Yankees 6, Blue Jays 2

Bartolo Colon put his best foot forward in his first start with

the New York Yankees, and wanted something to remember the

occasion.

Colon pitched into the seventh inning to earn his first win in

two years and the Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-2 on

Wednesday night.

”It’s very special for me,” Colon said through a translator.

”The shoes that I wore today, I’m going to keep them as a

memory.”

Curtis Granderson homered for the AL East-leading Yankees, who

won for the fifth time in seven games and remain the only major

league team without consecutive losses this season.

New York leads the majors with 30 home runs.

Colon (1-1) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings to

win for the first time since May 26, 2009, when he led the Chicago

White Sox to a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

The Dominican right-hander said he wasn’t sure he’d ever make it

back to the majors after personal struggles in 2009.

”I had a lot of problems, I had family issues,” he said. ”I

never thought I was going to come back and play baseball

again.”

Colon struck out seven and walked two in his first major league

start since July 24, 2009, for the White Sox. The 2005 AL Cy Young

Award winner improved to 9-3 with a 3.60 ERA in 19 career games

against the Blue Jays.

”Outstanding job by Bartolo, keeping his pitch count down,

getting big outs for us,” manager Joe Girardi said.

David Robertson pitched an inning, Boone Logan and Lance

Pendleton each got one out and Rafael Soriano finished for his

first save one night after closer Mariano Rivera had his first

blown opportunity of the season.

Soriano came on with runners at second and third and loaded the

bases by walking Jayson Nix. He got out of it when John McDonald

popped up and Yunel Escobar flied to center.

Alex Rodriguez returned to the Yankees’ lineup after missing the

previous two games because of soreness in his left side. He walked

twice and had a sacrifice fly in his first three plate appearances

before striking out swinging in the seventh and going down looking

in the ninth.

”Definitely a big relief for me just to get through the day,”

Rodriguez said.

Granderson hit a solo homer in the ninth, his second in as many

games and sixth overall. He went 2 for 4 with two RBIs.

”We always knew he had a lot of power,” Girardi said. ”I

think what you’re seeing is more consistent contact, hitting the

ball harder on a consistent basis.”

New York opened the scoring in the first against left-hander

Brett Cecil (1-2). Nick Swisher drew a one-out walk, went to third

on Teixeira’s double to center and scored on Robinson Cano’s

grounder.

The Yankees added two more in the second on an RBI triple by

Granderson and a run-scoring grounder by Derek Jeter.

Toronto catcher J.P. Arencibia led off the bottom half with a

drive off Colon, who responded by retiring the next 12 batters.

”He threw the fastball all the way from 87 to 95 and the ball

moves all over the place,” Rodriguez said.

New York padded its lead and chased Cecil with a two-run fifth,

with Rodriguez and Cano hitting consecutive sacrifice flies.

The Blue Jays got one back in the seventh but a baserunning

mistake cost them a chance for a second. With one out and men at

first and second, Travis Snider lined a single to right. Edwin

Encarnacion stopped at third but Arencibia rounded second and ran

all the way to third, where he was tagged out by Teixeira.

Robertson replaced Colon and gave up an RBI single to Nix but

struck out McDonald to end the rally.

NOTES: The Blue Jays activated RHP Brandon Morrow (elbow) off

the 15-day disabled list and optioned LHP Luis Perez to Triple-A

Las Vegas. … Granderson’s homer came on the first pitch of the

season by RHP Frank Francisco. He started the year on the DL with a

sore shoulder and was activated Tuesday. … Yankees RHP Mark Prior

was placed on the minor league DL with a strained groin. Prior is

at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. … Yankees RHP Phil Hughes

(dead arm) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session before the game, the

first time he’d thrown off a mound since Apr. 14. Hughes will throw

another bullpen Friday. … Toronto 2B Aaron Hill (right hamstring)

was held out of the starting lineup. Nix started at second and

McDonald played third. … Toronto’s Juan Rivera, who is batting

just .103, has been dropped from the designated hitter role,

manager John Farrell said. Encarnacion will take over as DH.