Improved Wright Goes One Inning Too Many in Loss

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The New York Sun

Jaret Wright was cruising in his fourth start of the season against the Texas Rangers yesterday – and then the seventh inning happened.

Wright (2-2) ran into trouble in the seventh when the Rangers broke through for four runs, which eventually propelled them to a 6-2 victory over the Yankees in the Bronx.

Kevin Mench led off the seventh with a single and Brad Wilkerson then hit a 2-2 pitch from Wright into the first row of the upper deck in right for his seventh homer. Wright hit Mark DeRosa with a pitch before he was pulled for Scott Erickson. A walk and a sacrifice forced the Yankees to play their infield in, and Gary Matthews Jr. hit a slow roller to second baseman Robinson Cano, who bobbled the grounder and threw the ball past catcher Kelly Stinnett. DeRosa and D’Angelo Jimenez scored to give Texas a 4-0 lead.

Cano’s bad throw was New York’s second error of the game and its 17th miscue in its last 11.

Still, the reviews were mostly positive for Wright, who is still looking for his peak form.

“It doesn’t bother me because we’re working at it,” Joe Torre said.”I mean it’s something I don’t expect to continue because we certainly make it a lot tougher on the pitching staff if we continue to give the opposition extra outs.”

Johnny Damon hit a two-run single off Francisco Cordero in the bottom of the seventh, but Cordero rebounded to strike out Derek Jeter with runners on first and second to get out of the inning. Akinori Otsuka struck out the side in the ninth to close the game.


CARDINALS 6, METS 3 A day off for Albert Pujols could not stall the St. Louis Cardinals. Scott Spiezio had two hits and two RBI starting in place of the NL MVP, and Jason Marquis pitched into the eighth inning in a 6-3 victory over the Mets.

Carlos Beltran hit a two-run home run and Jose Valentin had a solo shot for the Mets, who are in a 3-7 slump and have lost their last three series after beginning the season with eight series wins and two splits.

“Well, the road trip is in the past,”Beltran said. “As a team, you go through a lot of ups and downs. You know, we’re hitting a bump and we’re looking forward to getting out of it.”

Jose Lima (0-3) got knocked out in the fifth. He and Jeremi Gonzalez, who starts today against the Yankees,are essentially auditioning for one spot in the Mets’ starting rotation, although that scenario could change after rookie Brian Bannister left a rehab start after only five pitches yesterday due to tightness in his right hamstring.

Lima hasn’t lasted longer then five innings in three starts as the fill-in for Bannister. In 14 1/3 innings, he’s give up 14 earned runs.

“I’m pulling for him because he’s a good kid,” Lima said of Bannister. “I’m taking his spot and if he comes back, he’ll probably help the team win.”

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