Yankees keep slim lead in AL East with rout of Jays
Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – The Yankees moved closer in their division bid thanks to a solid contribution by the New York bats Friday night, including Russell Martin’s back-breaking three-run homer in the sixth inning en route to a 11-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
It helped keep the Yankees’ one-game edge over the second-place Baltimore Orioles.
Nick Swisher, who finished with two hits and two RBIs, ignited the offensive outburst with a two-run double in the opening frame.
Martin, the Yanks No. 8 hitter who has stepped up lately, then smacked a three-run blast, his 20th of the season, off Jason Frasor in the sixth that busted open a 3-1 tilt.
Martin, who went 2-for-4 with a walk, now has 6 home runs and 16 RBI in September. Martin, who came into the final month batting just .198, is now hitting .298 over his past 19 games.
Eric Chavez book-ended the triumph with a two-run blast in the ninth, as the Yankees bounced back after dropping the opener of this four-game series.
Hiroki Kuroda (15-11) got the win despite tentative moments as he allowed a season-high tying 10 hits. Kuroda gave up two runs, walked two and struck out four over 5 1-3 innings.
Chad Jenkins (0-3), who was making his second big league start after 10 bullpen appearances, was saddled with the loss after giving up four hits and three runs over 3 2-3 frames.
The Jays, who were trying to build on Thursday opener’s 6-0 rout after splitting a four-game series in Baltimore, received homers from Colby Rasmus and Adam Lind.
With the win, the Yankees (91-66, 43-36 away) trimmed their magic number in clinching the division title to five. New York’s magic number of clinching a postseason berth is now down to two.
Andy Pettitte (5-3, 2.71) will try to carry the momentum Saturday afternoon when he starts for the Yankees in Game 3 of this series. Toronto will counter with left-hander Ricky Romero (9-14, 5.76).