Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – Vernon Wells drove in the go-ahead two-run double in a four-run eighth as the New York Yankees ended a four-game slide with a 4-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday at Rogers Centre.
The win ensured the Yankees (80-72), who entered the night 3 1/2 games behind the Rangers and Rays in the American League Wild Card race, at least a half-game gain in their pursuit of a playoff spot.
The Yankees could move to 2 1/2 games back if the Indians, who began the night one-half game back of Texas and Tampa Bay, fall in their game against the Kansas City Royals.
New York, which was blanked in Tuesday’s opener, was held scoreless over the first 16 innings of the series before the four-run eighth that helped it avoid being shut out in back-to-back contests for the first time since May 1999.
Reliever David Huff (3-1) threw 3 1/3 innings of one-run ball in relief, allowing one hit while striking out three to get the win. Huff’s only blemish came in the fourth, as rookie Ryan Goins drove a 3-2 pitch over the wall in right for his first career home run.
Huff replaced starter Phil Hughes, who retired nine of the 11 batters he faced before the Blue Jays got to him in the fourth with a two-run shot by Colby Rasmus. Mariano Rivera recorded his 44th save of the season after adding a scoreless ninth to his night.
J.A. Happ retired 11 of the final 13 batters he faced and threw 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball. The lefty surrendered four hits, walked three and struck out a season-high seven batters for the Blue Jays (69-82).
Brendan Ryan and Curtis Granderson started off the eighth with back-to-back hits before Robinson Cano drove in New York’s first run of the series with an RBI single to right off reliever Steve Delabar (5-5).
Alfonso Soriano followed with an RBI double, and Wells capped off the rally with a two-run double to left to give the Yankees their first lead of the series.
The Yankees improved to 14-4 against the Blue Jays this season and enter Thursday — the final game of their 10-game road trip — with a 4-5 record.