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Wells' double caps Yankees' late comeback

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- Vernon Wells called the New York Yankees' current stretch of games, as the team pushes for an American League wild-card playoff spot, the fun part about baseball.

The veteran outfielder capped off a four-run eighth inning with a two-run double Wednesday, and New York snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

"Things have been ugly over the last few days, and the guys are still battling," Wells said. "It's obviously frustrating going through periods like that, but hopefully this is something that can kick-start something special for us."

With the Yankees trailing 3-0 in the eighth and runners on the corners, Robinson Cano singled off All-Star relief pitcher Steve Delabar (5-5), cutting Toronto's lead to 3-1. Alfonso Soriano then doubled over the head of Rajai David in right field, scoring Curtis Granderson and pulling the Yankees within 3-2.

Wells' double scored both Cano and Soriano, giving New York its first lead of the night.

"I hung a split to Cano, and he got out in front and hit it pretty hard," Delabar said. "To Soriano, I thought I made a good pitch down and away, and he got the head to it, and I hung another pitch to Vernon."

The win improves the Yankees to 14-4 against the Blue Jays (69-82) this season. New York's eighth-inning runs snapped a 16-inning scoreless drought.

"Grandy is able to get a hit off a really tough lefty," manager Joe Girardi said. "It maybe changed how they wanted to do the inning, and then we had some big hits after that. This team never quits. We hadn't scored a run in 16 innings. We found a way to put a four spot up in the eighth."

New York reliever David Huff (3-1), who came in for starter Phil Hughes in the fourth, picked up the win after allowing one run on one hit over 3 2/3 innings.

Toronto threatened in the ninth against Mariano Rivera. Singles by Adam Lind and Colby Rasmus put runners at first and second. Pinch hitter Munenori Kawasaki bunted into a fielder's choice, and Ryan Goins grounded out to second. Rivera then struck out J.P. Arencibia for his 44th save of the season.

"We have to be prepared for that, and I know these games are crucial," said Rivera, who is playing in Toronto for the final time before he retires after the season. "Everybody has to be on their game, everybody has to be ready because they can call anytime."

Toronto starter J.A. Happ threw seven innings of one-run ball, striking out seven and allowing four hits. It was his longest outing since Aug. 12.

Rasmus and Goins hit fourth-inning home runs, giving the Jays a 3-0 lead.

Rasmus took Hughes to the second deck in right field for his 22nd home run of the season, a two-run shot. Rasmus has homered in each of his four games since returning from the disabled list with an oblique injury Sept. 13.

Hughes, who threw just 50 pitches in his start last Thursday, was relieved after just 56 pitches Wednesday. The right-hander allowed two runs and four hits over 3 1/3 innings. Hughes entered Wednesday's game 0-1 with a 3.78 ERA in three starts against the Blue Jays this season.

"I was trying to go in at the belt," Hughes said of his pitch to Rasmus. "It was over the plate a little bit too much, and it was down, so kind of where a lefty likes it.

"I was told beforehand that it was going to be a similar situation to the game in Baltimore, and thankfully we won the game."

Two batters after Rasmus' blast, Goins hit his first career home run, a solo shot off Huff.

NOTES: The 14 wins are a Yankees record for a single season against Toronto. ... New York was shut out for the 10th time this season Tuesday. It's the most shutout losses in a single season for the Yankees since 1991, when they also were blanked 10 times. ... UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones threw out the game's ceremonial first pitch. ... Since Blue Jays INF Edwin Encarncation was shut down for the remainder of the season, he is the first player in club history to finish a season with at least 35 home runs, fewer than 65 strikeouts and more walks than strikeouts.
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