Bronx, NY—The Yankees continued their concerted effort to reach the 2013 American League playoffs with a 5-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon. The win was their fifth straight and 10th in the last 12 contests. The four game sweep of Toronto was the fourth consecutive series win for New York.
After the game, Yankee skipper Joe Girardi spoke of the forward movement of the team, “We’re making up ground and that’s what we need to do. That makes it [reaching the post-season] attainable. There’s a different vibe [on the club] because we’re winning.”
A light rain caused an interminable delay of three hours and 32 minutes before the game began. The announced crowd of 40,116, most of whom left early or never came to the ballpark, were given the opportunity to exchange their tickets for a grandstand or terrace seat to a game with the Chicago White Sox on September 2, 3 or 4.
Each of the starting pitchers, Andy Pettitte and J.A. Happ, did not yield a run, gave up only one hit and one walk during the first four frames.
The scoreless duel ended in the fifth when J.P. Arencibia, on a 0-1 pitch, led off the inning by lifting the ball into the stands in left for his 19th home run of the campaign.
For the eighth time in their 12 victories over the Blue Jays, the Yanks came from behind to earn the victory.
A lead-off homer by Curtis Granderson in the bottom of the same inning tied the score at 1-1.
Later in the inning, a fly ball to center by Vernon Wells was inexplicably ruled a fielder’s choice rather than a hit or an error led to the second Yankees’ run. Toronto manager John Gibbons and Toronto pitcher Mark Buehrle were ejected from the game after arguing that the ball was caught.
The bottom Yankee batting order led to three tallies in the sixth. Three walks were followed by a two-run single by Eduardo Nuñez and an RBI ground-out by catcher Chris Stewart.
Pettitte recorded his second straight win. He pitched six innings while surrendering only one run and four hits. Girardi commended his performance, “He pitched very well. I thought his fast ball and cutter were good today. Andy got a lot of ground balls.”
The Blue Jays scored two runs in the seventh, but it was not enough to prevent them from losing their ninth of the last 12 games.
The Yanks now leave for a six game road trip against American League East rivals, Tampa (3 games) and Toronto (3 games).Hiroki Kroda, C.C. Sabathia, and Ivan Nova are scheduled to be the starters in Tampa on the weekend.