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N.Y. Yankees (87-71) «00200000046100
Toronto (83-75)1000001000251

Abreu's slam in 10th helps Yankees to seventh straight win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Phil Hughes will finish 2008 without a win. He still went out on a high note.

Bobby Abreu hit a grand slam in the 10th inning and the New York Yankees won their seventh straight game Wednesday night, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 6-2.

More important to the Yankees, who are looking ahead to 2009 since their postseason streak was ended, were the career-high eight innings from Hughes, who allowed two runs and five hits, walked none and struck out a season-high six.

"I really wanted to pitch well tonight," Hughes said. "A win would have been great, but we ended up winning the ball game, which is all that really matters. It would have been nice to get rid of that goose egg in my win column, but it is what it is. I'm just happy to pitch well."

Making just his second start since April 29 after missing much of the season with a stress fracture in his rib, Hughes kept the Blue Jays offbalance by effectively mixing his fastball and curveball.

"It's important for him to leave knowing that he can do this," manager Joe Girardi said. "He was right tonight."

New York won it in the 10th against Toronto left-hander Jesse Carlson. Juan Miranda led off with a double and was replaced by pinch-runner Melky Cabrera. Chad Moeller walked and Brett Gardner advanced both runners with a sacrifice before Robinson Cano was hit on the leg, loading the bases for Abreu, who drilled a 1-0 pitch into the bullpen in right field.

It was Abreu's 20th homer of the season, giving him eight straight seasons with 20 homers and 20 steals. He needs one more RBI to give him 100 for the sixth straight season.

"Being consistent, to me, is one of the most important things," Abreu said.

Bobby and Barry Bonds are the only players with more 20-20 seasons than Abreu, with 10 each.

Abreu was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts before the grand slam.

"That's the amazing thing about the game," Girardi said. "You can have an awful day and in your last at-bat, you can have the biggest hit of the night. That's why you have to be able to turn the page and he's really good at doing that."

Carlson (7-2) had not allowed a run in 14 innings.

Jose Veras (5-2) worked one inning for the win.

Toronto scored in the first when Joe Inglett led off with a double, went to third on Marco Scutaro's grounder and scored on Alex Rios' sacrifice fly.

The Yankees scored twice in the third, thanks in part to Scutaro's throwing error. With Gardner at first on a fielder's choice, Cano lined a single off Toronto starter A.J. Burnett's thigh. The ball rolled to Scutaro at shortstop and his throw to first sailed wide, moving up both runners. Xavier Nady drove in both with a two-out single to center.

Hughes had retired 18 of 20 before Toronto tied it in the seventh when Scott Rolen hit a two-out solo homer to left, his 11th.

Burnett allowed two runs -- one earned -- and seven hits in eight innings. He walked two and struck out 11.

The right-hander can opt out of the final two years of his contract after the season, meaning this could have been his final start with Toronto. The crowd of 28,701 gave Burnett a standing ovation when manager Cito Gaston replaced him before the ninth, then called him out of the dugout for a curtain call.

Burnett said hearing the crowd cheer his name was a "storybook" moment.

"It gave me goose bumps and tears, almost at the same time," Burnett said. "It's great, man. They've been awesome all year. When they've booed, whether I wanted to admit or not, they deserved to. I think they realize I've taken a big step from who I was when I first came here."

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who was hit by a pitch Saturday, missed his second straight start because of a sore left hand. Jeter did not take part in batting practice but could play Thursday, Girardi said.

With New York eliminated from the postseason, regulars Johnny Damon and Alex Rodriguez were also held out of the starting lineup, although Damon came on as a pinch-runner in the ninth. Cody Ransom made his second straight start at shortstop, with Wilson Betemit taking over at third, Miranda playing first and Moeller starting at catcher.

Notes

  • New York LHP Andy Pettitte will not make his final start of the season, Saturday at Boston, because of a sore shoulder. RHP Sidney Ponson will start.
  • Toronto 2B Aaron Hill, out since May 29 because of a concussion, rejoined the team Wednesday and will visit a neurologist Thursday. Hill said he is symptom-free following three weeks of inactivity.
  • Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Curtis Joseph attended the game.
 
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 is one happy fella following his grand slam off left-hander Jesse Carlson.  (AP)
Bobby Abreu is one happy fella following his grand slam off left-hander Jesse Carlson. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

B. Abreu
AB 5
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
Toronto

A. Burnett
IP 8.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 2
K 11
 
New York Yankees
Brett Gardner, CF4110023 .204
Robinson Cano, 2B4210010 .264
Bobby Abreu, RF5114032 .298
Xavier Nady, LF-1B5012010 .305
Jason Giambi, DH2000111 .251
    Johnny Damon, PR-DH1010000 .306
Wilson Betemit, 3B5020003 .264
Cody Ransom, SS3000121 .250
Juan Miranda, 1B4020012 .333
    Melky Cabrera, PR-LF0100000 .243
Chad Moeller, C3110112 .218
Totals366106312  
Batting
2B - Wilson Betemit (11, Burnett), Juan Miranda (1, Carlson)
HR - Bobby Abreu (20, Carlson)
SH - Brett Gardner (3)
RBI - Bobby Abreu 4 (99), Xavier Nady 2 (93)
2-OUT RBI - Xavier Nady 2 (42)
CS - Johnny Damon (8, 2nd base by Carlson/Zaun)
Team LOB - 6
New York Yankees
Phil Hughes 8522061 6.62
Jose Veras (W,5-2) 1000010 3.47
Sidney Ponson 1000000 5.21
Pitches-Strikes - Phil Hughes 100-71, Jose Veras 10-7, Sidney Ponson 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Phil Hughes 9-9, Jose Veras 1-1, Sidney Ponson 2-1
Batters Faced - Phil Hughes 29, Jose Veras 3, Sidney Ponson 3
Toronto Blue Jays
Joe Inglett, 2B4110001 .299
Marco Scutaro, SS4000001 .262
Alex Rios, RF3011000 .293
Vernon Wells, CF4010001 .294
Adam Lind, DH4000022 .286
Lyle Overbay, 1B4000011 .272
Scott Rolen, 3B4111010 .257
Travis Snider, LF4000020 .311
Gregg Zaun, C3010010 .226
Totals3425207  
Batting
2B - Joe Inglett (15, Hughes), Alex Rios (47, Hughes)
HR - Scott Rolen (11, Hughes)
SF - Alex Rios (5)
RBI - Alex Rios (79), Scott Rolen (49)
2-OUT RBI - Scott Rolen (19)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Travis Snider 1
DP - Inglett-Scutaro-Overbay
E - Marco Scutaro (8, Throwing)
Toronto Blue Jays
A.J. Burnett 87212110 4.07
Jesse Carlson (L,7-2) 2344111 2.29
HBP - Giambi (by Jesse Carlson), Cano (by Jesse Carlson)
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 117-76, Jesse Carlson 35-23
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 6-5, Jesse Carlson 2-2
Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 31, Jesse Carlson 11
Game Information
Attendance - 28701
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Larry Vanover