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Francisco Cervelli

Francisco Cervelli

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Then Joe Girardi got tossed, Francisco Cervelli hit an unlikely home run and Alex Rodriguez finally came through.

Sparked by their manager's ejection, the Yankees broke out offensively to beat the Atlanta Braves 8-4 Wednesday night, snapping a three-game losing streak.

New York didn't even have a baserunner through the first five innings.

But Cervelli hit his first career homer to break a 14-inning scoreless drought in Atlanta, and the slumping Rodriguez managed a two-run single that put the Yankees ahead to stay in the sixth.

The Yankees had scored only 18 runs in their previous seven games, losing five.

"We have too many good hitters to stay in a slump," Girardi said.

The manager gave his team a little extra boost in the sixth.

With the Braves ahead 1-0, Kris Medlen (2-3) walked leadoff hitter Brett Gardner, who was promptly picked off.

Girardi raced out to argue with first-base umpire Bill Welke - television replays showed the Yankees had a legitimate beef - and kept arguing until he was ejected.

That seemed to fire up New York.

Cervelli, the team's No.

2 catcher, got the start after Jorge Posada struck out four times Tuesday and came through with his homer into the first row of seats in left, evening the score at 1.

After pitcher Joba Chamberlain lined out, Derek Jeter singled to left, Johnny Damon lined a single to center and Mark Teixeira walked to load the bases.

The Braves brought on Jeff Bennett to face Rodriguez, having a miserable season since missing the first month with a hip injury.

He was batting just .204 and quickly fell behind 0-2 in the count.

Bennett barely missed the strikeout when Rodriguez fouled a pitch off the glove of catcher Brian McCann, who stared at his empty mitt in disgust.

Rodriguez lined the next pitch - an 0-2 fastball - into right-center for a two-run single.

Clearly relieved, he clapped his hands and exchanged a slap with first-base coach Mick Kelleher.

"It's been frustrating not to get the big hits," Rodriguez said.

"I knew this year was going to be a process.

But the last two days have been the best I've felt.

I told (Girardi) yesterday that I felt like it was opening day."
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