Andy Pettitte returns, leads Yankees to crucial win
New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Veteran Andy Pettitte tossed five scoreless innings in his return from a fractured left ankle to lead the New York Yankees to a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday in the first game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.
Pettitte (4-3) surrendered four hits and two walks while striking out three in his first game since June 27 to give the Yankees a half-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. The Orioles will face the Seattle Mariners later in the evening.
David Phelps (4-4) will start the second game of the doubleheader later at 7:05 p.m. against Jays’ starter Ricky Romero (8-14).
Pettitte struck out leadoff hitter Rajai Davis, walked Colby Rasmus and forced Brett Lawrie and Adam Lind to line out and fly out, respectively, to begin his inning.
The Yankees then handed Pettitte an early 3-0 lead from RBI singles by Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson in the bottom part of the opening frame.
In the second inning, Pettitte got in a bit of a jam after walking Moises Sierra and giving up a single to Adeiny Hechavarria but he forced Anthony Gose to ground out to first to escape unscathed.
Pettitte allowed three more hits in the third and fourth innings but struck out the side in the fifth inning with just seven pitches to cap his successful return.
With David Robertson on the mound, Toronto threatened in the eighth inning after an RBI single by Kelly Johnson and an RBI double by Omar Vizquel to cut the deficit to 3-2.
After striking out Hechavarria, Robertson was pulled out for closer Rafael Soriano, who loaded the bases with the walk but got out of trouble after forcing Davis to a lineout to left.
The Yankees kept the Blue Jays at bay with an RBI single from Nick Swisher that scored Suzuki in the bottom of the eighth before Soriano secured the win with a scoreless ninth for his 41st save in
Henderson Alvarez (9-13) was saddled with the loss despite a quality start, in which he allowed three runs on five hits while striking out a career-high seven batters in seven innings.