The Yankees were able to right their ship, thanks to Tampa Bay’s defeat of Boston to go into a pivotal match-up this weekend against the Sox with a 8-4 victory over Toronto yesterday.
Johnny Damon hit a solo home run and had three RBIs, Nick Swisher also connected and the Yankees beat the Blue Jays 8-4 on Wednesday night.
The Yankees, who last played Boston June 9-11, have been outscored 55-31.
Alfredo Aceves (7-1) pitched two innings for the victory as the Yankees used a four-run seventh inning to win their third straight overall.
Phil Coke got two outs, Phil Hughes worked the eighth and David Robertson wrapped it up in the ninth for New York.
Damon went 3 for 5 and hit his second homer in two games, a solo shot off Brian Tallet in the ninth, his 19th.
Mike Rzepczynski (boy, that sure is a hard name to type!) had retired 10 straight when Swisher led off with a homer to left, his 18th. After Robinson Cano followed with a double, right-hander Josh Roenicke relieved.
Melky Cabrera grounded out, moving Cano to third, and pinch-hitter Hideki Matsui hit an RBI single. Jose Molina walked and Derek Jeter struck out before Damon and Teixeira followed with run-scoring singles. Rodriguez walked to load the bases for Swisher, who struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch.
Toronto took a 2-0 lead in the first against New York starter Sergio Mitre. The righty struck out the first two batters but followed that by giving up four straight hits, including RBI singles to Vernon Wells and Alex Rios.
The Yankees tied it in the third when Jerry Hairston walked, went to second on Jeter’s single and scored on a base hit by Damon. Teixeira followed with an RBI fielder’s choice.
Mitre, who allowed five runs and seven hits in just three innings in his last start, a 10-5 loss to the White Sox on July 31, was ineffective again in this one. The righty allowed three runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings and has not pitched into the seventh in any of his four Yankees starts. He walked two and struck out three.
Rodriguez started at DH but took over at third base in the seventh, forcing the pitcher into the lineup. Eric Hinske pinch hit for Coke in the seventh and restored New York’s three-run cushion with a sacrifice fly off Jesse Carlson.
Joba Chamberlain flew back to NY earlier in the day to get ready for his start tonight. The pitching match-ups favor the Yankees as Joba is the Yankees’ hottest starter after the All-Star break, and the rest of the pitchers coming up – Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia, and AJ Burnett all have the MLB’s best August record since 2005. Amazing.
The pitching rotation will be announced later today.