Yanks overcome Howard's 7 RBIs


PHILADELPHIA -- Johnny Damon's two-run triple in the eighth inning helped New York overcome Ryan Howard's two homers and seven RBIs in the Yankees' 9-7 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies last night.

Jason Giambi and Jorge Posada homered and Bernie Williams went 5-for-5 for the Yankees, who ended a three-game skid despite another subpar outing from Mike Mussina.

Howard hit his 24th and 25th homers to tie the injured Albert Pujols for the major league lead and had a tiebreaking two-run triple in the seventh.

But Arthur Rhodes quickly gave up the lead against a team that has owned him throughout his career. Rhodes (0-2) didn't retire a batter in the eighth, allowing four runs. He's 4-8 with a 7.22 ERA in 49 games against the Yankees.

Williams had an infield single to start the eighth and Miguel Cairo walked. Pinch hitter Melky Cabrera broke an 0-for-15 slump with an RBI single to cut it to 7-6. Damon then ripped a two-run triple to center field to give the Yankees their first lead, 8-7. Ryan Franklin came in and gave up an RBI single to Derek Jeter.

With runners on first and second in the ninth, Rivera retired Howard on a bouncer to second base to end the game.

"That's what it's all about. As a closer, you have to face those guys, you have to face the best hitters," said Rivera, who recorded his first six-out save of the season. "I want to face the best."

Mussina allowed five runs and seven hits in five innings. He's 0-2 with a no-decision in his past three starts after going 8-1.

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