New York at Toronto

Scoreboard
N.Y. Yankees (62-50) «001004000590
Toronto (56-55)002010010480

Hard-charging Yankees handle all Jays can throw at them

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Jesse Litsch's first pitch of the second inning went behind Alex Rodriguez's legs, an apparent message. The Yankees responded with some hard play -- and another win.

Robinson Cano hit a go-ahead, two-run double in a four-run sixth inning, Andy Pettitte won consecutive starts for the first time this season and the Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 on Monday to extend their winning streak to four.

Yankees manager Joe Torre and some New York players moved to the top step of the dugout after the pitch to A-Rod, who stared back at plate umpire Mark Carlson and later worked out a walk. When the Yankees last played in Toronto on May 30, Rodriguez distracted infielder Howie Clark on a key popup late in the game, yelling something as he approached third base.

Litsch denied throwing at Rodriguez.

"It was a just a two-seamer that got away from me," Litsch said. "I'm not going to give away the inside. I go inside a lot."

Torre said it was a little late for sending messages, given that the Yankees and Blue Jays met in the Bronx last month.

"They played us four games at our place," Torre said. "Unless they didn't care about doing it there and they did it here, that doesn't make sense."

In the fourth, Rodriguez slid hard into shortstop John McDonald while trying to break up a double play in the fourth, swiping his left arm in anger and yelling at second base umpire Derryl Cousins.

Rodriguez said after the game that he couldn't remember the pitch behind him, then walked away without answering when asked about the play at second base.

McDonald also had little to say on the matter.

"I didn't hear anything," he said. "I was just running off the field."

In the fifth, Johnny Damon collided with Aaron Hill on a forceout, appearing to clip the second baseman on the leg.

"I had to hustle and I screamed at him `Heads up' because I don't think he was expecting to see me there that quick," Damon said.

The Yankees' Jorge Posada and Toronto's Matt Stairs were each hit by pitches, but no warnings were issued.

Two days after hitting his 500th home run, Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with a walk, moving his average back up to .301.

New York improved to 19-7 since the All-Star break, moved 12 games over .500 for the first time this year and stopped Toronto's home winning streak at eight.

"We just have a lot of confidence right now," Torre said. "Hopefully, we can continue to build on it."

The Yankees, 9½ games back in the wild-card race after play on July 7, remained a half-game behind Detroit, the AL wild-card leader.

"It's been a crazy year overall but we're in a nice place right now," Rodriguez said. "We've just got to keep building momentum."

Designated hitter Jason Giambi, out since June 1 with a left foot injury, finished a minor league rehab stint Sunday. He will join the Yankees on Tuesday and could be activated.

"I'll talk to him, see how comfortable he feels and go from there," Torre said.

With the Yankees playing a team with a winning record for the first time since July 8, Pettitte (8-7) allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings with seven strikeouts and four walks, improving to 41-16 in August. In his 300th start for the Yankees, Pettitte tied Waite Hoyt for eighth on the team's victory list (157).

"It was another one of those gutsy outings where he just battled, battled, battled," Torre said.

Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his 18th save in 20 chances, striking out Alex Rios, Vernon Wells and Frank Thomas on 16 pitches and hitting 97 mph on the radar gun.

"That's very good back-to-back stuff he's shown us yesterday and today," Torre said.

Melky Cabrera, who had three hits, tripled and scored on Damon's grounder in the third, but Thomas hit a two-run double in the bottom half and Wells singled in a run in the fifth.

Bobby Abreu walked and Rodriguez singled, chasing Litsch. Hideki Matsui greeted Scott Downs (1-2) with an RBI single, Jorge Posada struck out and Cano doubled to left-center for a 4-3 lead. One out later, Cabrera hit an RBI single through the right side.

"He's been displaying real good baseball skills lately," Damon said. "It's coming at a good time."

Torre said Cabrera and Cano have given the Yankees needed spark.

"They are really special," Torre said. "They've given us a ton of energy the last couple of years."

Called up from Triple-A before the game after left-hander Mike Myers was designated for assignment, Jim Brower relieved Pettitte with runners at first and second in the sixth and retired Reed Johnson on an inning-ending lineout.

Aaron Hill homered off Luis Vizcaino in the eighth, which ended when Johnson grounded out with two on.

Litsch allowed three runs and six hits in five-plus innings.

Notes

  • Soccer star David Beckham and his Los Angeles Galaxy teammates watched the game from a private suite, and Beckham spoke with Torre before the game. Canadian teammates Ante Jazic and Kevin Harmse threw out ceremonial first pitches.
  • The crowd of 42,714 was Toronto's biggest since opening day.
 
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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Melky Cabrera, who has been a sparkplug for the Yankees during their surge, gathers three hits.  (AP)
Melky Cabrera, who has been a sparkplug for the Yankees during their surge, gathers three hits. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

M. Cabrera
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Toronto

F. Thomas
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, LF5021001 .253
Derek Jeter, SS4000013 .327
Bobby Abreu, RF3100111 .284
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3120100 .301
Hideki Matsui, DH4111002 .293
Jorge Posada, C2000113 .336
Robinson Cano, 2B4112023 .308
Andy Phillips, 1B4000003 .291
Melky Cabrera, CF4131000 .298
Totals3359535  
Batting
2B - Robinson Cano (33, Downs)
3B - Melky Cabrera (6, Litsch)
RBI - Johnny Damon (41), Hideki Matsui (79), Robinson Cano 2 (65), Melky Cabrera (49)
2-OUT RBI - Melky Cabrera (20)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Jeter-Cano-Phillips
New York Yankees
Andy Pettitte (W,8-7) 5.2633470 4.00
Jim Brower (H,1) 0.1100000 0.00
Luis Vizcaino (H,8) 2111111 3.97
Mariano Rivera (S,18) 1000030 2.83
HBP - Stairs (by Luis Vizcaino)
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 114-62, Jim Brower 6-4, Luis Vizcaino 34-19, Mariano Rivera 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 5-5, Luis Vizcaino 3-1
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 27, Jim Brower 2, Luis Vizcaino 8, Mariano Rivera 3
Toronto Blue Jays
Reed Johnson, LF3100204 .258
Alex Rios, RF5120022 .301
Vernon Wells, CF5011033 .258
Frank Thomas, DH5022023 .257
Troy Glaus, 3B4000024 .255
Aaron Hill, 2B4111011 .275
Curtis Thigpen, C2010100 .280
   a- Gregg Zaun, PH-C1000000 .249
Lyle Overbay, 1B3000113 .247
John McDonald, SS2110100 .276
   b- Matt Stairs, PH0000000 .286
    Ray Olmedo, PR-SS0000000 .500
Totals34484511  
a-grounded out for Thigpen in the 8th
b-hit by pitch for McDonald in the 8th
Batting
2B - Frank Thomas (17, Pettitte), John McDonald (14, Pettitte)
HR - Aaron Hill (12, Vizcaino)
RBI - Vernon Wells (60), Frank Thomas 2 (63), Aaron Hill (59)
2-OUT RBI - Frank Thomas 2 (31)
SB - Reed Johnson (4, 2nd base off Pettitte/Posada), Curtis Thigpen (1, 2nd base off Pettitte/Posada), John McDonald (4, 3rd base off Pettitte/Posada)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Hill-McDonald-Overbay, Hill-McDonald-Overbay, Overbay-McDonald
Toronto Blue Jays
Jesse Litsch 5633340 3.64
Scott Downs (BS,2; L,1-2) 1322010 2.49
Brian Wolfe 2000000 2.21
Casey Janssen 1000000 2.26
HBP - Posada (by Brian Wolfe)
Pitches-Strikes - Jesse Litsch 91-49, Scott Downs 20-11, Brian Wolfe 18-12, Casey Janssen 11-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jesse Litsch 4-5, Scott Downs 2-0, Brian Wolfe 3-2, Casey Janssen 1-2
Batters Faced - Jesse Litsch 22, Scott Downs 6, Brian Wolfe 6, Casey Janssen 3
Game Information
Attendance - 42714
Game Time - 3:17
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Mark Carlson, First Base - Angel Hernandez, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Chad Fairchild