MLB

Happ struggles early, Yankees beat Blue Jays

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TORONTO (AP)

Bothered by a cramp as he warmed up in the bullpen, J.A. Happ didn't have time to get loose before the New York Yankees piled on even more pain.

Alfonso Soriano hit two home runs, Andy Pettitte pitched seven shutout innings, and the Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-1 on Tuesday night after losing Robinson Cano in the first inning.

Happ felt tightness in his side as he warmed up, but said that wasn't the reason he fell behind by four runs before recording his first out.

''I was just feeling a little bit tight and I tried to get loose,'' Happ said. ''It's a situation where I don't want to make a too big deal about that. There's no excuses for any of it.''

The Yankees jumped on Happ with a four-run first, highlighted by Soriano's first home run. Brett Gardner hit a leadoff double, Derek Jeter followed with an RBI single, and Cano was hit by a pitch before Soriano crushed a drive into the fourth deck in left.

''You spot them four runs right out of the gate, it's tough to overcome that,'' Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

Soriano connected again with a leadoff blast in the third, a drive that bounced off the top of the wall and went out.

Happ (3-4) allowed five runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings. He walked two and struck out five.

''I know I can pitch better,'' Happ said. ''I'm not going to try not to think about this one too much, try not to overanalyze it. I felt good, I'm healthy, I'm throwing the ball well. I just need to take that next step.''

Alex Rodriguez and Mark Reynolds also homered for the Yankees, who won for the 13th time in 15 meetings with Toronto this season.

Rodriguez hit a two-out solo shot to center off Esmil Rogers in the seventh, his 651st career home run and second in two games. Rodriguez, who has four home runs this season, is nine away from tying Willie Mays for fourth on the career list. Reaching the milestone would secure a $6 million bonus for the third baseman.

Soriano's homers, both of which were hit on the first pitch, were the 399th and 400th of his career. They were his 27th and 28th this season and 10th and 11th since being traded back to New York from the Chicago Cubs on July 26.

''It was a great pickup for us,'' Pettitte said of acquiring Soriano. ''It's energizing when you have a special player like that come and be able to hit for that kind of power and be able to get out there and run around the bases. It's exciting.''

It was Soriano's sixth multihomer game this season and the 36th of his career.

''He's been great for us,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ''He's a big reason we've scored a lot more runs and won a lot more games.''

Cano sustained bruised a left hand after being hit by Happ in the first. Cano stayed in the game to run the bases but was replaced by Eduardo Nunez in the bottom half.

Precautionary X-rays were negative, and the Yankees said Cano is day to day. Asked when he expected to return, Cano targeted Friday's home game against Baltimore.

''It's swollen right now and the last thing you want to do is aggravate it,'' he said.

Nunez twisted his right knee when he caught his cleat in a seam on the artificial turf while covering second base in the eighth. He was checked by trainer Steve Donohue and initially stayed in the game, but was replaced by pinch-runner Lyle Overbay three batters after hitting a leadoff single in the ninth.

Reynolds moved from first to second in the bottom half, with Overbay taking over at first. Girardi said Reynolds could handle second base Wednesday if needed.

Pettitte (10-9) improved to 7-1 in his past eight starts against Toronto and is 25-13 in 46 games against them overall, matching former teammate Mike Mussina (25-12) for the most wins over the Blue Jays by any opposing pitcher.

''His stuff was really good,'' Girardi said. ''I thought he was sharp.''

Pettitte allowed five hits, walked two and struck out three to win his third straight start after winning just two of his previous 11.

''The biggest thing, like I said for several months, the pitches weren't doing what they're supposed to do,'' Pettitte said. ''They're cooperating right now. Hopefully they'll cooperate the rest of the season.''

Toronto's only run came off Adam Warren in the eighth, when rookie Kevin Pillar hit an RBI double.

Gardner threw out Toronto's Moises Sierra at home plate in the fifth. Sierra hit a one-out double and was waved home on Ryan Goins' single, but Gardner charged the ball and threw it to catcher Chris Stewart, who tagged out the sliding Sierra.

Reynolds hit a leadoff homer off Rogers in the sixth, his 17th.

NOTES: Toronto grounded into inning-ending double plays in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth. J.P. Arencibia was the batter in the seventh and ninth. ... Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said Gibbons will return in 2014, even though the team is in last place. ... Gibbons said RHP Josh Johnson (strained right forearm) won't return this season. ... Toronto RHP Chien-Ming Wang cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A Buffalo.

Tagged: Yankees, Blue Jays, Alfonso Soriano, Andy Pettitte, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Mark Reynolds, J.A. Happ, Brett Gardner

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