|N.Y. Yankees (66-46) «||0||2||1||0||0||0||0||3||4||10||12||0|
TORONTO -- Ichiro Suzuki is hardly awed by playing for baseball's most famous franchise. Sometimes, he doesn't even remember he's a Yankee.
Suzuki matched a career high with five RBI and Freddy Garcia won in Toronto for the first time in more than a decade, leading New York to a 10-4 victory Friday night over the injury-riddled Blue Jays.
Mark Teixeira hit his 22nd homer to help the AL East leaders win their third consecutive game and snap a three-game skid at Rogers Centre. New York had not won three straight since sweeping Toronto at Yankee Stadium from July 16-18.
"It seems like we're starting to pick it up a little bit," catcher Russell Martin said.
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Starting in center field for the first time in four years, Suzuki drove in five runs for the first time since Aug. 17, 2004, with Seattle against Kansas City.
"There's always an expectation here, whether it's fair or not, that when you get traded here you're supposed to really come and help," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Some guys are going to feel that heat and I don't think it's really bothered him."
The 10-time All-Star hasn't had trouble trying to live up to the Yankee mystique.
"Sometimes I get up to the plate and they say, `Playing left field, Ichiro Suzuki for the Yankees,"' he said through a translator. "It kind of takes me a while to remember, `Oh yeah, I am on the Yankees."'
Whether Suzuki remembers who he plays for or not, Martin is happy to have him as a teammate.
"He has a knack for finding ways to get on base," Martin said. "He kind of solidifies the bottom of our lineup."
With center fielder Curtis Granderson getting a rest, Suzuki handled all three balls hit to him.
"It had been a while so I was a little nervous, but there were no tough balls at me today," he said. "Everything went well."
Garcia (6-5) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings to win back-to-back starts for the second time this season. He also did it July 7 at Boston and July 14 against the Angels.
Garcia, who walked none and struck out four, retired his final eight batters and won in Toronto for the first time since Sept. 17, 2000, with Seattle. The right-hander came in 0-5 with a 9.42 ERA in six starts since his last victory north of the border.
"I hate this ballpark," Garcia said. "I think baseball should be played on regular grass. Sometimes you get a routine groundball and it's a double."
Hit hard in April and eventually bumped from the rotation, Garcia has given up three runs or fewer in seven of his past eight starts. Martin said improved velocity is one reason.
"When his velocity is up most of his other pitches are crisper," Martin said. "That's really the big difference. His velocity was down when he was getting banged around a little bit and now that he's gotten velocity back, he's much better."
Ricky Romero lost for the eighth time in nine starts as Toronto dropped its fourth straight and was beaten for the 10th time in 12 games.
"It's not easy what we're going through right now," Romero said.
Romero (8-9) gave up three runs, two earned, and four hits in seven innings but remained winless since June 22 at Miami. He is 0-8 with a 7.26 ERA in nine starts since.
The Blue Jays returned home after going 2-8 on a three-city trip that began with a sweep in Seattle and ended with a sweep at Tampa Bay. They opened a 10-game homestand, their longest of the season, against the AL's three division leaders in New York, Chicago and Texas.
Kelly Johnson homered and hit an RBI double for Toronto.
Suzuki had an RBI grounder in the second, a two-run single in the eighth and a two-run double in the ninth.
Teixeira gave the Yankees a 4-2 advantage when he homered into the second deck in right on reliever Steve Delabar's first pitch of the eighth. New York piled on after that, with Martin reaching on a bloop single that hit Johnson in the head and Suzuki following with a two-run single.
Martin said he'd never seen a play like his looper that dropped over Johnson's glove and struck him on the side of his hat.
"I hit it off the cap so it probably had some weird spin on it," Martin said. "It obviously did something funny. It was not his most glorious moment, that's for sure."
|Ichiro Suzuki (right), starting in center field, matches a career-high in RBI he set nearly eight years ago. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|New York Yankees|
|Derek Jeter, SS||5||1||2||0||0||0||2||.314|
|Nick Swisher, RF-1B||5||2||2||1||0||0||2||.263|
|Mark Teixeira, DH||5||1||1||1||0||0||1||.257|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||4||2||2||1||1||0||0||.317|
|Andruw Jones, LF||3||1||0||0||1||1||1||.220|
|a- Raul Ibanez, PH-LF||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.247|
|Jayson Nix, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||1||3||.260|
|Russell Martin, C||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.199|
|Ichiro Suzuki, CF-RF||5||0||2||5||0||0||0||.262|
|Casey McGehee, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||1||3||.226|
|Curtis Granderson, CF||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.242|
|a-singled for A. Jones in the 9th|
|2B - Nick Swisher (27, Carpenter), Ichiro Suzuki (19, Lincoln)|
|HR - Mark Teixeira (22, Delabar)|
|SH - Jayson Nix (4)|
|RBI - Nick Swisher (57), Mark Teixeira (76), Robinson Cano (66), Raul Ibanez (51), Ichiro Suzuki 5 (39)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ichiro Suzuki 4 (15)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Jeter-Swisher|
|New York Yankees|
|Freddy Garcia (W,6-5)||6||5||2||2||0||4||1||4.85|
|Boone Logan (H,15)||0.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.46|
|Joba Chamberlain (H,1)||0.1||1||1||1||0||0||0||8.31|
|Pitches-Strikes - Freddy Garcia 78-51, Boone Logan 10-7, Joba Chamberlain 12-8, David Robertson 14-7, Clay Rapada 19-14, Cody Eppley 12-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Freddy Garcia 6-8, David Robertson 1-1, Clay Rapada 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Freddy Garcia 23, Boone Logan 2, Joba Chamberlain 2, David Robertson 3, Clay Rapada 4, Cody Eppley 2|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Rajai Davis, LF||3||0||0||0||1||0||0||.255|
|Colby Rasmus, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.248|
|Moises Sierra, RF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.350|
|Edwin Encarnacion, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.285|
|Yunel Escobar, SS||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.251|
|David Cooper, DH||4||1||2||0||0||0||0||.287|
|Kelly Johnson, 2B||4||1||2||2||0||1||1||.234|
|Omar Vizquel, 3B||2||0||0||0||0||1||2||.214|
|a- Yan Gomes, PH-3B||2||0||1||0||0||1||0||.176|
|Jeff Mathis, C||4||0||1||1||0||1||2||.219|
|Anthony Gose, RF-CF||4||1||1||0||0||2||2||.218|
|a-struck out for Vizquel in the 7th|
|2B - Kelly Johnson (14, Garcia)|
|HR - Kelly Johnson (13, Garcia)|
|RBI - Kelly Johnson 2 (43), Jeff Mathis (18)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jeff Mathis (12)|
|SB - Anthony Gose 2 (4, 2nd base off Robertson/Martin, 3rd base off Robertson/Martin)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|E - Anthony Gose (1, Throwing), Jeff Mathis (1, Throwing)|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Ricky Romero (L,8-9)||7||4||3||2||3||2||0||5.32|
|IBB - Cano by David Carpenter|
|HBP - Martin (by David Carpenter)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ricky Romero 98-58, Steve Delabar 25-15, David Carpenter 27-15, Brad Lincoln 7-4|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ricky Romero 15-5, Steve Delabar 2-1, Brad Lincoln 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Ricky Romero 29, Steve Delabar 7, David Carpenter 7, Brad Lincoln 2|
|Attendance - 41610|
|Game Time - 3:08|
|Temperature - 68|
|Umpires - Home - James Hoye, First Base - Jim Joyce, Second Base - Mike DiMuro, Third Base - Jim Reynolds|