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