2005_09_ssheffield.jpgIt wasn’t pretty, but the Yankees slugged their way to another victory Tuesday beating the Orioles 12-9 and pulling to within a 1/2 game of the Wild Card lead. Aaron Small picked up the victory to improve to 9-0 and become the first pitcher in baseball to win his first nine games without a loss since the immortal Frank DiPino in 1989.

Gary Sheffield was the offensive hero of the game for the Yankees, driving in six runs and hitting a grand slam. Sheffield is unable to play in the outfield because of a sore leg and will be the DH for the rest of the year. A Rod added three hits and a mammoth home run into the upper deck in right, a rare feat for a right-handed batter.

The Red Sox won as well Tuesday, so the Yankees remain 1/2 game back for the division lead. The Yankees have nine games left before heading to Fenway for the final three games of the season. Randy Johnson takes the mound on Wednesday and considering the state of the Yankees’ bullpen, he better not get ejected!

Photo by AP/Julie Jacobson via ESPN