TORONTO (AP) _ Russell Martin hit a three-run homer, Eric Chavez
added a two-run shot and the New York Yankees maintained their
one-game lead atop the AL East by beating the Toronto Blue Jays
11-4 on Friday night.

The victory let New York keep its slim lead over second-place
Baltimore, which used six first-inning runs to beat Boston 9-1.

Nick Swisher had two hits and two RBIs for the Yankees, who have
not lost consecutive games since a three-game skid from Sept. 2-4.

Hiroki Kuroda (15-11) won for the third time in five starts
despite matching a season-high by allowing 10 hits in 5 1-3
innings. He gave up two runs, walked two and struck out four.

David Phelps worked 1 2-3 innings and David Robertson pitched
the eighth. Cody Eppley got two outs in the ninth and Rafael
Soriano finished for the Yankees.

Martin’s 20th homer of the season was a career-high for the
veteran catcher. He hit 19 with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2007,
his second season.

Chavez capped it with a two-run drive to left off Bobby Korecky
in the ninth, his 15th.

Colby Rasmus hit a solo home run and Adam Lind added a two-run
shot for Toronto, which lost for the ninth time in 12 games.

Swisher opened the scoring with a two-run double to right off
right-hander Chad Jenkins in the first.

The top of the first ended when Curtis Granderson drilled a
liner back to the mound that ripped the glove off Jenkins’ left
hand. The ball stayed in the glove as it flew into the air, and the
rookie pitcher caught both glove and ball together to record the
final out.

New York made it 3-0 in the second when Derek Jeter grounded
into a bases-loaded double play.

The Blue Jays had five hits, including three doubles, against
Kuroda through the first two innings but failed to score. Brett
Lawrie was thrown out by Martin after straying too far off second
following his leadoff double in the first, while Yunel Escobar was
picked off third by Martin in the second.

Toronto scored in the fifth when Rasmus led off with a drive to
right. The homer was his 23rd, matching his career high.

The Yankees broke it open with a four-run, bat-around sixth.
Robinson Cano was hit on the left hand but stayed in the game, and
Swisher singled before reliever Brett Cecil struck out Granderson
and Raul Ibanez.

Jason Frasor came on and gave up Martin’s homer. Chavez walked
and Jeter lined a base hit to right before Ichiro Suzuki followed
with an RBI single.

Kuroda left in the sixth after giving up a double to Kelly
Johnson and a bloop single to Rajai Davis. Anthony Gose greeted
David Phelps with an RBI fielder’s choice, cutting it to 7-2.

The Yankees made it 8-2 on Ibanez’s fielder’s choice groundout
in the seventh, but Lind cut it to 8-4 by homering off Phelps in
the bottom half, his 11th.

Suzuki doubled and stole third in the eighth before scoring on
Cano’s bloop single off Aaron Loup.

Making just his second major league start, Jenkins (0-3) allowed
three runs and four hits in 3 2-3 innings. He walked three and
struck out two.

NOTES: Jeter’s single in the sixth was his ML-leading 209th. …
New York 1B Mark Teixeira (strained left calf) had six at-bats in a
simulated game, ran the bases and took ground balls Friday. He will
play five innings of an instructional league game Saturday and will
likely rejoin the Yankees once they return home for the final three
games of the season, manager Joe Girardi said.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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