YANKEES 8, INDIANS 4: Damon fuels rally over Tribe to extend season

NEW YORK – Dangerously close to getting swept, the New York Yankees woke up just in time to save their season and perhaps Joe Torre’s job.

Johnny Damon lofted a go-ahead, three-run homer in the fifth inning, rookies Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain rescued Roger Clemens and the Yankees rallied past Cleveland 8-4 Sunday night, closing within 2-1 in their first-round AL playoff series.

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner blustered Saturday that Torre’s run as manager was in jeopardy of ending after 12 seasons – all concluding with postseason appearances. “I don’t think we’d take him back if we don’t win this series,” he told The Record of New Jersey.

And it looked grim for Torre and the Yankees when the Indians chased an injured Clemens in the third inning, building a 3-0 lead.