy Rollins connected on Burnett's first offering, Carlos Ruiz slugged a two-run homer in the second inning and Jayson Werth connected for a long two-run shot in the fifth -- the first to reach the second deck in left field.
Chien-Ming Wang also served up a solo shot to Raul Ibanez, coming out of the bullpen in an unfamiliar long relief role, as the Phillies belted four of the seven homers in the contest.
"The bottom line is, if you make your pitches, you're going to get people out," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "If you leave pitches up, you're going to give up home runs, no matter where you're at. There were some balls that were crushed tonight and they were going to go out of any ballpark."
Being bit by the long ball prompted the struggles for Burnett, who tied a career high with the three homers allowed and has not won since April 14 vs. the Rays, his second start as a Yankee.
Fighting a mechanical flaw in his delivery, Burnett was charged with five runs on eight runs through six innings, walking two and striking out seven.
"It's a matter of executing every pitch," Burnett said. "We'll work on it in the bullpen and be consistent, and take care of it. The good thing is I know how to fix it. It's a few balls that I left over the plate. If I didn't know what was the problem, I'd be worried."
Burnett admitted that he is feeling some frustration with the first two months of his Yankees career, which seemed to be starting on a sharper note after the first three outings of his five-year, $82.5 million contract.
"I still have a lot of confidence in him," Girardi said. "I still think that this guy is going to be a big part of our season. I know he hasn't won in a while; he's pitched some games that he could have won and didn't win. Tonight he left some balls up and it cost us."
Held scoreless by Brett Myers through five innings, Alex Rodriguez finally put New York on the board in the sixth, slugging a solo home run off Myers into the Philadelphia bullpen.
It was Rodriguez's sixth since rejoining the Yankees this month and No. 559 of his career, drawing within four of Reggie Jackson for 11th place on baseball's all-time list.
That helped set up a late push against Myers, as Derek Jeter hit his sixth homer leading off the eighth and Mark Teixeira blasted his 12th later in the frame -- a towering shot to right field that found a home in the suite level.
"It travels good, there's no doubt," Teixeira said. "I thought, at least to right-center and right in the old Stadium, it traveled well. Left-handed hitters always hit well here. The balls that it's going to take away from you in center and left-center, it's to going give it to you in right."
But it was just padding, as Myers limited New York to three runs on eight hits over eight innings -- walking none and striking out five -- before Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless ninth inning in a non-save situation.
The Yankees would try to take positives out of the evening from what they saw out of Wang, who was activated from the disabled list before the game to help bolster a bullpen that was run ragged by producing 8 1/3 innings of relief on Thursday against Baltimore.
Wang relieved in the seventh inning, making his third career appearance out of the bullpen and first since 2006. Entering with a 34.50 ERA, Wang retired the first batter he faced before serving up a long solo home run to Ibanez -- his 16th -- and an RBI single to Chase Utley in the eighth.
He exited with a 25.00 ERA, which the Yankees called progress, and Wang said that he much preferred having the opportunity to face the Phillies rather than making a third rehab start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
"It's much better, because I can face Major League hitters," Wang said. "The hitters are totally different. It's much better to be here."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.