IAN HARRISON, Associated Press
TORONTO (AP) _ Andy Pettitte pitched effectively into the eighth inning, Travis Hafner homered and had two RBIs, and the New York Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-4 on Friday night.
Lyle Overbay and Vernon Wells also went deep against their former team as the Yankees won for the eighth time in 10 games.
Scratched from his previous scheduled start because of back spasms, Pettitte (3-0) was pitching for the first time since April 9 at Cleveland. He showed few signs of rust, however, striking out four in a row at one stretch in his 7 1-3 innings.
The veteran left-hander allowed three runs and six hits, walked one and struck out a season-high five.
Shawn Kelly got the final five outs for the Yankees.
Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer for Toronto and J.P. Arencibia had a solo drive in the ninth but the Blue Jays lost for the third time in four games.
Bautista returned to the lineup as the designated hitter after missing the previous four games with a sore back. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Bautista will likely DH in all three games against the Yankees this weekend before returning to right field in next week’s series at Baltimore.
New York jumped on Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow with two runs in the first. Robinson Cano had a one-out double and Kevin Youkilis was hit by a pitch before Hafner hit an RBI double to left. Vernon Wells followed with a grounder.
Toronto answered in the bottom half when Rajai Davis hit a leadoff triple and scored on Melky Cabrera’s grounder.
Hafner made it 3-1 with a leadoff longball to left in the third, his fifth.
Wells followed with a single and Ichiro Suzuki doubled before Eduardo Nunez flied to center. Colby Rasmus threw home when Wells bluffed a start at third, but Rasmus’ one-hop throw bounced off Arencibia and into the Yankees’ dugout for an error, allowing both runners to score.
The Yankees chased Morrow when Overbay hit a one-out homer in the sixth and Francisco Cervelli followed with a double to right. Brett Cecil came on and gave up an RBI triple to Brett Gardner and an RBI grounder by Cano.
Morrow (0-2) remained winless in four starts, allowing seven runs, five earned, and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings. He walked one and struck out four.
Bautista clubbed a homer into the second deck in center in the sixth, but Wells connected in the bottom half, his fourth, making it 9-3.
NOTES: Pettitte needed just four pitches to record his final four outs. … Yankees manager Joe Girardi said 1B Mark Teixeira (right wrist) and OF Curtis Granderson (right wrist) have both started taking “light swings.” … Gibbons said R.A. Dickey felt better Friday, one day after leaving his start against the White Sox after six innings with neck and back soreness. Dickey is scheduled to throw a bullpen Saturday. … Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson threw out the first pitch.
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