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Horrible Eighth Inning Pitching Sinks D-backs, Yanks Win 9-3

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Alex Rodriguez homered and finished with three runs batted in while Andy Pettitte continued his stellar 2010 season with seven strong innings, as the New York Yankees defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 9-3, at Chase Field.

Pettitte (9-2) allowed two runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts for the Yankees, who bounced back from a 10-4 loss in Monday's opener of this three- game interleague series and won for the seventh time in their last 11 games overall.

Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher both scored twice while rookie Colin Curtis, who played college ball at Arizona State, posted his first major league hit -- a two-run, pinch-hit double -- during a six-run eighth inning.

Arizona starting pitcher Dan Haren tossed seven solid innings and drove in two runs, but watched as his mates in the bullpen turn a close game into a rout. Haren (7-6) allowed three runs on six hits with eight strikeouts and one walk.

The Diamondbacks have now dropped six of their last eight games.

New York came to bat in the top of the eighth holding a 3-2 lead, but blew the game wide open with a six-run rally. Esmerling Vasquez was on the mound and yielded a leadoff single to Jeter before Swisher doubled to right field. A single by Mark Teixeira followed and plated Jeter and a walk to Rodriguez loaded the bases.

Robinson Cano then drilled the third single of the stanza, which brought home Swisher. Chad Qualls then replaced Vasquez and did not fare much better. With the bases still loaded and no outs, a sacrifice fly by Jorge Posada gave the Yanks a 6-3 cushion.

The next batter, Curtis Granderson, laced a base hit to center and Rodriguez easily scored. Curtis then came on as a pinch-hitter for Pettitte and sent a fastball over the head of center fielder Chris Young. As the ball rolled to the wall, Cano and Granderson easily scored and the visitors held a commanding 9-2 lead.

New York reliever Joba Chamberlain tossed a scoreless eighth before David Robertson took the mound in the ninth for the visitors.

Robertson surrendered a two-out RBI double to Kelly Johnson but struck out Cole Gillespie to end the game.

The Yankees jumped out to an early led on a two-run homer by Rodriguez in the first inning. Jeter led off the game with a single and came around to score on the ninth homer of the season for Rodriguez, a blast that cleared the wall in left-center field.

"I came out and my stuff was just alright, made that one bad pitch trying to go inside, lifted it up a little over the plate, and he just got enough of it," Haren said. "It's a very good lineup obviously, so any mistake you make they will probably make you pay, besides that I kept the ball down for the most part, made my pitches and pitched ahead in the count for the most part."

In the home second, Haren aided his own cause and the Diamondbacks knotted the score. With two outs, Adam LaRoche walked and Mark Reynolds stroked a double before both crossed the plate on a single by Haren.

"Fortunately we won this game," Pettitte said. "Obviously when you give up a hit to the pitcher and we had a 2-nothing lead, again we scored runs late, it was a tough game. He (Haren) threw the ball well and fortunately we got a win."

Rodriguez drove in his third run of the night in the third stanza. Swisher laced a two-out single, moved to second on another single by Teixeira and scored on Rodriguez's base knock to center field for a 3-2 New York advantage.

From that point, the starting pitchers began to control the game. Pettitte worked perfect half-innings in the third and fourth before he worked around a pair of singles in the fifth by inducing an inning-ending grounder by Stephen Drew.

Haren, meanwhile, tossed a 1-2-3 fourth, got three straight outs in the fifth after Pettitte led off with a base hit and worked a perfect sixth.

Rodriguez increased his RBI total for the season to 48...The D'Backs left eight men on base...Pettitte owns a 2.48 ERA in 2010 -- he threw 113 pitches in this one (73 strikes)...New York was 5-for-8 with runners in scoring position.