Yankees 3, Blue Jays 2, 10 innings
NEW YORK (AP)—Late comebacks, close wins. The New York Yankees are beginning to resemble the team everyone became familiar with for the past decade.
The Yankees (47-44) won for the 10th time in 13 tries and moved within eight games of first-place Boston in the AL East, the closest they’ve been since after games of June 18.
“We just seem to be playing with something in mind right now,” manager Joe Torre said. “I think we’re at a point now, because good things have happened when we’ve come after people, that when we lose a game like this it’s going to be a surprise.”
Accardo’s meltdown cost Roy Halladay his 11th win after he stymied the Yankees for seven innings in an entertaining pitchers’ duel with Andy Pettitte. Aaron Hill’s tiebreaking double off struggling reliever Kyle Farnsworth in the eighth gave Toronto a 2-1 lead.
After failing to come through in two key spots earlier in the game, Cano sliced the first pitch he saw into left field. New York improved to 8-14 in one-run contests.
“We needed this game desperately,” Rodriguez said. “For some reason, we play with a lot of energy at home.”
Luis Vizcaino (6-2) worked a scoreless inning for the win. Toronto stranded 12 runners for the second consecutive game.
“They’ve got the knack for making the right pitch at the right time,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
Andy Phillips opened the New York ninth with a single and pinch-runner Miguel Cairo stole second. After failing on a bunt attempt, Melky Cabrera grounded a single off first baseman Lyle Overbay’s glove for his third hit of the night.
In a puzzling move, third base coach Larry Bowa waved Cairo home with none out even though strong-armed right fielder Alex Rios was charging the ball hard.
Rios threw a strike on the fly to Zaun, who tumbled over after withstanding a glancing blow to his legs by Cairo’s head.
Cabrera alertly went to second on the throw home and then easily stole third, taking off before an unaware Accardo even began his delivery. Accardo walked Johnny Damon, then balked home the tying run.
“I’ve seen some crazy stuff. I can’t remember seeing that,” Halladay said. “It can be a tough place to play, and things like that happen from time to time.”
“I caught a cleat and was going to step off. Dumbest thing I’ve ever done,” Accardo said. “I kind of let things get out of hand. I gave up the leadoff single and I started pressing.
“It’s a mental mistake. You can’t get beat by those. If you’re going to get beat, get beat by the hitter,” he added.
Rodriguez had a run-scoring single with two outs in the first for the Yankees.
Frank Thomas hit a two-out RBI double in the first and singled to start Toronto’s eighth-inning rally, which was helped along by Farnsworth’s wild pickoff attempt. The right-hander was booed loudly by the crowd of 51,961.
“We need him to get straightened out. He’s very important for us,” Torre said.
Halladay gave up one run and five hits. He struck out six and walked three.
“It’s nice to win a close game, that’s for sure,” Pettitte said. “I knew it was going to be a tough game. Roy was throwing as good as I’ve ever seen him.”
Pettitte fanned a season-best seven over seven innings, allowing seven hits and three walks. It was the left-hander’s sixth no-decision when allowing no more than two earned runs. He threw a season-high 116 pitches.
“To me, Andy made it all possible, because the only way you’re going to have a chance against Halladay is to match him and he certainly did that,” Torre said.
Matsui singled off the base of the right-field fence in the first inning, extending his hitting streak to a season-best 12 games. … Cabrera pushed his career-high hitting streak to 13 games. … Halladay is 6-1 with a 1.84 ERA in his last 10 starts against the Yankees. … New York improved to 3-39 when trailing after eight innings.