Posada helps Yanks edge Jays in 12

BY foxsports • July 5, 2009

Jorge Posada tried to find A.J. Burnett after his game-ending hit Saturday. He darted away when Joba Chamberlain jumped in front of him, and Burnett crept up for a direct hit with one of his whipped cream pies.

Just another fun day at home for the New York Yankees.

Posada singled in the winning run in the 12th inning to lift New York to a 6-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, coming up with the clutch hit after a rough game behind the plate.

"Jorge had a great day and he got banged up a lot," manager Joe Girardi said. "I kept asking him how many fingers I was holding up and for the most part his answers were close enough."

Posada also homered in his first game back after missing New York's 4-2 win over the Blue Jays on Friday with a sore left thumb. He admitted to being partly relieved when the long day was over.

"The win was the most important thing," he said. "The bullpen did an amazing job, keeping us in the game and giving us a chance to win."

With one out and runners on first and second, Posada lined a 1-1 pitch from Shawn Camp (0-4) into center field. Alex Rodriguez scored without a play as the Yankees poured out of the dugout to congratulate Posada near first base.

New York has won nine of 10 to move a season-best 14 games above .500 and pull within a game of AL East-leading Boston, which lost 3-2 to Seattle. Brett Tomko (1-2) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.

"They have a good lineup so you've just got to hope that you can hold them for a few innings, score some runs yourself," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "Otherwise they will come back and beat you."

Adam Lind hit a two-run homer and Alex Rios had three RBIs for Toronto, which has lost six of seven. Scott Rolen doubled in the fourth and is batting .407 (35 for 86) during his career-best 21-game hitting streak.

"We're not playing bad. We're just not playing good enough," Lind said. "Just need to score more runs."

Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui also homered for the Yankees, who lost starter Chien-Ming Wang to a strained right shoulder and bursitis in the sixth inning. Wang, who missed time earlier this season with weakness in his hips, went for an MRI that revealed the injury.

"It was unfortunate because I thought today was his best start," said Girardi, who wasn't sure yet what the Yankees would do about Wang's next turn in the rotation. "He'll need some rest."

New York improved to 25-15 at the new Yankee Stadium, where 135 homers have been hit already this season. The Yankees will reach the halfway point of their home slate on Sunday afternoon against the Blue Jays.

The Yankees led Roy Halladay and Toronto 3-2 before the Blue Jays rallied in the sixth. Marco Scutaro led off with a double and Lind hit a one-out drive over the wall in right for his 17th homer.

Wang then threw a ball to Rolen before Posada motioned to the dugout that something was wrong with the right-hander. Girardi and assistant trainer Steve Donohue came out to the mound, and Wang headed for the dugout after a short discussion.

Rios added an RBI single off David Robertson that gave the Blue Jays a 5-3 lead.

Toronto's three-run inning put Halladay in position to become the majors' first 11-game winner but the right-hander never looked comfortable in his first start at New York's cozy new ballpark.

Derek Jeter hit a leadoff single in the seventh and Damon followed with a drive that landed a few rows back in right, tying it at 5.

Halladay equaled a career worst by allowing three homers over seven innings in his second start since coming off the disabled list after being sidelined with a sore groin. He is 16-5 with a 2.90 ERA in 34 games, 31 starts, against the Yankees.

"I feel like I did before," he said. "It's just a matter of making some poor pitches at times."

Before the game, Jeter helped Major League Baseball commemorate the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig's luckiest man speech, reading the famous line from the icon's stirring words during a video tribute. The Yankees also placed a wreath of red, white and blue flowers by Gehrig's plaque in Monument Park and made a $25,000 donation to Major League Baseball's "4 (diamond) ALS" initiative, an effort to raise awareness of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis - the disease that forced Gehrig out of baseball in 1939 and took his life two years later.


Toronto placed RHP Scott Richmond (shoulder tendinitis) on the 15-day disabled list after the game. LHP Brett Cecil will start Sunday's game and LHP Brad Mills will be called up from Triple-A Las Vegas to start Tuesday at Tampa Bay. ... New York owner George Steinbrenner turned 79. ... Girardi said Rodriguez could get a day off Sunday.