Yankees beat Indians 6-5 for 1st win at new home

NEW YORK (AP) " Derek Jeter stepped to the plate with the score tied in the eighth inning, turned on a fastball and sent it into the right-field seats. Mariano Rivera then finished off a New York Yankees win.

Some things didn't change with the move across 161st Street.

New York had five homers in a game for the first time since 2007, winning its first game at the new Yankee Stadium as Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira, Melky Cabrera and Robinson Cano also hit solo home runs Friday in a 6-5 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

"That's Yankee Stadium," Rivera said.

Cleveland had blown out New York 10-2 Thursday in the opener at the $1.5 billion palace and led 5-3 after five innings Friday.

"A lot of times it seems like the first one might be the most difficult to get," Jeter said.

Jeter, the Yankees captain, led the club to four World Series titles and six AL pennants across the street. That his home run gave the Yankees their first win in their new home seemed appropriate.

"If anyone's going to hit a game-winning home run for the first win at the new stadium, it's going to be Derek," Teixeira said.

Ceremonial bunting was gone, and the spectators in many of the priciest seats disappeared, too. Some of the tickets were unsold, and other spectators with tickets closest to the infield spent time inside the three areas serving them free food, leaving empty blue seats.

"We saw that. I don't think I've ever seen that at Yankee Stadium," said Jensen Lewis (1-1), who gave up Jeter's third home run of the season.

While the crowd was noisier than during Thursday's opener, it still seemed quieter than at the old ballpark. A better test will be when rival Boston arrives for a series next month.

"I thought it was louder today," said Cleveland's Mark DeRosa, whose check-swing strikeout ended the game. "Opening day is weird. It's not a representative game."

Jeter thought the crowd was noisy " at times.

"When we do something," he said. "If we give them something to cheer about."

The crowd of 45,101 was about 7,200 short of the listed capacity, but the Yankees said they didn't sell about 2,000 standing room tickets.

"We're very, very pleased because traditionally the game after opening day is soft, however, today's game significantly outpaced even the last year of the old stadium and 2007," he said.

Their second game in 2008 drew 48,544 to the old ballpark, which held about 57,000, and while the listed attendance for the second game in 2007 was 52,096, the Yankees said the turnstile count that day was about 41,000.

Fans Friday saw all five of New York's home runs go to right field. Cano become the first player to reach the new stadium's second deck and Teixeira, playing a day following a cortisone injection to his sore left wrist, homered off the facing of the second deck.

"I'm glad it's finally feeling better. I could take some semi-normal swings today," Teixeira said.

New York was so successful at the old stadium, which still stands, that its all-time record there never dipped more than a game below .500 and that was only in 1923, when the stadium opened. For a while, it appeared the Yankees might drop to 0-2 at their new place.

Given a 3-2 lead after four, starter Joba Chamberlain walked his leadoff batter in the fifth, and Cleveland went ahead on DeRosa's run-scoring single, Victor Martinez's sacrifice fly and Ryan Garko's RBI double off the manual scoreboard in left.

Cano homered in the sixth against Zach Jackson, who relieved starter Anthony Reyes. Then in the seventh, Vinnie Chulk walked Damon leading off and threw Teixeira's grounder wide of first, allowing Damon to come home on the error.

Brian Bruney (2-0) won in relief of Chamberlain, who threw just 46 of 93 pitches for strikes and gave up five runs, six hits and five walks in 4 2-3 slow-moving innings.

Rivera pitched the ninth to convert his third save in three chances. Following one-out singles by Tony Graffanino and Asdrubal Cabrera, Grady Sizemore struck out and DeRosa fanned on a 3-2 count, arguing with plate umpire Phil Cuzzi.

"He threw me five cutters in. I'm looking for a cutter in," DeRosa said. "He went out but it was up."

The 1,800 Legends Suite seats in the first nine rows ringing the plate, which cost between $500 and $2,625 each, were more than half empty at the start of the game as dozens of waiters and waitresses filled the aisles serving those who were there. Not a single spectator was in the final 30 first-row seats down each foul line during the first inning, and only a handful of those seats were filled later, when the rest of the section was perhaps more than half full. Just behind, the padded field level seats that go for $325 as part of season tickets and $375 individually were about half-empty.

"The premium seats are over 80 percent sold," Levine said. "Today, as is traditional, there are some no-shows."

Only the smallest of the seven party suites in right field appeared to be in use. But the cheaper seats in the top two decks were full.

"I don't really worry about that," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It is Friday afternoon, a 1 o'clock game. People do work."

Notes: New York's previous five-homer game was Aug. 1, 2007, against the Chicago White Sox. ... Indians SS Jhonny Peralta didn't play after injuring a hand while sliding into Yankees C Jorge Posada on Thursday. ... Carl Pavano, who won nine games during his $39.95 million, four-year contract with New York, is slated to start Sunday's series finale for Cleveland. Pavano was booed loudly during Thursday's pregame introductions. "It was nothing that was surprising yesterday," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "I don't think anybody is going to be surprised by anything on Sunday." ... New York was 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, a day after going 1-for-11.


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