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Ibanez grand slam gives Yankees a victory

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Toronto Blue Jays reliever Jason Frasor had just frozen Nick Swisher on a called third strike with the bases loaded to record the second out of the eighth inning and quiet the Yankee Stadium crowd.

Frasor appeared to be in position to escape the jam with the score still tied, but, as opponents have said all season, there is little relief in the New York Yankees lineup.

So Raul Ibanez followed by drilling a 3-1 pitch into the second deck in right field for a grand slam to give the Yankees a 6-3 victory Monday night.

"Swish, I think, kind of tired him out battling him," Russell Martin, who homered earlier, said of Swisher's eight-pitch at-bat against Frasor. "Raul, very clutch. That's just what he's made of."

Along with the defeat, the Blue Jays lost slugger Jose Bautista in the top of the eighth, when he injured his left wrist on a swing that resulted in a long foul ball down the left-field line.

The Blue Jays announced after the game there was no break and it was a tendon injury. Bautista, who grimaced and held his wrist before leaving, was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately, on that swing on that 2-0 fastball, he felt a sensation in that left wrist that obviously took him out of the ballgame," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "... Through the course of completing the swing, he felt a little bit of a popping sensation."

Robinson Cano had two hits and an RBI to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 19 games for the Yankees. Alex Rodriguez, who was switched from third base to designated hitter after he got a stiff neck during batting practice, had his second straight two-hit game, including a double.

David Robertson (1-3) pitched a scoreless eighth for the Yankees. Toronto scored a run in the ninth and got the tying run to the plate with one out in that inning against closer Rafael Soriano. But Soriano got Brett Lawrie on a pop up and struck out Colby Rasmus to record his 23rd save of the season.

After Chad Beck pitched a scoreless seventh, Farrell went to Aaron Loup (0-1) to start the eighth.

Rodriguez singled with one out and advanced to second on a passed ball before Cano smacked a ball up the middle that was backhanded on the outfield grass by second baseman Kelly Johnson. The ball slipped out of Johnson's hand as he attempted to throw, though, and Cano was safe with a single and Rodriguez moved to third.

In came righty Frasor to face Mark Teixeira, who was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Swisher.

Frasor struck out Swisher on a 3-2 off-speed pitch for the second out.

But Ibanez -- who had been 0-for-11 with the bases loaded this season, but had a career .328 average in that situation -- followed by drilling his 12th homer of the season.

"To be honest with you, in most cases, I've been pretty good with the bases loaded," said Ibanez, who added he was just looking to hit a line drive. "And this year, not so good. So it was nice to help the team."

The starters dueled for most of the game, with Yankees righty Phil Hughes allowing two runs on four hits in seven innings and Henderson Alvarez giving up two runs on five hits in six innings for the Blue Jays.

"I thought he had a very good changeup," Farrell said of Alvarez. "He had some late action to his sinker as we've seen and got a key groundball double play to finish up the sixth inning. So, an outstanding job on his part."

Trailing 2-1, Toronto tied the game, 2-2, in the sixth. Bautista drew a one-out walk and Edwin Encarnacion hit the second of his two doubles, scoring Bautista from first. Encarnacion moved to third on a wild pitch on Adam Lind's strikeout, but was stranded when Yunel Escobar flied out to right.

Toronto wasted another chance to score when Rajai Davis doubled with one out in the seventh, but was left on base when Hughes got J.P. Arencibia on a fly to right and Lawrie on a pop up to second.

The Blue Jays put their first run on the board in the fourth when Lind hit his eighth home run, a solo shot with two outs to make it 2-1.

The Yankees had taken an early 2-0 lead with single runs in the second and third.

Martin smacked his ninth homer of the season, to right field, in the second with two outs for a 1-0 lead. Rodriguez and Cano produced back-to-back doubles the next inning to give the Yankees another run.

Along with the career-high hitting streak, Cano's double gave him his 22nd straight game in which he reached base safely.

NOTES: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera (torn ACL) reiterated his earlier stance that his goal was to return in September, telling ESPN radio, "Definitely, that's my goal. I'm not thinking about it because if it doesn't happen, I will be disappointed." ... Rodriguez will likely DH again Tuesday as the neck injury causes problems when he's throwing, Girardi said. ... Outfielder Brett Gardener (strained right elbow) had another setback in his rehab, feeling sore Monday following Sunday's simulated game, Girardi said. Girardi acknowledged the repeated setbacks were a "concern," but still hoped Gardner would work his way back, though he was unsure what the next step would be. ... CC Sabathia (strained groin) was on track to return from the DL on Tuesday and said he has been throwing enough that he didn't anticipate too much rust. ... Blue Jays left-hander Luis Perez was scheduled for Tommy John elbow ligament surgery Tuesday. The surgery will be performed by Dr. James Andrews.
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