Toronto at New York

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Toronto (70-66) «2020111007111
N.Y. Yankees (86-51)001001100390

Jays end Yanks' winning streak in A-Rod's return

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Joe Girardi would still rather have Alex Rodriguez in his starting lineup.

The Yankees had been riding a season-high eight-game winning streak while their star third baseman was on the disabled list with a nagging calf injury. They'd won 11 of their last 14 and pulled ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays by 2½ games in the brutal AL East.

A-Rod finally returned Sunday and what happened? Blue Jays 7, Yankees 3.

"He came out of it fine," Girardi said of Rodriguez, who went 2 for 5 and drove in a run while making several nice plays at third. "He hasn't played in a while, but there were no issues."

Aaron Hill and Vernon Wells each hit two-run homers and John Buck also went deep for Toronto, which snapped its own three-game skid. The three long balls gave the homer-happy Blue Jays a major league-leading 208 on the season. The franchise record is 244 home runs, set in 2004.

Postseason Chase

"It's a great win for us," Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. "Today was a good win."

Rodriguez had been out since Aug. 20 with a strained left calf and was eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday. Girardi thought about giving him an extra day, but A-Rod said he felt fine after a simulated game Saturday and taking batting practice in the indoor cage Sunday.

The three-time AL MVP produced some offense for New York, but he also grounded out with a runner aboard in the first inning, dribbled one back to the pitcher with two on in the third, and struck out looking with a runner on third base to end the game.

"It felt great. It felt great to be in the box," Rodriguez said afterward. "I haven't hit for a long time, so I'm just trying to feel my way. But I felt pretty good."

The biggest issue early on for Rodriguez wasn't so much his ailing body as Brett Cecil (12-7), who's been a pain for New York all season. The Blue Jays starter survived 6 1/3 innings to improve to 3-0 in five tries against the team with the best record in the majors.

"I've had some good games against these guys this year," Cecil said. "It helps and it hurts you to see these guys a lot, because they see you a lot too. But as long as you make pitches."

Cecil also managed to beat Phil Hughes (16-7) for the second time in just over a week.

The Yankees' young right-hander allowed Hill's two-run homer in the first and Well's two-run shot in the third, putting him in another early hole. Hill added a sacrifice fly in the fifth, Buck went deep in the sixth and Wells walked with the bases loaded in the seventh.

Hughes wound up allowing seven hits and matched a season high by giving up six runs. It was also the third time in four starts he's allowed at least five earned runs against Toronto.

"It's almost always about location," Hughes said. "A fastball right in the middle of the plate on 0-2? That's probably the worst pitch you can make, and I did it a couple times today."

The Yankees barely threatened on offense, and each time they did Cecil shut them down.

Brett Gardner followed hits by Greg Golson and Ramiro Pena in the third with a sacrifice fly that made it 4-1, but Derek Jeter flied out and A-Rod grounded out to end the inning.

In the sixth, Marcus Thames reached base on a fielder's choice and went to second on a wild pitch, before Jorge Posada's double made it 6-2. This time, Cecil got Curtis Granderson to fly out and then struck out Golson to end the inning.

Rodriguez added his RBI single off reliever Casey Janssen in the seventh, but Thames popped up with two runners on base to end the inning. The Blue Jays bullpen held on from there.

Notes

  • The Yankees' Mark Teixeira walked three times. He also made an unassisted double play at first base in the ninth.
  • Yankees OF Nick Swisher (left knee) was kept out of the starting lineup but pinch hit in the eighth. He grounded into a fielder's choice.
  • The Blue Jays snapped a three-game skid while improving to 8-7 against New York this season.
 
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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Brett Cecil gets the better of A-Rod here, but the All-Star does have two hits and an RBI on the day.  (AP)
Brett Cecil gets the better of A-Rod here, but the All-Star does have two hits and an RBI on the day. (AP)

Players of the Game
Toronto

A. Hill
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
Toronto

B. Cecil
IP 6.1
H 7
ER 3
BB 4
K 3
 

Related Video

Toronto Blue Jays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Dewayne Wise, RF5120012 .291
Aaron Hill, 2B4233002 .215
    Mike McCoy, 2B0000000 .200
Jose Bautista, 3B3000112 .266
Vernon Wells, CF4113112 .266
Lyle Overbay, 1B4000001 .248
John Buck, C4111010 .276
Adam Lind, DH4010010 .231
John McDonald, SS3100101 .248
Travis Snider, LF4130010 .247
Totals35711736  
Batting
2B - Aaron Hill (22, Hughes), Adam Lind (24, Hughes), Travis Snider (17, Hughes)
HR - Aaron Hill (22, Hughes), Vernon Wells (24, Hughes), John Buck (16, Hughes)
SF - Aaron Hill (2)
RBI - Aaron Hill 3 (57), Vernon Wells 3 (72), John Buck (56)
2-OUT RBI - Vernon Wells 2 (32), John Buck (13)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Hill-McDonald-Overbay, McDonald-Hill-Overbay
E - Aaron Hill (9, Throwing)
Toronto Blue Jays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brett Cecil (W,12-7) 6.1733430 3.76
Casey Janssen 0.1100110 3.61
Josh Roenicke (H,1) 1000010 4.61
Jesse Carlson 0.1000000 4.00
Kevin Gregg 1100010 3.28
WP - Brett Cecil 2 (7)
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Cecil 102-58, Casey Janssen 15-8, Josh Roenicke 20-13, Jesse Carlson 4-3, Kevin Gregg 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Cecil 10-4, Josh Roenicke 2-1, Jesse Carlson 1-0
Batters Faced - Brett Cecil 28, Casey Janssen 3, Josh Roenicke 4, Jesse Carlson 1, Kevin Gregg 4
New York Yankees
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Brett Gardner, LF3021101 .287
Derek Jeter, SS4000114 .264
Mark Teixeira, 1B2000303 .266
Alex Rodriguez, 3B5021014 .266
Marcus Thames, DH4110003 .302
Jorge Posada, C4011021 .264
Curtis Granderson, CF4000001 .249
Greg Golson, RF3110021 .375
   a- Nick Swisher, PH1000000 .294
    Eduardo Nunez, 2B0000000 .286
Ramiro Pena, 2B3120000 .239
   b- Lance Berkman, PH1000001 .244
    Austin Kearns, RF0000000 .267
Totals3439356  
a-grounded out for Golson in the 8th
b-grounded out for Pena in the 8th
Batting
2B - Brett Gardner (16, Gregg), Jorge Posada (21, Cecil), Greg Golson (1, Cecil)
SF - Brett Gardner (3)
RBI - Brett Gardner (44), Alex Rodriguez (98), Jorge Posada (52)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Rodriguez (34)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Pena-Jeter-Teixeira, Teixeira
New York Yankees
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Phil Hughes (L,16-7) 6766153 4.29
Sergio Mitre 2.2411200 3.47
Jonathan Albaladejo 0.1000010 2.25
HBP - J. Bautista (by Jonathan Albaladejo)
Pitches-Strikes - Phil Hughes 100-69, Sergio Mitre 41-23, Jonathan Albaladejo 7-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Phil Hughes 5-8, Sergio Mitre 2-4
Batters Faced - Phil Hughes 26, Sergio Mitre 12, Jonathan Albaladejo 2
Game Information
Attendance - 47737
Game Time - 3:14
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Field Culbreth, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Ed Hickox