LOS ANGELES -- The Yankees celebrated so many different types of victories last season, including the ultimate one that permits them to carry the title of world champions. But at the moment the barrel of Robinson Cano's bat exploded Sunday, even they discovered a new avenue for winning.
Cano's two-run homer off George Sherrill in the top of the 10th inning capped six unanswered runs for the Yankees, who surged to spoil Joe Torre's reunion weekend and get out of town with an 8-6 victory over the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
"I don't even remember last year having a win like this, to be honest with you. That was quite a miracle," said Alex Rodriguez, who belted his 594th career homer during the game. "It took 25 guys, and the bullpen did a really nice job, and great at-bats late in the game."
Rodriguez could not recall a win like this one in 2009 because, it turned out, they did not have one. Prior to Sunday, the last time the Yankees overcame a four-run deficit in the ninth inning or later was April 19, 2007, against the Indians, when Torre was grinning in the manager's office instead of scowling in the opposing dugout.
Playing their final frames of Interleague ball, the Yankees appeared destined to break even on their six-game swing to Arizona and Los Angeles, watching Jonathan Broxton make his "Iron Man" entrance through the left-field gates at Chavez Ravine with three outs remaining.
But the heavy-metal introduction did not intimidate the Yankees, who worked patient at-bats and saw rookies morph into seasoned veterans, hammering for Broxton for four runs in a 48-pitch ninth inning. Cano's blast off Sherrill would then set up Mariano Rivera for a two-inning victory.
"It seems like it's our first real come-from-behind win," manager Joe Girardi said. "Sometimes that can give you some momentum going forward. It's a big win for us. It's not easy to come out west, and to be able to win two series is great."
The stat sheets said that Cano had been 0-for-11 against Sherrill coming into Sunday's game, but that fact was conveniently hidden from Cano until after his rocket had cleared the left-center-field fence, when it was safe for hitting coach Kevin Long to reveal it.
"I was just looking for a pitch that I could drive," Cano said. "I would say the whole series, that was the only one that I was right on time. Every fastball, I was late. The good thing is, I came through at the right time. It's good to win the game so we can at least joke around on the airplane."
In the ninth, Broxton got the first out, but A-Rod singled and Cano doubled him home to cut the deficit to three runs, later saying he thought to himself at second base, "We've got a chance."
"I had a lot of confidence," Torre said. "Brox is rock solid for me. It was just not his night. There's no soft spot in that lineup."
A fact he knew all too well. Jorge Posada singled and Curtis Granderson fought out a walk, setting up Chad Huffman to embrace his Hollywood moment, lining a two-run single into right field for his third Major League hit.
"It's what you dream about when you're a kid," Huffman said. "I was lucky to be able to be in that situation and come through."
That moved the tying run 90 feet away, and Colin Curtis refused to die against Broxton, battling back from an 0-2 count to get a 10th pitch, which he grounded to first base for what he feared might be an inning-ending double play.
But Dodgers first baseman James Loney went to the bag first for the forceout before throwing home, and that gave Granderson the fraction of a second needed to slide in behind catcher Russell Martin with the tying run.
"He stepped on the base and wheeled home, and almost took my head off," Curtis said. "I kind of had to duck out of the way. It got the run in and it was a great way to come back in that inning."
Loney thought a good throw would have nailed Granderson, saying, "You've got to run the scenario through your head, and I ran the scenario through my head before. But you've got to make a better throw."
For all the homer-happy theatrics, it had been a game that had been earlier defined by small-ball. Andy Pettitte barked in frustration and seemed on the edge of losing his composure when the Dodgers created a third-inning mess with three consecutive bunts, piecing together a three-run frame.
Pettitte's biggest issues came throwing to the bases, especially in Los Angeles' three-run third inning, in which nine batters came to the plate. Pettitte fired errant throws on bunts by Clayton Kershaw -- trying to cut down Reed Johnson at third base -- and by Ronnie Belliard, charged with a pair of errors.
"I just felt like I gave the game to them," Pettitte said. "With the bad throws that I made, I gave them three runs. That was hard to swallow, for sure. I felt good and scuffled with my mechanics a little bit, but other than that, what can you say? It was a great comeback; it was fun to watch."
Andre Ethier had a sacrifice fly in the third inning and Rafael Furcal added one in the fourth, but Belliard blasted a solo home run in the fourth inning off Pettitte, who lasted five innings while allowing six hits.
"As a starting pitcher, I want to go seven or eight innings," Pettitte said. "I'm kicking myself, for sure, on the throws and pitch selection. But it's a great win for us as a club. We looked like we were going to go home and lose this series, and we're walking away now with a series win."
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