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CLEVELAND -- Six months have passed since Chien-Ming Wang trudged into the visitors' clubhouse at the newly renamed Progressive Field, hanging his head after being soundly rapped in the first game of the American League Division Series.
A different Wang appeared in Cleveland on Sunday, and in the reprise pitching matchup of that ill-fated October opener, he had every reason to stand tall.

With Melky Cabrera's solo homer accounting for the only run of the game and Mariano Rivera closing it out for the 450th time in his career, Wang outdueled defending AL Cy Young Award winner C.C. Sabathia, hurling seven scoreless innings as the Yankees edged the Indians, 1-0, to snap a three-game losing streak in a classic pitchers' duel.

"Chien-Ming Wang has been huge for us all year long," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He has pitched great. He knew what we needed and he gave it to us."

Wang continued his undefeated opening to the season and finished the month of April 5-0, joining Arizona's Brandon Webb as the Majors' only five-game winners -- though Webb won his sixth later Sunday. Wang showcased his improving slider to strike out a season-high nine, one shy of a career high, and only allowed one runner to get as far as third base.

Wang said that he did not take any additional motivation from facing Cleveland again, saying, "Every team is the same," but clearly his approach changed from last October.

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Yankees righty pushes Mariners two back with 7 1/3 innings
NEW YORK -- There's no denying how much the Yankees need strong pitching performances every night, and there's no cheapening how valuable an ace like Chien-Ming Wang can be.
But when the offense is clicking, it's hard to imagine that any of that might matter.

Wang allowed one run in 7 1/3 innings against the Mariners, guiding the Yankees to a 12-3 win and pushing their American League Wild Card edge back to two games on Tuesday. And while the Yankees needed that dominance early, they weren't quite as dependent on it later, after the offense awoke for three runs in the sixth inning and seven more in the seventh to blast open the game.

"The final score really didn't indicate what kind of game it was," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

That's because it's hard for one number to describe an offensive circus. The Yankees drilled four home runs in all -- two from Jorge Posada, and one each from Alex Rodriguez and Bobby Abreu -- and tallied up 20 hits. Eight of those came in the seventh, when they sent 12 batters to the plate and scored more than half of them. By the time that rally was complete, every Yankees starter other than Hideki Matsui had collected at least one hit and one RBI, and Matsui reached base twice himself.

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Ace takes game to new level thanks to Guidry's guidance

NEW YORK -- They walked side-by-side out a blue concrete corridor, through the bowels of Yankee Stadium and up to street level: the 6-foot-3 ace hurler holding a good size advantage over the club's top pitcher some three decades prior.
Clutching a Coca-Cola cup and clad in a baggy Nike T-shirt, Chien-Ming Wang looked down at his pitching coach, Ron Guidry, listening attentively. Wang understood that, even within his afternoon's importance, he still had some growing to do.

Wang took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and Robinson Cano homered twice, completing a series sweep of the Red Sox with a 5-0 victory on Thursday. Wang allowed just one hit, but it was the free passes -- four of them -- that chafed both teacher and pupil, vowing to improve upon for next time.

"Back to the drawing board," Guidry said.

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DETROIT -- As a rainy marathon inched past midnight and into the early-morning hours, the Yankees literally had to shoo Chien-Ming Wang from the dugout bench at Comerica Park, urging him to flag down a hotel-bound cab and rest.

Begrudgingly, Wang left his teammates and had to later be filled in on the sour details of an extra-inning loss to the Tigers. But the Yankees were glad that he had, especially as Wang pitched eight strong innings and put a win on the board on Saturday night.

Wang allowed two runs (one earned) in a performance that showcased the best of his arsenal, Johnny Damon flashed new life with a home run and Melky Cabrera legged out a three-run triple as the Yankees defeated the Tigers, 7-2.

"Everybody out there understood how important this game was, especially after last night's loss," said Yankees manager Joe Torre. "We need to minimize bad stuff."

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NEW YORK -- The urgency of Alex Rodriguez's chase for a home run has worn off. The Yankees are too busy putting runs on the scoreboard, with or without A-Rod.
Robinson Cano homered for the third time in four games and Melky Cabrera contributed an unusual two-run infield ground-rule double, backing Chien-Ming Wang and helping the Yankees to a 7-1 victory over the Royals on Friday.

The victory was the Yankees' fourth in five games against cellar-dwelling Kansas City, helping New York improve its record since the All-Star break to a Major League-best 16-7.

"For us, every win is important right now in the second half," Cano said. "[If] we want to make it to the playoffs, we need to win some games."

Rodriguez's last home run came on July 25 at Kansas City, and the return of Royal blue uniforms to the mound didn't spur the Major Leagues' leader off his perch of 35 homers.

Then again, it hasn't mattered -- with Rodriguez joking that perhaps he could become a "choppy hitter," he has concentrated more on a line-drive approach, which translated to a double in three at-bats, plus a sacrifice fly and a walk that spurred a sellout crowd of 54,246 to vociferously boo Royals left-hander Odalis Perez.

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BALTIMORE -- The Yankees found themselves in yet another close game against the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, but this time, they found their collective stride at the plate late in the game to march to a 10-6 win.
New York batted around in the eighth inning and awoke for five runs to avoid being swept for the first time in more than a month and end Baltimore's winning streak at six games.

The late surge made a difference, and a multitude of hitters lent a hand in the rally. Johnny Damon, who started in left field for the first time in the three-game series, made a great impact both at the plate and in the field. Damon hit into his first two double plays of the season on Saturday night but rebounded well, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and four runs scored on Sunday, including an RBI double in the eighth.

"Johnny had a great game offensively, defensively and on the bases," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "That's the kind of game that he can really build on."

Damon preserved the Yankees' 4-2 lead in the fourth inning, when he robbed Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts of an extra-base hit with a leaping grab in the left-center-field gap. Damon last played left field in the Yankees' last win on Wednesday.

"If I don't come up with it, they score two runs and have Roberts on second or third base with some other guys up who are swinging the bats well," Damon said. "That was something I needed to do."

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Abreu's five RBIs lift Yanks past Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Yankees did a lot of things right on Friday. Everything but win, that is, after a big inning doomed them. On Saturday, New York made sure to redeem itself.
It was much the same scenario on Saturday as it was one night prior, with New York down three early after its starter battled through a rocky frame. The Yankees weren't about to go down without a fight two nights in a row.

Thanks to Bobby Abreu, they didn't have to.

"Last year, when we got him, he was such a perfect fit for what we do," manager Joe Torre said of Abreu, who had five RBIs in the Yankees' 6-4 win over the Rays on Saturday at Tropicana Field. "And tonight was another example. It was a great game for him."

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"This is the problem with fans from Taiwan. They are really only here to cheer for 1 player, not for the Yankees. If Wang pitches a great game, and the Yankees still lose, the Taiwanese are still happy. If someone has an error, the Taiwanese fans come on this board and blame that player for Wang losing.

The baseball season is 162 games. Even if Wang has a great season and wins 20 games, there is still 142 games that other players on this team need to win.

Wang is a great player on a team. The rest of the players on this team make it possible for Wang to win. Alex Rodriguez plays most of those 162 games. Wang may play 30."

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王建民一開賽就賞給魯戈(Julio Lugo)三振,緊接著用內野滾地球取得第2個出局數,可是接下來保送歐提茲(David Ortiz),又被拉米雷茲(Manny Ramirez)揮出安打,幸好建仔最後讓祖魯(J.D. Drew)擊出二壘滾地球,結束一局上投球。

洋基打線首局就有所貢獻,戴蒙(Johnny Damon)安打上壘,隨即盜上二壘,本季只要王建民登板就打擊失常的羅德里蓋茲(Alex Rodriguez),抓準紅襪先發魏克菲爾(Tim Wakefield)沒有掉下來的蝴蝶球,一棒揮出兩分全壘打,這是A-Rod本季第18轟(領先大聯盟)。

二局上王建民雖先解決兩名打者,包含第2次三振,卻接連被揮出兩支安打,魯戈又因洋基游擊手基特(Derek Jeter)失誤上壘,形成滿壘的緊張局面,不過建仔漂亮用三振尤克勒斯(Kevin Youkilis)出局,讓紅襪得分美夢破滅。

最近身陷禁藥風波的吉昂比(Jason Giambi)在二局下貢獻右外野陽春全壘打,隊長基特又在兩人出局,一、三壘有人時,敲出適時1分打點安打,洋基再下兩城。擁有四分的領先優勢,王建民三局上半表演三上三下,更投出第4次三振。

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CHICAGO -- Chien-Ming Wang pitched seven strong innings and Hideki Matsui drove in four runs as the Yankees rolled to an 8-1 victory over the White Sox on Wednesday, securing a split of a day-night doubleheader at U.S. Cellular Field.
Having dropped the first game of the rain-necessitated twin bill behind a troubled effort from Mike Mussina, the Yankees sorely needed a solid starting performance.

They got one from Wang, who limited the White Sox to one earned run and six hits in picking up his second victory of the season, leaving with a three-run lead before the Yankees blew the game open with four runs -- including homers from Melky Cabrera and Jorge Posada -- in the ninth inning.

"It's all about Wang today," said Yankees manager Joe Torre. "Considering the fact that it was a close game, he was terrific. He got some good hitters out with men on base."

The Yankees staked Wang (2-3) to a lead in the third inning, scoring two unearned runs off Chicago starter Jose Contreras.

Derek Jeter reached on a one-out error and moved to second when Jason Giambi worked his second walk of the game. After Alex Rodriguez lined out, Matsui drilled a shot over the head of center fielder Darin Erstad, rolling to the wall and driving in both runners.

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二局上,一個94英哩快速球,王建民精采三振掉塞克森(Richie Sexson),迫使下一名打者揮出中外野高飛球出局,最後用最拿手的指叉球三振了吉連(Jose Guillen),又是一個三上三下。到了三局上,建仔繼續穩定的投球,讓水手打線一籌莫展,只用31球,就以無安打、兩K完美解決水手首輪九個打席。

洋基的打線在三局下總算提供王建民一些火力支援,阿布雷尤(Bobby Abreu)的中外野高飛犧牲打,替洋基先馳得點,不過無人出局、滿壘的大好得分情況,洋基卻僅得1分收場,其實還算蠻可惜的。

四局上半,鈴木一朗的投手強襲球打中王建民的左腳,但建仔仍趕緊把球撿起,把一朗封殺在一壘前,原本教練團還趨前關心一下建仔的腳,可是他仍穩健解決下兩名打者,還三振了伊邦奈茲(Raul Ibanez),甚至五局上仍讓水手打線完全熄火,繼續保持無安打的優異演出。

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NEW YORK -- Chien-Ming Wang took a seat at the far end of the Yankees' bench for the sixth inning, a white towel draped over his right arm and a bronze plaque of longtime clubhouse man Pete Sheehy serving as his only company.
The march toward perfection, as Wang learned in the Yankees' 8-1 victory on Saturday, can become a lonely path.

"I don't know why everybody [wouldn't] talk to me," Wang said.

Wang's bid to become just the third Yankees pitcher to throw a perfect game in the regular season ended in the eighth inning, as the Mariners' Ben Broussard -- the 23rd Seattle hitter of the game -- slugged a hanging changeup for a solo home run.

"I tried to throw it low. I got it higher," Wang said.

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當然,今天拿下第19勝,至少讓他已經追上雙城隊的王牌投手Johan Santana,並列大聯盟勝投王,不過,Santana可能還有一次出賽的機會,如果拿下勝投的話,就可以獨居勝投王寶座,另外王建民今天也打破南韓投手朴贊浩在2000年於道奇隊所創下的單季亞洲投手最多勝投18勝的紀錄,這也是相當難能可貴的成績,而王建民今天對金鶯對製造了11個滾地球出局數,總計今年有407個,僅次於2003年藍鳥隊投手Roy Halladay所創下的408個滾地球出局數,實在相當可惜。


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SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez has gotten a lot of attention as one of the American League's premier young pitchers, but Chien-Ming Wang showed his counterpart on Wednesday why he may be the class of the league when it comes to sophomore hurlers.
Wang held the Mariners to two runs over seven innings, while the Yankees battered Hernandez for seven runs in just 3 2/3 innings, taking a 9-2 win over Seattle.

Wang earned his team-leading 15th victory of the season, tying Detroit's Justin Verlander and Minnesota's Johan Santana for second in the AL, one behind Toronto's Roy Halladay. Wang won for the seventh time in his last eight decisions.

"I don't think we could have expected this," manager Joe Torre said. "You like those happy surprises; the pleasant surprises."

Robinson Cano drove in three runs for the Yankees, while Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi and Jorge Posada each drove in a pair.

The victory, New York's sixth win in seven games on its current road trip, kept the Yankees 6 1/2 games ahead of the Red Sox in the American League East.

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