Jays win their final game at Yankee Stadium
Halladay gets his 17th victory, the game ball and a handful of dirt
Roy Halladay pitched seven strong innings to lead the Blue Jays to a 6-2 win Sunday in their final game at Yankee Stadium.
The Toronto ace allowed two runs on eight hits while striking out three and walking none, improving his record to 17-9 on the season and 4-1 in five starts against the Yankees.
Rod Barajas smacked a two-run double in the first inning that was misjudged by left-fielder Xavier Nady, and Scott Rolen added a solo homer in the second for the fast-starting Blue Jays.
Scott Downs and Brandon League each worked a hitless inning to close the game out, and Toronto (70-66) set a club record by completing its 12th consecutive contest without an error, the longest streak by a major league team this season.
Halladay left Sunday with the game ball and a handful of dirt from the famed Stadium.
"I think at some point, it kind of sets in for everybody that there's been a lot of incredible baseball to come through this place," he said. "I couldn't get away with a monument, so I'll go with the dirt."
Asked which of the famous monuments that sit just outside the centre-field fence he would have liked to take with him, Halladay didn't hesitate.
"Babe Ruth — if I could have got it in my bag," he said. "But I don't think I could've gotten away with it."
The Blue Jays announced after the game that they've traded shortstop David Eckstein to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a minor-league pitcher. Eckstein went 2-for-4 with an RBI in his final game as a Jay.
In taking their final two games of the three-game series, the Jays finished with a 100-124 record at Yankee Stadium, their most wins at any venue outside Toronto.
The venerable ballpark in the Bronx closes for good at the end of the season, to be levelled and replaced by a new venue on adjacent land.
Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi hit solo homers for New York (72-64).
Yankees starter Andy Pettitte (13-11) was charged with six runs on 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings. The veteran lefty struck out four and walked one.
A-Rod closes in on Schmidt
The trouble began early for Pettitte as he walked leadoff man Marco Scutaro, who came around to score on a Vernon Wells single three batters later.
Barajas followed with a high fly ball that Nady appeared to lose in the sun. The left-fielder initially came in before realizing the ball was hit over his head. Scored a hit for Barajas, the play brought home Wells and Alex Rios.
Rolen led off the second inning with a solo shot into the left-field bleachers. It was the eighth homer of the year for the sore-shouldered third baseman, who sat out 18 of the previous 19 games.
"I'm not getting it done, and that's all there is to it," said Pettitte afterward. "This is the time when I should be winning ball games.
"I'm letting a team down big-time. It's just frustrating. I'm not doing my job. I know how precious every win is right now."
Rodriguez got New York on the board with a bomb to dead centre in the fourth, the ball sailing just out of reach of a leaping Wells. A-Rod's 29th homer of the year and 547th of his career put him within one of Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt for 12th place on the all-time list.
Giambi's 28th tater made it 4-2 in the sixth, but the Jays added two more insurance runs in the seventh.
Eckstein scored McDonald with a one-out RBI single to chase Pettitte, and reliever Jose Veras promptly uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Scutaro to score the game's final run.
With files from the Canadian Press