A Much Needed Win
IAN HARRISON Associated Press
TORONTO (AP) _ Vernon Wells had a go-ahead two-run double in the eighth inning, Mariano Rivera earned a four-out save and the New York Yankees rallied from three runs down to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 Wednesday night and snap a four-game skid.
Robinson Cano drove in the Yankees’ first run in this three-game series with a one-out single in the eighth. Alfonso Soriano followed with an RBI double, helping New York avoid falling further behind in the AL wild-card race.
New York entered 31/2 games behind Tampa Bay and Texas for the second wild card. The Yankees have 10 games remaining. The Rays and Rangers played Wednesday night.
David Huff (3-1) pitched 3 2-3 innings of relief of Phil Hughes to earn the win.
Alex Rodriguez went 0 for 4 with a walk as the Yankees improved to 8-2 this season following a shutout loss. New York, which lost 2-0 Tuesday, has gone 34-11 following shutout defeats since Joe Girardi took over as manager before the 2008 season.
Colby Rasmus homered for the fourth straight game and Ryan Goins hit his first career homer but the Blue Jays couldn’t hold on to a 3-0 lead, losing for the sixth time in eight games.
Goins’ homer was the only hit allowed by Huff, who came on after Rasmus connected off Hughes in the fourth.
David Robertson got two outs in the eighth and Rivera finished it off for his 44th save in 51 chances. Rivera entered to a standing ovation from the crowd of 24,247.
Adam Lind singled to begin the ninth and was replaced by pinch-runner Kevin Pillar, who went to second when Rasmus followed with a base hit. Pillar was forced at third on pinch-hitter Munenori Kawasaki’s attempted sacrifice, Goins grounded out and Rivers fanned J.P. Arencibia on three pitches to leave runners at second and third.
Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ matched a season-high by pitching seven innings but was denied his second win in three starts when the Yankees rallied in the eighth.
Aaron Loup replaced Happ after Brendan Ryan doubled to begin the inning but left after giving up a single to Curtis Granderson. Steve Delabar (5-5) came on and struck out Rodriguez, then gave up an RBI single to Cano, New York’s first run in 16 innings. Soriano hit an RBI double and Wells followed with a two-run double.
Happ allowed one run and four hits in seven-plus innings. He walked two and struck out seven.
Rasmus hit a two-run shot into the second deck off Hughes in the fourth, his 22nd of the season. One out later, Goins drilled a solo shot off Huff.
Rasmus has homered in four straight games since being activated off the 15-day disabled list before Friday’s game against Baltimore. He hit a solo home run in Tuesday’s 2-0 win.
Hughes, who has not won since July 2 at Minnesota, allowed two runs and four hits in 3 1-3 innings. He walked none and struck out two.
The Yankees put runners at the corners with one out in the first but Soriano struck out looking and Wells flied out.
Soriano drew a leadoff walk in the fourth and Wells followed with a single, but the Yankees couldn’t deliver. Mark Reynolds grounded into a double play and Eduardo Nunez popped out.
Those were the first two in a streak of 10 consecutive outs for Happ, who didn’t allow another baserunner until Nunez’s two-out single in the seventh. The inning ended when catcher J.R. Murphy struck out looking.
Brett Lawrie led off the bottom half with a double and Lind flied out before Rasmus chased Hughes with his homer. Huff came on and got Moises Sierra to ground out before Goins connected on a 3-2 pitch.
NOTES: The Blue Jays are 4-14 against the Yankees this season. … Murphy started at catcher for the Yankees, with Chris Stewart getting the day off. … Yankees LHP Boone Logan (elbow) threw a bullpen session before the game and could return Friday when New York hosts San Francisco.
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