NEW YORK (AP) _ David Phelps struck out a career-high nine in four innings after relieving the injured Ivan Nova, Chris Stewart threw out two baserunners to quash potential rallies as an emergency fill-in for Francisco Cervelli and the New York Yankees beat the wild Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 Friday night.
Lyle Overbay hit a go-ahead RBI triple and Vernon Wells had a sacrifice fly off Aaron Laffey in an inning the fill-in starter for Josh Johnson walked four, helping New York overcome two homers by Edwin Encarnacion.
David Robertson yielded a long homer to Jose Bautista in the eighth but Brett Gardner restored New York’s two-run lead with a homer in the bottom half of the inning. Mariano Rivera loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth but struck out Colby Rasmus to end it for his eighth save in eight chances.
The Blue Jays led early for the second straight night and outhit New York 10-6 but failed to execute on both sides of the ball in dropping to 1-4 on their seven-game road trip. They were sloppy on the basepaths, getting caught stealing twice _ once at third base to end the third _ struck out 13 times and their pitchers walked 10. Toronto also allowed New York to score on a wild pitch and passed ball.
Cervelli broke his right hand when Rajai Davis fouled Nova’s fifth pitch of the game straight back into the catcher’s bare hand. Cervelli will have surgery and miss at least six weeks. Nova followed Cervelli to the crowded trainer’s room two innings later, walking off the mound after giving up a single to Davis with right elbow pain. He will have an MRI.
Kevin Youkilis was not available for the sixth straight game because of lower back tightness, and he may be headed to the disabled list Saturday. And then, of course, there are the four All-Stars: Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixiera have all been out since the beginning of the season.
Nova gave up Encarnacion’s homer leading off the second and left the third after allowing the first two batters to reach.
Phelps (1-1) took about 5 minutes to warm up then gave up an RBI single to Rasmus. Phelps then struck out Bautista and Encarnacion.
Stewart completed an inning-ending double play after Encarnacion fanned by throwing out Davis trying to steal third base. It was the second baserunner Stewart threw out in two innings after he began the day sitting on a couch in the clubhouse reading a book in the “Game of Thrones” series, planning on serving as the backup.
Laffey was starting for Johnson after be claimed off waivers Tuesday by the Blue Jays. He was let go by the Mets after four uninspiring outings, and this one was no better. In 2 2-3 innings, he gave up two hits, two runs and walked five.
He lost control in the bottom of the third. The six batters he faced before being lifted were not credited with an at-bat. Laffey walked four, Brett Gardner had a sacrifice bunt and Vernon Wells a tying sacrifice fly.
Brad Lincoln (0-1) relieved and struck out Ichiro Suzuki with the bases loaded to maintain the 2-all score.
But Lincoln hit Eduardo Nunez with a pitch to start the fourth and Overbay followed with a triple to center field, snapping an 0 for 16 hitless skid. He scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-2.
Phelps didn’t allow another hit after Rasmus until Encarnacion hit his second long ball of the night leading off the sixth, a drive off the back wall of the Toronto bullpen. He has homered in four straight games.
NOTES: Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said there is no set plan for Ricky Romero. In extended spring training to work on his mechanics, Romero is scheduled to make his first start for Class A Dunedin on Saturday. … Yankees RHP Shawn Kelly turned 29 Friday. … Encarnacion has nine career multihomer games.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)