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Toronto at New York

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Toronto010000000170
N.Y. Yankees «00040010x590

Abreu plays small part in Yankees' sixth win in seven games

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- After Bobby Abreu's patience paid off in his Yankees debut, Bernie Williams came through with the big hit that put New York back into first place for the first time since June.

Abreu worked out a nine-pitch walk that loaded the bases in the fourth inning, and Williams followed with a tiebreaking, three-run double that led New York over the Toronto Blue Jays 5-1 Tuesday night.

"We're in a very good situation right now, coming into the last two months of the season," Williams said.

With their sixth win in seven games, the Yankees (62-41) moved into the AL East lead for the first time since before play on June 18, leading the Boston Red Sox (63-42) in percentage by .602 to .600.

"The only thing that means is we don't have to worry about other teams," Derek Jeter said. "Now, if we play better than the rest of the division, we'll win."

Abreu, acquired from Philadelphia on Sunday, batted fifth and started in right field. He went 0-for-3, grounding out in the second, flying out in the sixth and grounding out in the seventh.

With runners on second and third in the fourth inning following Alex Rodriguez's tying double on a 3-0 pitch, Abreu came up with none out against A.J. Burnett (2-5). Abreu fell behind in the count 0-2, then checked his swing on a close pitch and took two more balls. He fouled off three pitches before checking his swing on ball four.

"I guess the umpire saw me out there, so I think they know that sometimes I take close pitches," Abreu said.

Toronto wasn't happy with the check swing calls by third base umpire Ed Hickox.

"They were able to lay off some very tough pitches with two strikes, and those calls went their way," catcher Gregg Zaun said.

After Jorge Posada struck out, Williams drove a pitch to the opposite-field gap over diving left fielder Reed Johnson for his 442nd double, tying Don Mattingly for second on the Yankees' career list behind Lou Gehrig (535). Williams, who re-signed with the Yankees to be a part-time player, has 46 RBI this season.

"He basically understands that he's a role player right now," manager Joe Torre said. "He's never been promised a starting job."

New York traded for Abreu to play right in the absence of Gary Sheffield, out since wrist surgery in June. With Sheffield and left fielder Hideki Matsui (broken wrist) hoping to return in September, Sheffield said before the game that he wouldn't mind a shift to first base when he gets back.

Abreu's arrival, combined with the acquisition of first baseman-right fielder Craig Wilson, is likely to cut Williams' playing time.

"I kidded with him, saying, `You're probably not going to play anymore,"' Torre said. "Then I basically told him he'd DH sometimes and play center field when Johnny needs a break."

Williams was the designated hitter Tuesday and said he's willing to fill any role.

"When everybody got hurt, it was a bonus for me," he said. "Hopefully, Joe will have enough confidence in me to throw me out there in certain situations."

Abreu said cheers from the crowd of 52,237 made him feel at home. He had a busy day in right field, catching six fly balls, including a warning-track drive by Frank Catalanotto with two on and two outs in the seventh.

Jaret Wright (7-6) won for the first time in three starts, allowing an RBI double in the second to No. 9 hitter John McDonald. Wright lasted five innings and 103 pitches on a hot, humid night, giving up five hits, striking out five and walking one.

Ron Villone, Scott Proctor and Kyle Farnsworth followed with two-hit relief. Rodriguez padded the lead with an RBI grounder in the seventh off Brandon League.

Burnett, who had been 2-0 against the Yankees, allowed four hits but left after a 40-pitch fourth inning pushed his pitch count to 86. He has lost four of his last five decisions.

"He's really pitched pretty good for us, better than his record indicates," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "But he's like anyone else, he's got to throw strikes."

Notes

  • The Yankees limited use of their out-of-town scoreboard, video board and televisions in the stadium to preserve energy during the heat wave. The gametime temperature was 96.
  • Toronto has lost five of six.
  • Jason Giambi started at first base but left after six innings because his right leg cramped up. "I'm not built for this type of weather," he said.
  • The Yankees are 21 games over .500 for the first time this season.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Bobby Abreu jogs to first after a clutch nine-pitch walk, but goes 0-for-3 in his debut.  (AP)
Bobby Abreu jogs to first after a clutch nine-pitch walk, but goes 0-for-3 in his debut. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

B. Williams
AB 3
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 3
New York

J. Wright
IP 5.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 1
K 5
 
Toronto Blue Jays
Reed Johnson, LF4020012
Frank Catalanotto, DH4010003
Vernon Wells, CF4010011
Troy Glaus, 3B4000012
Lyle Overbay, 1B3100100
Eric Hinske, RF2010011
   a- Alex Rios, PH-RF2000000
Gregg Zaun, C4000012
Aaron Hill, 2B3010010
John McDonald, SS2011002
Totals321711613 
a-flied out for Hinske in the 6th
Batting
2B - Frank Catalanotto (, Wright), John McDonald (, Wright)
RBI - John McDonald ()
2-OUT RBI - John McDonald ()
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Alex Rios 1
Toronto Blue Jays
A.J. Burnett (L,-) 4444230
Jeremy Accardo 1.2200100
Brian Tallet 0.2211000
Brandon League 1.2100000
IBB - Williams by Jeremy Accardo
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 86-46, Jeremy Accardo 31-18, Brian Tallet 10-6, Brandon League 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 6-3, Jeremy Accardo 3-1, Brandon League 3-2
Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 18, Jeremy Accardo 7, Brian Tallet 4, Brandon League 6
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, CF4000011
Derek Jeter, SS3210100
Jason Giambi, 1B3110000
    Andy Phillips, 1B1010000
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4122010
Bobby Abreu, RF3100102
Jorge Posada, C4010014
Bernie Williams, DH3013100
Melky Cabrera, LF4010001
Miguel Cairo, 2B3010004
Totals325953312 
Batting
2B - Alex Rodriguez (, Burnett), Bernie Williams (, Burnett), Miguel Cairo (, Burnett)
RBI - Alex Rodriguez 2 (), Bernie Williams 3 ()
SB - Derek Jeter 2 (, 2nd base off Burnett/Zaun, 2nd base off League/Zaun), Alex Rodriguez (, 2nd base off Accardo/Zaun)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Jeter-Cairo-Giambi, Rodriguez-Cairo-Phillips
New York Yankees
Jaret Wright (W,-) 5511150
Ron Villone (H,) 1.2000000
Scott Proctor (H,) 1.1200000
Kyle Farnsworth 1000010
HBP - Hill (by Jaret Wright), McDonald (by Ron Villone)
Pitches-Strikes - Jaret Wright 103-64, Ron Villone 21-11, Scott Proctor 15-11, Kyle Farnsworth 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaret Wright 2-7, Scott Proctor 2-1, Kyle Farnsworth 1-1
Batters Faced - Jaret Wright 21, Ron Villone 6, Scott Proctor 5, Kyle Farnsworth 3
Game Information
Attendance - 52237
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 96
Umpires - Home - Gary Darling, First Base - Bruce Dreckman, Second Base - Larry Poncino, Third Base - Ed Hickox