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Gardner's first MLB home run lifts Pettitte, Yankees

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- With Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui sidelined by nagging injuries, New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi figured his team would need to scratch out some runs Wednesday night.

The three rookies at the bottom of the lineup proved him wrong.

Brett Gardner hit his first major league home run and finished with three RBI in New York's 8-2 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays, sending Andy Pettitte to his first win in four starts.

  Jeter, Matsui sit out

"I thought we might have to score runs in a little bit different fashion, especially at the bottom of the order," Girardi said. "Those guys kept hitting triples."

Making his second successive start in place of Jeter (right oblique), rookie Ramiro Pena tripled and scored from the eighth spot. Right behind him, rookie catcher Francisco Cervelli picked up his first career RBI as the Yankees finished with 11 hits, including eight for extra bases, and improved to 11-0 when holding their opponent to three runs or less.

"It gives us a little boost," Gardner said of the big night by the bottom third. "We've got a lot of interchangeable parts here."

Batting in the seventh spot, Gardner hooked a 1-1 breaking ball over the wall in the right-field corner in the second, then tripled and scored in the fifth.

"At the time, I didn't know that was his first one," Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira said of Gardner's home run. "I just gave him a handshake and then everyone started saying it was his first one and I got real excited for him. There's not many better feelings than your first home run."

Gardner's teammates presented him with a dummy memento ball, spelling his name wrong, writing the wrong date and saying the home run was a solo shot, not a two-run drive. He said the real one will go into his trophy case alongside his first career hit.

Teixeira finished 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI, raising his average to .202.

"One of the best things about tonight was Tex," Girardi said. "That's the Tex we're used to seeing most of the time. He's not going to do it every night but that's the type of hitter he is."

Every Yankees starter except right fielder Nick Swisher reached base safely at least once. Besides Swisher, the only Yankees starter not to get a hit was Alex Rodriguez, who went 0-for-2 with three walks.

Jeter has not played since Sunday because of a sore right oblique and Girardi said he might not play again until Friday. Matsui left Tuesday's game after one at-bat with a tight right hamstring and is day to day.

Johnny Damon started as the DH and led off Wednesday while Swisher batted second.

Pettitte (3-1) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings to win for the first time since April 21.

"They made it hard on me," Pettitte said. "By the sixth inning I was running on fumes a little bit."

Alfredo Aceves got six outs and Jonathan Albaladejo pitched around two walks and a single to finish it.

Toronto second baseman Aaron Hill scored on a throwing error by counterpart Robinson Cano in the first but the Yankees replied with a five-run, 10-batter second, chasing Scott Richmond.

Melky Cabrera led off with a double and scored when Gardner connected. Pena tripled and scored one out later on a triple by Damon. Swisher grounded out but Teixeira hit an RBI double, Rodriguez walked and Cano knocked Richmond out of the game with a run-scoring single.

The AL rookie of the month for April, Richmond (4-2) has lost both his starts in May. He allowed five runs and seven hits in 1 2/3 innings, the shortest outing of his 12-start career.

"Plain and simple, fastball control needs to be better," Richmond said. "Obviously you want to get the fastball across better and you can work off your other pitches from there but if your fastball isn't getting across down in the zone, it's going to be a rough outing."

John McDonald replaced Hill in the field in the fifth. Hill fouled a ball off his left shin in the third but he said after the game it wasn't serious.

Notes

Damon has 12 extra-base hits in his past nine games. ... RHP Brian Bruney (shoulder) threw a 25-pitch bullpen session before the game and will throw another on Friday when the Yankees return home. ... C Jorge Posada (right hamstring) took batting practice, threw and ran in the outfield at the Yankees' spring facility in Florida. He might be ready to play in a minor league game by early next week. Also in Tampa, RHP Sergio Mitre (elbow) allowed one run and three hits and struck out eight over four innings in his third extended spring training game. ... Toronto LHP Ricky Romero (right oblique) made his second rehab start, pitching 5 1/3 innings at Double-A New Hampshire. He allowed two runs, one earned, and three hits, walked five and struck out four.

 
Copyright 2015 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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Players of the Game
New York

B. Gardner
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
New York

M. Teixeira
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, DH5221021 .323
Nick Swisher, RF5000022 .252
Mark Teixeira, 1B4122010 .202
Alex Rodriguez, 3B2000310 .188
    Angel Berroa, 3B0000000 .167
Robinson Cano, 2B5121003 .317
Melky Cabrera, LF5110003 .326
Brett Gardner, CF3223100 .233
Ramiro Pena, SS4110022 .280
Francisco Cervelli, C4011012 .267
Totals37811849  
Batting
2B - Johnny Damon (8, Wolfe), Mark Teixeira (5, Richmond), Robinson Cano (9, Murphy), Melky Cabrera (5, Richmond)
3B - Johnny Damon (2, Richmond), Brett Gardner (1, Murphy), Ramiro Pena (1, Richmond)
HR - Brett Gardner (1, Richmond)
SF - Mark Teixeira (2)
RBI - Johnny Damon (26), Mark Teixeira 2 (19), Robinson Cano (19), Brett Gardner 3 (7), Francisco Cervelli (1)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Teixeira (12), Robinson Cano (8), Francisco Cervelli (1)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Berroa-Cano-Teixeira
E - Robinson Cano (2, Throwing), Ramiro Pena (3, Misplayed grounder)
New York Yankees
Andy Pettitte (W,3-1) 6521420 4.00
Alfredo Aceves 2100010 2.84
Jonathan Albaladejo 1100200 5.29
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 106-64, Alfredo Aceves 26-15, Jonathan Albaladejo 18-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 9-7, Alfredo Aceves 2-3, Jonathan Albaladejo 2-0
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 27, Alfredo Aceves 7, Jonathan Albaladejo 5
Toronto Blue Jays
Marco Scutaro, SS3010203 .271
Aaron Hill, 2B2100012 .346
    John McDonald, 2B3010000 .231
Alex Rios, RF4010102 .257
Vernon Wells, CF4010011 .276
Adam Lind, DH3000102 .321
Scott Rolen, 3B4120003 .325
Kevin Millar, 1B3000112 .309
Rod Barajas, C4011001 .307
Jose Bautista, LF3000101 .311
Totals3327163  
Batting
2B - Marco Scutaro (6, Pettitte), Vernon Wells (10, Aceves), Scott Rolen (9, Pettitte)
RBI - Rod Barajas (20)
2-OUT RBI - Rod Barajas (8)
CS - Marco Scutaro (2, 3rd base by Pettitte/Cervelli)
Team LOB - 10
Toronto Blue Jays
Scott Richmond (L,4-2) 1.2755221 4.28
Brian Wolfe 2.1111020 3.00
Bill Murphy 2322120 3.18
Brandon League 1000110 4.86
Jason Frasor 1000020 0.71
Shawn Camp 1000000 4.20
WP - Scott Richmond (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Richmond 58-31, Brian Wolfe 32-24, Bill Murphy 42-22, Brandon League 17-7, Jason Frasor 14-9, Shawn Camp 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Richmond 2-1, Brian Wolfe 3-2, Bill Murphy 4-0, Brandon League 1-1, Shawn Camp 3-0
Batters Faced - Scott Richmond 14, Brian Wolfe 8, Bill Murphy 10, Brandon League 4, Jason Frasor 3, Shawn Camp 3
Game Information
Attendance - 20164
Game Time - 3:09
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Chuck Meriwether, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Laz Diaz