Jays mount comeback to down Yankees
The Toronto Blue Jays got off to a rough start but clawed their way back on Saturday in an exciting 7-6 defeat of the New York Yankees.
Saturday's game was the second of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium, Toronto's final weekend at the ballpark. The Yankees took the series opener 2-1 on Friday.
The loss may have dashed New York's post-season hopes, after they started the day six games back of the Boston Red Sox in the American League wild-card race.
"We need to win some games and maybe spoil some people," Toronto's Lyle Overbay said. "It's nice to do some good things and get a win out of it."
Toronto started John Parrish, recalled from triple-A Syracuse on Saturday. The lefty made two costly mistakes in the first inning that gave the Yankees an early 2-0 advantage.
With Derek Jeter on first base, Parrish unloaded a wild pitch over the head of catcher Gregg Zaun, while Jeter streaked to second.
Alex Rodriguez made Parrish pay with a two-out single to cash in Jeter and put the Yankees on the board 1-0.
Parrish threw another wild pitch a few minutes later, putting Rodriguez on second. Jason Giambi made it count again, with an RBI single to put New York up 2-0.
Parrish pulled himself together for the second inning. He allowed a single by Robinson Cano but caught Johnny Damon swinging to strand the runner and end the set.
Jays begin their offensive
Vernon Wells breathed life into the Jays' offence and ended Darryl Rasner's smooth performance on the mound when he crushed his sixth long ball since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 10.
The two-run shot evened things up 2-2 in the fourth inning.
Just when it seemed that Parrish would get through the bottom half of the set unscathed, Cano and Ivan Rodriguez smashed back-to-back solo homers to give the Yanks a 4-2 lead.
Parrish's day ended after four innings, in which he allowed four runs on seven hits and recorded three strikeouts. The Jays brought in lefty Brian Tallet for the fifth.
Tallet promptly walked two batters and allowed a single to load up the bases for Hideki Matsui, who cashed in with an RBI double to put his team up 6-2.
Jays mount comeback
The Jays started their comeback in the seventh inning. Jose Bautista came to the plate with runners on the corners and came through with a single up the middle, scoring Adam Lind and reducing the Yankees' lead to 6-3.
Joe Inglett kept things going with a clutch RBI single, scoring Overbay and Bautista, and bringing the Jays within one run of the Yankees.
Brandon League replaced Jason Frasor on the mound in the seventh and struck out the side, paving the way for the Jays to tie things up.
In the eighth, Bautista singled to left to cash in Wells before Zaun hit a soft infield single, scoring Lind and taking the Jays up 7-6.
Closer B.J. Ryan came in for the ninth inning to preserve Toronto's lead. He first met Jeter, who hit a long single off the right field wall. Ryan walked Bobby Abreu before facing Alex Rodriguez.
Tension rose in the stadium as Ryan delivered on a full count. Rodriguez grounded to Bautista at third who turned the difficult double play. Ryan earned his 25th save.
"I was just trying to put my glove on it and do anything to prevent it from getting by me," Bautista said. "I didn't ever feel like we had a chance to turn it. I gave it a shot at first and we got him."
The Jays will play their final game at Yankee Stadium on Sunday (CBC, 1 p.m. ET). A marquee pitching matchup is on tap as Toronto ace Roy Halladay faces 214-game winner Andy Pettitte.
With files from the Associated Press