Toronto at New York

W: A. Burnett (1-0) L: M. Mussina (0-1)
S: J. Accardo (1)
HR: TOR - V. Wells (1)   NYY - A. Rodriguez (1)

Burnett, Wells help Blue Jays take down Yanks in Bronx wire reports

NEW YORK -- A.J. Burnett was throwing 96 mph fastballs on a 44-degree night. No fun for the New York Yankees.

Burnett overpowered the Yankees on a nippy night in the Bronx, and Vernon Wells hit a two-run homer off Mike Mussina in the Toronto Blue Jays' 5-2 victory Wednesday night.

"To come in here and pitch here at this place, with these fans and against this lineup, it's just a good ballgame all around," Burnett said. "We came out swinging the bats and I had some good defensive plays to help out."

Alex Rodriguez hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot that chased Burnett with none out in the seventh. But the hard-throwing right-hander buzzed through New York's potent lineup to that point, and the Blue Jays' bullpen closed it out.

The Yankees tried to rally in the ninth, opening the inning with consecutive singles before Jeremy Accardo struck out Rodriguez and retired Jason Giambi on a deep fly. Robinson Cano flied out to end it.

"The first one is always tough, especially here. They're never out of it," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "But we threw an awful lot of pitching at 'em."

Alex Rios hit a pair of RBI singles and scored once, sending Toronto to its first win of 2008. The night before, New York won 3-2 in the 84th and final opener at storied Yankee Stadium, a game that was postponed Monday because of rain.

Wednesday was dry in the Big Apple, but windy and raw. A sign posted on Mussina's locker in the late afternoon read: "Toronto vs. New York at Lambeau Field. Windchill -- 6 degrees."

The cold weather made it especially uncomfortable for batters facing Burnett (1-0), who mixed his pitches well.

"He was nasty tonight," Rios said.

Burnett has given the Yankees trouble before. He was 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA in two starts against them last year, allowing one run over 15 innings. He won 6-0 at Yankee Stadium on April 26.

"He's just a really good pitcher," New York's Johnny Damon said. "We didn't see the best of him tonight. We've seen him better. He can really throw hard and he has a great breaking ball. He's a guy you have to get to early or you may not get to him at all."

Brian Tallet relieved Burnett and struck out three in two perfect innings. Accardo, filling in for injured closer B.J. Ryan (elbow surgery) as he did last season, got the save.

"Accardo saved 30 games for us last year," Gibbons said. "A lot of guys might wilt in that situation, but he got the big strikeout."

Wells finished with three hits and Aaron Hill added an RBI single for the Blue Jays, who grounded into five double plays. Still, they chased Mussina (0-1) in the sixth after 91 pitches.

The 39-year-old right-hander is coming off an inconsistent season that included him temporarily losing his spot in the rotation before he finished 3-0 with a 2.73 ERA in September.

Pushed up to pitch the second game of the year because of Andy Pettitte's back spasms, Mussina gave up four runs -- three earned -- and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.

He remained at 250 wins, one behind Hall of Famer Bob Gibson on the career list.

"I felt good throwing the baseball," Mussina said. "I just made some mistakes and they took advantage of it."

A two-time All-Star, Wells had a sub-par 2007 season that ended with shoulder surgery in September. He looked healthy Wednesday night, connecting off Mussina in the third with Rios aboard on a two-out walk.

Mussina nearly struck out Rios moments before, but didn't get a close call from plate umpire Jerry Meals.

"Mike made some quality pitches. I was happy with what I saw," manager Joe Girardi said. "I'll take that outing from him anytime."

A trainer came out to check on a hobbling Burnett after he tweaked his left knee while making a throwing error on Derek Jeter's fourth-inning comebacker. Burnett, however, threw two warmup pitches and stayed in the game.

"I just went to plant and it gave out, but it went away. It was no problem," he said.


  • Yankees C Jorge Posada was scratched from the lineup because of a stiff right shoulder. He is day to day, Girardi said.
  • Toronto LF Matt Stairs (sore left hip) was held out of the lineup again. He tested his hip during batting practice and "should be good to go" on Thursday, Gibbons said.
  • Mussina dropped to 23-12 against Toronto.
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.
Alex Rodriguez smashes his first HR of the season, but it's not enough to help the Yankees.  (Getty Images)
Alex Rodriguez smashes his first HR of the season, but it's not enough to help the Yankees. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game

V. Wells
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
New York

A. Rodriguez
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Toronto Blue Jays
David Eckstein, SS5100003 .000
Shannon Stewart, LF4010001 .250
    Buck Coats, LF0000000 .000
Alex Rios, RF3122100 .600
Vernon Wells, CF4232001 .375
Frank Thomas, DH3000002 .143
Lyle Overbay, 1B3010112 .286
Aaron Hill, 2B4021011 .375
Marco Scutaro, 3B3010014 .167
Rod Barajas, C4120012 .500
2B - Rod Barajas (1, Hawkins)
3B - Lyle Overbay (1, Farnsworth)
HR - Vernon Wells (1, Mussina)
RBI - Alex Rios 2 (2), Vernon Wells 2 (2), Aaron Hill (1)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Rios (1), Vernon Wells 2 (2), Aaron Hill (1)
CS - Alex Rios (1, 2nd base by Hawkins/Molina), Marco Scutaro (1, 2nd base by Mussina/Molina)
Team LOB - 5
Outfield Assists - Alex Rios 1
DP - Scutaro-Hill-Overbay
E - A.J. Burnett (1, Throwing)
Toronto Blue Jays
A.J. Burnett (W,1-0) 6522131 3.00
Brian Tallet (H,1) 2000030 0.00
Jeremy Accardo (S,1) 1200010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 93-55, Brian Tallet 22-16, Jeremy Accardo 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 9-4, Brian Tallet 2-1
Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 22, Brian Tallet 6, Jeremy Accardo 5
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, LF4000012 .125
Derek Jeter, SS4020001 .375
Bobby Abreu, RF3110101 .429
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4112022 .429
Jason Giambi, 1B4000011 .000
Robinson Cano, 2B4000022 .143
Hideki Matsui, DH3010010 .167
Jose Molina, C3010001 .333
Melky Cabrera, CF3010001 .333
HR - Alex Rodriguez (1, Burnett)
RBI - Alex Rodriguez 2 (3)
CS - Bobby Abreu (1, 2nd base by Burnett/Barajas)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Rodriguez-Cano-Giambi, Rodriguez-Cano-Giambi, Rodriguez-Cano-Giambi, Rodriguez-Cano-Giambi, Jeter-Giambi
E - Jason Giambi (1, Misplayed grounder)
New York Yankees
Mike Mussina (L,0-1) 5.2843221 4.76
LaTroy Hawkins 1.1211000 6.75
Kyle Farnsworth 1200010 0.00
Ross Ohlendorf 1000010 0.00
HBP - Thomas (by Mike Mussina), Scutaro (by Ross Ohlendorf)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Mussina 91-62, LaTroy Hawkins 16-14, Kyle Farnsworth 16-8, Ross Ohlendorf 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Mussina 9-3, LaTroy Hawkins 2-1, Kyle Farnsworth 1-0, Ross Ohlendorf 1-0
Batters Faced - Mike Mussina 25, LaTroy Hawkins 5, Kyle Farnsworth 4, Ross Ohlendorf 3
Game Information
Attendance - 48544
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 44
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - Paul Emmel, Third Base - Gary Darling