Wright, signed to a three-year, $21 million deal this past offseason, went 2-2 with a 9.15 ERA in three April starts before missing nearly the next four months with a shoulder injury. The veteran right-hander has produced since his return from the disabled list on Aug. 15, going 3-0 in five starts, including Tuesday’s 17-3 victory at Tampa Bay.
Wright allowed two earned runs and five hits over a season high-tying seven innings, striking out four and walking four. The Yankees have won five of Wright’s six starts since he rejoined the rotation.
“You try to stay focused in the game. You have to approach it as a 0-0 game; you can’t let up at all, especially the way they’ve played us,” Wright said of being handed a big early lead against the Devil Rays.
“It seems like every day brings more pressure. We’re in a pennant race, so when we come to the park, we have to play well.”
Wright had his best outing as a Yankee against the Blue Jays on Aug. 22 at Yankee Stadium, yielding four hits over seven innings of a 7-0 victory.
Shawn Chacon gave the tired New York bullpen a rest Saturday, pitching eight brilliant innings before Tom Gordon worked the ninth for a 1-0 victory. After manager Joe Torre emptied his bullpen in Friday’s series-opening 11-10 win, Chacon’s outing set New York up for Sunday, when closer Mariano Rivera will be ready to resume his role after working the previous three days in a row.
The Yankees remained 1 1/2 games behind AL East-leading Boston, and one-half game in back of Cleveland in the wild-card race.
Bernie Williams drove in the lone run for New York, which has won six in a row to climb a season-high 23 games above .500.
The Blue Jays have lost three straight overall, and 10 of 14 to New York this season.
The teams will meet for a three-game series at Yankee Stadium from Sept. 23-25.