Yankees keep winning vs. Blue Jays
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was long gone by the time his team completed its latest loss at Yankee Stadium.
That’s OK, he has seen plenty of them this season.
Andy Pettitte pitched six effective innings, and Curtis Granderson homered to help the surging New York Yankees win 5-3 on Thursday after a 3 1/2-hour rain delay, their 10th straight victory over Toronto.
The Blue Jays dropped to 1-12 against New York this year, including a pair of four-game sweeps in the Bronx.
”It’s hard. Yankee Stadium is a tough place. The sad part is we’re in every game, basically all year. We just couldn’t put them away with a lead,” said Gibbons, ejected in the fifth.
Toronto was ahead in every game of this series, just as it was during New York’s four-game whitewash in late April. The Blue Jays have dropped 13 straight at Yankee Stadium, and 22 of 24 dating to 2011. Their 10-game skid vs. New York is their longest against one team in a single season since losing 11 in a row to Boston in 2002.
”I don’t know, some crazy stuff happened in this game,” pitcher J.A. Happ said.
Eduardo Nunez hit a two-run single for the Yankees, who took advantage of a missed call by the umpires to win their fifth consecutive game and 10th in 12 overall.
The last-place Blue Jays have lost five straight and 11 of 15. The only other opponent to sweep a pair of four-game series from them in one season was the 1978 Milwaukee Brewers.
Happ (3-3) was charged with four runs, three hits and five walks over 5 1-3 innings. It was his fourth start since returning from a skull fracture and a sprained knee, the result of being hit in the head by a line drive May 7 at Tampa Bay.
”I’ve been feeling good since coming back,” Happ said. ”I feel like I was executing pitches. I guess I started missing a little bit. I would’ve liked to have stayed in there, but obviously it’s not my call.”
After the Blue Jays scored twice off Shawn Kelley in the seventh, Boone Logan struck out pinch-hitter Adam Lind with two on to preserve a 5-3 lead.
Preston Claiborne, just recalled from the minors, worked a scoreless eighth, and David Robertson pitched a perfect ninth for his second save. Mariano Rivera was rested after appearing in three games over the previous two days.
The start was delayed for 3 hours, 32 minutes – though it wasn’t raining when play was supposed to begin. Light, steady showers fell throughout much of the delay, and the game didn’t start until the storm front cleared.
The sun broke through as Pettitte trotted out to the mound to begin his warmups.
Aided by an incorrect call, the Yankees took a 2-1 lead on a confusing play in the fifth.
With the bases loaded and one out, Vernon Wells hit a sinking liner to center that was caught by a tumbling Rajai Davis just before it hit the ground. But the umpires ruled it a trap as Nunez scored the go-ahead run.
Thinking the ball had been caught, Chris Stewart tried to scramble back to second and was thrown out by Davis – after he fumbled the transfer. Gibbons came out to argue the ball was caught. Instead, Wells was credited with an RBI on an 8-4 fielder’s choice.
”We looked at the replay and it looked to us like it bounced, but probably inside his glove,” said Ted Barrett, the third base umpire and crew chief. ”So on replay, probably would have been ruled a catch.”
Gibbons was ejected, for the fifth time this season, by first base ump Scott Barry. Toronto pitcher Mark Buehrle was tossed by Barrett for yelling from the bench.
”I told him what I thought. It was brutal. I didn’t like it. I feel like I see it pretty good,” Buehrle said.
One inning later, Alex Rodriguez drew the first of three straight Yankees walks before Nunez delivered a two-run single. Toronto third baseman Brett Lawrie made an outstanding play on Stewart’s RBI groundout that made it 5-1.
Pettitte (9-9) gave up four hits and three walks to win his second consecutive start after going 0-3 in his previous five. His only blemish was J.P. Arencibia’s leadoff homer in the fifth.
With his 254th victory, the 41-year-old lefty tied Jack Morris and Hall of Famer Red Faber for 42nd place on the career list.
NOTES: Gibbons said CF Colby Rasmus, on the DL since Aug. 11 with a strained left abdominal muscle, will begin baseball activities Monday. … OF Melky Cabrera (left knee) is not expected back this season, Gibbons said. … Toronto placed INF Maicer Izturis on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Aug. 21, with a sprained left ankle and recalled SS Ryan Goins from Triple-A Buffalo. … Davis had two stolen bases to reach 40 in 84 games this season. … New York’s home winning streak against Toronto is its longest against one team since a 14-game run vs. Kansas City from August 2002 to April 2006.