NEW YORK -- Here come the New York Yankees.
"We need to make something out of this run," manager Joe Torre said after celebrating his 67th birthday with a victory. "We let the other one get away from us a little bit."
Mariano Rivera entered in the eighth and got five outs for his fourth save in five days.
"We have to do whatever it takes," Rivera said.
By winning 11 of 14 overall, the Yankees have trimmed Boston's AL East lead to seven games -- the closest they've been since after games of May 12. Following a miserable first half filled with spurts and slides, they certainly appear ready to take off.
But that's been the case a couple of times before, too.
"There's definitely a positive outlook for us," Rodriguez said.
Derek Jeter and Bobby Abreu started the seventh-inning rally that got Yankee Stadium rocking for one of the few times all season. Eager for a second-half comeback and perhaps sensing the momentum building, the crowd of 52,147 chanted "MVP! MVP!" for Rodriguez as he stood at second after his big hit.
"He's explosive," Torre said. "He's going to give you something to talk about."
New York has won 17 of its last 22 home games.
"Playing this team, you let them mill around a little bit, they're going to make you pay. You have to get the runs when you have the opportunities," Toronto first baseman Lyle Overbay said.
New York shook loose after being stifled for six innings by Shaun Marcum (5-4), who went pitch-for-pitch with Clemens and had a chance to come out on top.
Marcum's teammates provided little support, however. After stranding 12 runners each of the previous two nights, the Blue Jays left 13 on base this time -- eight against the 44-year-old Clemens.
"I continue to try to show Joe that I can get out of my messes," Clemens said. "It was a day when my body didn't help me that much. I didn't have as much energy as I normally do.
"I'm not young," he added. "The training that I'm doing now is for October, and I think these guys know that."
Mike Myers (1-0) retired Overbay on a grounder with the bases loaded to end the seventh, the biggest out he's gotten in a while. It was the left-hander's first win since Aug. 18 at Boston.
Clemens allowed a season-high nine hits, struck out three and walked one in his 700th major league outing. He threw 63 of his 99 pitches for strikes against his former team.
"He made some big pitches when he had to," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "He isn't as fast as he used to be, but he can still make big pitches at the right time."
After it took four Yankees relievers to get four outs, Rivera finished for his 15th save in 17 chances. He is perfect since blowing his first two opportunities this season.
"We just have to do a better job in the eighth inning," Torre said, adding that he doesn't want to use Rivera for more than three outs too often.
New York has come from behind in four of its past five wins.
"They're on a roll right now. They weren't going to stay down all year," Gibbons said.
With the Yankees trailing 1-0, Jeter lined a 3-2 pitch to right for a leadoff single in the seventh. On a perfectly executed hit-and-run, Abreu pulled a grounder through the right side for a single that snapped an 0-for-15 skid.
Helped by three double plays in the first four innings, Marcum yielded three runs and five hits over six-plus innings.
"It's hard to be perfect for 100 pitches. They made me pay when I made mistakes," he said.
- The Yankees have won four consecutive series after losing their previous four.
- The Blue Jays are 1-4 the past four seasons when Rios has at least four hits.
- New York's Hideki Matsui extended his hitting streak to a season-high 13 games.