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Published: Wednesday, 6/20/2007

Rain spoils Vasquez effort but Mud Hens win

BY DARREN DESAULNIERS
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

OTTAWA, Ont. - Virgil Vasquez knows you can't control the weather, but he's not too happy about it.

The Mud Hens starter was cruising along with a 1-0 lead in the top of the seventh having allowed just two hits to the Ottawa Lynx.

Then came the rain.

"It is unfortunate but he threw a [heck] of a game," Hens interim manager Mike Rojas said of the Vasquez outing.

"A 1-0 game going into the seventh inning we wished we could have kept going, but you can't mess with Mother Nature."

When play resumed one hour and five minutes later, all the hard work Vasquez had put in was undone in the bottom of the seventh as they Lynx tied the game.

Yorman Bazardo gave up three singles and one run in the bottom of the seventh inning. He shut the Lynx down over the next four innings though and allowed his teammates the opportunity to get their offense on track.

"Bazardo did a tremendous job for us," Rojas said, adding that he was good even in the seventh inning.

"It was a good pitch [that Brennan King hit to tie the game]. He jammed him a little bit but it was a good at-bat by Brennan. That's the way the ball bounces sometimes."

In the end the Hens didn't produce much offense really as they were held hitless after the fifth inning.

Lynx reliever John Ennis walked the bases full in the top of the 12th inning - one walk was intentional - and then walked Dane Sardinha to force in the go-ahead run.

Ennis (3-2) was not at all happy with the call and voiced his displeasure to home plate umpire Todd Paskiet.

Ennis then retired the next batter to end the inning, but he wasn't finished with Paskiet, who then tossed Ennis from the game.

The two bumped at home plate before Lynx manager John Russell came out of the dugout to continue the discussion with the umpire.

"That one hurt, especially when it comes down to the hands of the umpires," Lynx outfielder Chris Roberson said, citing a few other calls he felt the umpires blew.

"He missed a few close calls that we should have had and it was aggravating."

The Hens' Ramon Santiago doubled to lead off the game, was sacrificed to third by Kevin Hooper and scored on a single by Ryan Raburn.

DENVER - Jorge Posada started at first base for the first time in six years last night, and the Yankees recalled Andy Phillips from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as they designated Josh Phelps for assignment.

Posada, usually New York's starting catcher, took dozens of ground balls at first before the game. It was his 12th career start at first base and his first since June 25, 2001, according to Elias Sports Bureau. With the sun in his eyes, he wore sunglasses in the first inning and made a clean grab on Derek Jeter's throw following Willy Taveras' grounder to shortstop.

"I just wanted his bat in there," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "And having played him there before, it's not to me as much of a gamble. The only thing we needed for him to do was be comfortable doing it. And he's convinced me he is."

Torre also stuck with Melky Cabrera in center field because Johnny Damon continues to be bothered by an abdominal strain. Damon, also slowed by leg injuries, has been serving as the team's designated hitter in the absence of injured Jason Giambi but the Yankees can't use a DH in NL parks.



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