MILWAUKEE - Don Mattingly tried to recall the last time the New York Yankees put together a 10-game winning streak. He could not. "It's kind of hard to remember streaks like this," he said. "There aren't too many." The Yankees reached double figures in consecutive victories for the first time since April 13-23, 1987 by blasting Milwaukee 12-1 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep of the Brewers at County Stadium. The Yankees piled up 17 hits, and counted home runs by Mattingly, Bernie Williams and Wade Boggs among a whopping 10 extra-base hits, in raising their record to 26-10. Their sizzling .722 winning percentage is the best in the major leagues by far and represents the franchise's hottest start since a 29-10 beginning in 1958. The Yankees have taken brooms to Boston (three games), Cleveland (four) and now Milwaukee since their last defeat, a 7-6 decision in 13 innings to the California Angels at Anaheim Stadium on May 4. "We keep pushing the button day in and day out, pushing ourselves to that level you need," Mattingly said. The Yankees won't be able to push the button Monday. They're off - and they're not happy. "I don't want to take any rest at all," tireless leadoff hitter Luis Polonia said. "I go back to the hotel and I can't wait for tomorrow because I know for sure we're going to win." Tuesday will bring the first of two games in Minnesota at the Twins' Metrodome. If the Yankees continue to receive the combination of pitching and hitting they've been getting, who knows when this streak will end? "We're not even thinking about when we're going to lose," Polonia said. "We're just hoping tomorrow will come so we can go out and beat somebody." If there is a constant during this tear, one that has enabled the Yankees to go from a 3 1/2-game deficit into the American League East lead by 1 1/2 games entering Sunday's play, it is quality starting pitching. "Any time you put anything positive or negative together, it usually has to do with pitching," Yankees manager Buck Showalter noted. Starters have accounted for half of the victories in the 10-game streak. More importantly, they have kept the Yankees in every game, allowing 25 earned runs on 58 hits in 72 2/3 innings for a sterling 3.10 ERA. "Our pitching has been very consistent," Paul O'Neill agreed. "It's keeping us in games. If they can do that, we feel we're going to score runs." With the Yankees' offense, the issue hasn't been `if' it will explode but `when.' In the opener here, the Yankees enjoyed a six-run scoring spree in the 12th inning to win going away, 10-4. In the middle game, they obliterated a one-run, ninth-inning deficit with a five-run rally good for a 6-2 victory. In the lopsided finale, which secured the Yankees' first sweep here since July 23-25, 1971, they didn't wait long at all to bury the Brewers. Every starter except Randy Velarde lashed at least one extra-base hit, and Velarde was no slouch. He stroked two singles, the first of those knocking in a run in a five-run fourth inning. "This is not just a team that gets singles and walks," Boggs said. "We have a lot of dimensions." The Yankees displayed far more weapons than Milwaukee - with seven players on the disabled list - could possibly handle. The Yankees put together three consecutive two-out hits off Jaime Navarro, 2-3, to open a 2-0 margin in the third inning. Polonia and Boggs clubbed back-to-back doubles before Mattingly punched a single up the middle for the second of his four hits. The Yankees chased Navarro in the fourth. O'Neill opened with a double into the right-field corner before Jim Leyritz walked. An out later, Velarde lined a run-scoring single beyond the reach of leaping third baseman Bill Spiers, with Leyritz stopping at second. Last-place hitter Mike Gallego doubled to left center to deliver Leyritz and extend the Yankees' margin to 4-0. Polonia, demonstrating the top-to-bottom strength in the order, tripled into the right-field corner for two more runs. Boggs allowed Polonia to come in with a sacrifice fly. The Yankees did not go to the long ball until the later innings. Mattingly's third home run began a four-run seventh. Williams' sixth homer, a two-run shot, climaxed the seventh. Boggs went deep with the bases empty in the eighth, allowing him to trot around the bases for the first time this season. It all made for a relatively easy afternoon for Scott Kamieniecki. He is perfect in three decisions after holding Milwaukee to one run and five hits in eight innings. "I wanted to go out there and get three outs so we could get back to the dugout and get more runs," Kamieniecki said.
PEDULLA, TOM, MILWAUKEE - Don Mattingly tried to recall the., Gannett News Service, 05-15-1994.