Yankees 5, Blue Jays 2

On a day of bad news for New York’s pitching staff, Ivan Nova

provided the silver lining.

Nova snapped a five-start winless streak, Casey McGehee hit a

three-run home run and the Yankees won their fourth straight game

Saturday, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2.

”I was proud of what he did today,” Yankees manager Joe

Girardi said of Nova. ”He got after it.”

Nova’s strong showing eased the sting of the news that

left-hander CC Sabathia is headed to the 15-day disabled list,

retroactive to Aug. 9, with pain and inflammation in his elbow.

Sabathia was sidelined after experiencing pain in back-to-back

starts.

”The fact that it came back is a little concerning,” Girardi

said. ”We want to wipe it out.” Sabathia’s injury is not

considered serious, and Girardi said he hopes to have the 2007 AL

Cy Young winner back in the rotation for an Aug. 24 start at

Cleveland.

Derek Jeter had two hits, boosting his AL-leading total to 150

and joining Hank Aaron as the only players to record 17 straight

seasons with at least 150 hits.

Jeter said it was an honor to share a mark with Aaron,

baseball’s former home run king who had 150 hits or more every year

from 1955 to 1977.

”What he’s done in the game goes without saying,” Jeter said

of Aaron. ”I just try to be consistent.”

Rajai Davis had two hits and scored twice, but it wasn’t enough

as slumping Toronto suffered its fifth consecutive defeat and its

11th loss in 13 games.

Nova came in 0-3 with an 8.36 ERA in five starts since winning

at Boston on July 8, but was sharp against an injury-depleted Blue

Jays lineup, setting down the first nine batters in order before

Davis singled to open the fourth.

Davis took second on a balk and scored on a one-out single by

Edwin Encarnacion. A hit batter put Blue Jays at first and second,

but Nova escaped further damage by fanning David Cooper and getting

Moises Sierra to ground out.

Nova (11-6) allowed two runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings. He

walked one and struck out 10.

Girardi called Nova’s performance ”very encouraging.”

”He threw really well today,” Girardi said. ”I thought his

curveball was very good. For the most part he spotted his fastball

pretty well. He threw some good sliders today, it was more

consistent than it has been.”

Nova changed the grip on his slider after working between starts

with pitching coach Larry Rothschild, holding it deeper in his

hand.

”It was great,” Nova said. ”It was right where I wanted

it.”

David Robertson replaced Nova after Edwin Encarnacion’s RBI

single in the eighth and got pinch hitter Omar Vizquel to ground

into an inning-ending double play.

Rafael Soriano closed it out in the ninth for his 28th save in

30 chances.

New York managed just Jeter’s infield single in the first three

innings against Blue Jays left-hander Aaron Laffey, but broke

through with a four-run fourth, highlighted by McGehee’s first home

run as a Yankee.

Mark Teixeira scored from second on Jayson Nix’s single to left

and McGehee followed with a drive into the second deck in

left-center. McGehee hit eight home runs with Pittsburgh before

being traded to New York last month.

”We’ve said all along this a guy who can hit the ball out of

the ballpark,” Girardi said. ”He’s taken his walks and he hadn’t

gotten a lot of hits so it was really good to see.”

McGehee acknowledged he’d been pressing since joining the

Yankees, but said his drive took the pressure off.

”I could definitely feel myself relax a little bit and started

to feel I was just playing ball again,” he said.

The Yankees tacked on one more in the sixth when McGehee hit a

one-out double and scored on Jeter’s ground-rule double to

right-center.

Laffey (3-3) had won three of his previous five starts but gave

up five runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings. He walked a

season-high four and struck out two.

”It’s one of those games where you kind of beat your head

against the wall,” Laffey said. ”You pitched real well pretty

much the entire game and have one inning wreck the whole

outing.”

Plate umpire and crew chief Jim Joyce warned Nova and both

benches after Escobar was hit on the left elbow by a pitch in the

sixth, the second straight at-bat he was hit. New York’s Curtis

Granderson was hit by a pitch from Laffey in the second.

Escobar, who suffered a sore left elbow, remained in the game

defensively for the next two innings but was replaced by Vizquel

when his spot came up again in the eighth. X-rays were

negative.

NOTES: Blue Jays OF Colby Rasmus was held out of the starting

lineup after leaving Friday’s game with a mild right groin sprain

and is expected to miss Sunday’s series finale. … New York OF

Ichiro Suzuki was held out of the starting lineup but came on

defensively in the ninth. … Attendance was 45,582, Toronto’s

third sellout of the season.