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New York at Toronto

N.Y. Yankees
W: T. Clippard (2-1) L: J. Litsch (1-2)
S: M. Rivera (4)
HR: NYY - J. Damon (3)   TOR - A. Rios (12), J. McDonald (1), M. Stairs (7)

A-Rod distraction helps Yankees snap five-game skid

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

TORONTO -- Alex Rodriguez helped the New York Yankees end their five-game losing streak with his bat -- and his mouth.

Rodriguez distracted Toronto third baseman Howie Clark on a key popup late in the game, touching off arguments all over the field, and the Yankees beat the Blue Jays 10-5 Wednesday night.

Rodriguez hit an RBI single with two outs in the ninth that made it 7-5. Jorge Posada followed with a high infield pop and Rodriguez ran hard, cutting between Clark and shortstop John McDonald.

Replays showed Rodriguez shouting something, and Clark backed off at the last second. McDonald was only a few steps behind Clark, but couldn't make the catch and ball dropped for an RBI single.

"I just said, 'Hah!' That's it," Rodriguez said. "Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't."

McDonald started jawing with Rodriguez, and third base umpire Chad Fairchild got between them. Toronto manager John Gibbons came out to argue, and exchanged words with Rodriguez and third base coach Larry Bowa before leaving the field as plate umpire Eric Cooper intervened. Rodriguez stayed on the bag with a smirk.

When Jason Giambi stepped up to hit, he seemed to get into it with catcher Jason Phillips and Cooper settled them down.

Giambi followed with a two-run single. When the game ended, many of the Blue Jays stayed on the bench, staring at Rodriguez and the Yankees.

"They have their opinions," he said, adding he pulled the trick to help the Yankees "win a game. We're desperate."

Rodriguez said three or four times each week, opponents shout at him while he pursues foul pops near their dugout.

"It's not like he said, 'I got it,"' Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

It certainly was an adventuresome day for Rodriguez. He made the cover of the New York Post on Wednesday -- and not because of the Yankees' latest slump.

"STRAY-ROD" blared the Page 1 headline across a picture of A-Rod and an unidentified woman in Toronto earlier this week. "Alex hits strip club with mystery blonde," it continued.

"Absolutely no comment about anything personal and I certainly don't think this will be a distraction to our team," he said before Wednesday's win.

Rodriguez has been in the middle of an unusual, on-field dispute before. In Game 6 of the 2004 AL championship series, he slapped the ball from Boston pitcher Bronson Arroyo's glove, and was called out for interference.

Johnny Damon led off this game with a home run for the Yankees, who avoided falling nine games under .500 for the first time since they were 20-29 after play on June 20, 1995, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Robinson Cano hit three doubles and went 4-for-4 for the Yankees. Down 13½ games to Boston in the AL East, New York starts a three-game series Friday night at Fenway Park.

Pitching for the first time since May 26, Mariano Rivera recorded the final four outs for his fourth save in six chances.

Alex Rios and Matt Stairs each hit two-run homers and McDonald added a solo shot.

New York took a quick lead against rookie Jesse Litsch (1-2), scoring five times in the first inning. Damon opened the game with his 22nd career leadoff homer.

Derek Jeter struck out, but Hideki Matsui's single and walks to Rodriguez and Posada loaded the bases for Giambi, who hit a sacrifice fly.

Josh Phelps followed with a two-run single and Cano hit an RBI double, bringing Brian Tallet from the bullpen.

Making just his fourth major league start, Litsch allowed a season-high five runs on four hits.

Damon singled in the second for his 2,000th career hit.

Melky Cabrera singled home Cano in the sixth off reliever Josh Towers.

Yankees rookie Tyler Clippard (2-1) gave up three runs and four hits over five innings. He struck out three and walked five, but none of the walks came around to score.

Rios homered in the third. Toronto then loaded the bases with two outs but Clark flied out.

McDonald homered in the fourth and Stairs hit a two-run shot off reliever Brian Bruney in the seventh.

It was the first time Bruney had given up a run since April 23 at Tampa Bay. He had pitched 13 2/3 scoreless innings since.


  • The Yankees and Toronto next play in mid-July.
  • Jeter finished 0-4 with three strikeouts.
  • Yankees OF Bobby Abreu got the night off.
  • Reliever Brian Wolfe made his major league debut in the ninth, making him the 500th player in Blue Jays history.
Copyright 2017 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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Alex Rodriguez lends a helping hand -- and a shout -- to the Yankees as they finally pull out a victory.  (AP)
Alex Rodriguez lends a helping hand -- and a shout -- to the Yankees as they finally pull out a victory. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

J. Damon
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
New York

R. Cano
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 0

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New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, CF5121011 .264
    Bobby Abreu, RF0000000 .228
Derek Jeter, SS4000132 .343
Hideki Matsui, LF5220011 .282
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4211111 .292
Jorge Posada, C4211122 .357
Jason Giambi, DH4013010 .262
    Miguel Cairo, PR-DH0000000 .125
Josh Phelps, 1B3112010 .281
    Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B2000001 .217
Robinson Cano, 2B4141000 .264
Melky Cabrera, RF-CF4121003 .224
2B - Robinson Cano 3 (15, Litsch, Tallet, Towers)
HR - Johnny Damon (3, Litsch)
SF - Jason Giambi (1)
RBI - Johnny Damon (17), Alex Rodriguez (45), Jorge Posada (30), Jason Giambi 3 (23), Josh Phelps 2 (9), Robinson Cano (23), Melky Cabrera (15)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Rodriguez (29), Jorge Posada (7), Jason Giambi 2 (10), Josh Phelps 2 (6), Robinson Cano (5)
SB - Alex Rodriguez (6, 2nd base off Tallet/Fasano), Jorge Posada (1, 2nd base off Litsch/Fasano), Melky Cabrera (3, 2nd base off Towers/Fasano)
CS - Robinson Cano (4, 2nd base by Frasor/Fasano)
Team LOB - 6
PB - Jorge Posada (3)
New York Yankees
Tyler Clippard (W,2-1) 5433532 4.20
Brian Bruney (H,3) 1.1322011 2.22
Scott Proctor (H,8) 0.2000010 3.46
Kyle Farnsworth (H,6) 0.2200000 4.71
Mariano Rivera (S,4) 1.1000000 5.50
Pitches-Strikes - Tyler Clippard 98-51, Brian Bruney 27-19, Scott Proctor 11-7, Kyle Farnsworth 11-7, Mariano Rivera 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tyler Clippard 2-10, Mariano Rivera 3-1
Batters Faced - Tyler Clippard 24, Brian Bruney 7, Scott Proctor 2, Kyle Farnsworth 4, Mariano Rivera 4
Toronto Blue Jays
Alex Rios, RF5122001 .304
Lyle Overbay, 1B5000012 .258
Vernon Wells, CF5110000 .262
Matt Stairs, LF5122010 .310
Frank Thomas, DH3000210 .221
Aaron Hill, 2B3010101 .284
Howie Clark, 3B3010103 .333
Sal Fasano, C3000022 .133
   a- Adam Lind, PH1000001 .221
    Jason Phillips, C0000000 .237
John McDonald, SS3221101 .279
a-flied out for Fasano in the 8th
2B - John McDonald (7, Bruney)
HR - Alex Rios (12, Clippard), Matt Stairs (7, Bruney), John McDonald (1, Clippard)
RBI - Alex Rios 2 (29), Matt Stairs 2 (17), John McDonald (4)
Team LOB - 9
Toronto Blue Jays
Jesse Litsch (L,1-2) 0.2455211 6.62
Brian Tallet 2.1300020 2.33
Josh Towers 2.2211030 5.45
Jason Frasor 2.1100040 4.43
Scott Downs 0.2233100 4.12
Brian Wolfe 0.1211000 27.00
IBB - Jeter by Scott Downs
Pitches-Strikes - Jesse Litsch 36-18, Brian Tallet 42-28, Josh Towers 46-32, Jason Frasor 37-23, Scott Downs 14-8, Brian Wolfe 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Tallet 3-2, Josh Towers 3-2, Jason Frasor 2-0, Scott Downs 2-0
Batters Faced - Jesse Litsch 8, Brian Tallet 10, Josh Towers 10, Jason Frasor 7, Scott Downs 5, Brian Wolfe 3
Game Information
Attendance - 29187
Game Time - 3:32
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Chad Fairchild