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12:09 AM Thu, Jan. 17th

Diamondbacks finally beat the Yankees

PHOENIX (AP) – Knuckleballer Steve Sparks allowed one run in seven innings and Juan Brito hit his first major league home run to help the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the New York Yankees 6-1 on Thursday night.

Sparks allowed only three hits, including Alex Rodriguez's 456-foot home run, and walked seven.

The Diamondbacks used strong defense to salvage the finale of the three-game series.

New York had a four-game winning streak snapped in losing for just the fourth time in 22 games and second in 19 interleague games dating to last season.

Brito's line drive off Jon Lieber just cleared the wall in left-center to put Arizona up 2-1 in the seventh.

Steve Finley's double and Danny Bautista's RBI double made it 3-1 with no outs in the eighth to end Lieber's night.

Shea Hillenbrand had a two-run double, and Brito had an RBI single to make it 6-1.

Lieber (5-4) allowed four runs on nine hits, striking out four and walking one in 7-plus innings.

Sparks (3-4) earned his first win in eight starts, despite throwing more balls (60) than strikes (55).

Elmer Dessens pitched the eighth and the ninth for his second save.

Rodriguez homered for the second straight night and reached base safely for the 53rd consecutive game.

The last Yankees player to have a streak that long was Derek Jeter, who reached in the first 53 games of the 1999 season.

The Diamondbacks took their first lead of the series, 1-0, in the opening inning.

Scott Hairston and Finley singled, putting runners at first and third.

Hairston scored when Bautista bounced into a fielder's choice.

The Yankees botched the double-play try on the play.

Sparks blanked New York on two hits until Rodriguez's leadoff blast just in front of the Friday's Front Row restaurant on the second deck in left field.

Arizona center fielder Finley saved an extra-base hit with a lunging stab of Jorge Posada's drive to the wall about 410 feet into right-center in the fourth.

The Diamondbacks had runners at first and third with no outs on singles by Tim Olson and Brito in the fifth.

But Sparks struck out trying to bunt, then Hairston was called out for interfering with the catcher Posada's throw to second on Brito's steal attempt.

After manager Bob Brenly argued the call, Finley flied to deep right-center to end the inning.

In a night of strong defense in both outfields, Arizona right fielder Bautista ran down Jeter's deep drive with runners at first and second to end the seventh inning.\