Yanks shut down Harper (0 for 7, 5 Ks)

Associated Press  |  Last updated June 16, 2012
Mark Teixeira hit a two-run double in the 14th inning Saturday as the New York Yankees won their eighth straight game, beating the Washington Nationals 5-3. Teixeira's drive to the right field corner off Brad Lidge (0-1) brought home Jayson Nix and Derek Jeter in the longest game by innings played by either team this season. Freddy Garcia (1-2) pitched two innings to get the win. Rafael Soriano handled the bottom of the 14th for his 12th save, but only after allowing back-to-back one-out singles to Jesus Flores and Steve Lombardozzi. The game ended when Soriano got Bryce Harper to ground out, ending an 0-for-7 day for the Nationals' teen sensation that included five strikeouts. Ian Desmond hit a solo homer in the Washington eighth off Cory Wade that made it 3-all. The Nationals had a chance to take the lead later in the inning when pinch-hitter Adam LaRoche singled to right with Tyler Moore on second. Dewayne Wise, who had just moved to right field from left field in a double switch for LaRoche's at-bat, charged the ball and threw out Moore on a close play at the plate. Replays appeared to show that Moore's hand slapped the plate just ahead of catcher Russell Martin's tag. Nix opened the 14th with a groundball infield single so deep into the hole that Desmond didn't bother to make a throw from shortstop. Nix then stole second and advanced to third on Derek Jeter's single to left. After Curtis Granderson struck out, Teixeira got his only hit on a day that started - seemingly long ago - with strikeouts in the first, third and fifth innings. The teams played five innings of scoreless ball after Desmond's game-tying home run in the eighth. Chris Stewart, the last available position player on the bench for the Yankees, struck out with two out and two on in the top of the 12th. With Alex Rodriguez taking the day off from the starting lineup, Eric Chavez started at third and reached base four times, including his double off the scoreboard in right-center that scored Martin and gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead in the sixth. Chavez also had a single and reached base on an error and a walk. One day after turning 40, Andy Pettitte allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings in his Nationals Park debut. He particularly embarrassed Harper by getting the 19-year-old to strike out three times lunging at offspeed pitches in the lefty-vs.-lefty, old-vs.-young matchup. Harper laid off the slider his fourth time up against Pettitte and hit a fastball deep to left center with a man on the seventh inning, but Granderson made a running two-out catch that temporarily preserved the Yankees' lead. Harper was also called out on strikes in the 10th against lefty reliever Clay Rapada and went down swinging in the 13th against righty Garcia. Pettitte's last notable appearance in the nation's capital came at the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, where he testified last month in the perjury trial of former teammate Roger Clemens. Pettitte emerged that day as baseball's ''50-50'' player - as in, his level of confidence as to whether he actually heard Clemens admit to using human growth hormone. Pettitte's return trip also didn't have a definitive outcome: He left with the lead but came away with a no-decision after Desmond homered off Wade. The Yankees clinched another series and won for the 18th time in 21 games. The only thing missing was the prerequisite home run: New York won for the first time all season without hitting a homer, ending an 0-12 streak. The Nationals had held firm against most challengers in an upstart season that has them in first place in the NL East, but the Yankees have stymied the momentum. Washington had won six straight entering this three-game series. Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed three runs and five hits over six innings. NOTES: Pettitte set a major league record by starting his 52nd interleague game, passing Livan Hernandez. He is 19-16 in AL vs. NL matchups. ... The Nationals walked a season-high nine batters. ... Rodriguez appeared as a pinch-hitter in the 10th inning and grounded out to second base. Rodriguez's absence from the starting lineup was because of rest. ''I'm giddy when I get up in the morning. I'm giddy. It's nice to wake up and make it about baseball. ... The good news is my body feels great. I feel better and better,'' Rodriguez said. ... The Clemens trial is taking place a dozen blocks or so from Nationals Park, but it's hardly the talk of the clubhouse. ''I follow it, but I just wish it wasn't in the news,'' Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. ''I just wish that we could get by that. He was a great pitcher. He's got a lot of my respect, and I hate to see any negative light shed on baseball in any way, and on any of the great players.''
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