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Yankees 11, Blue Jays 4

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- If the New York Yankees were feeling any pressure with a miniscule lead atop the AL East Division, they certainly weren't showing it.

Yankees catcher Russell Martin led the way with his 20th homer of the season, a three-run shot in the sixth, and scored twice as New York (91-66) took care of the Toronto Blue Jays 11-4 before a crowd of 25,785 at Rogers Centre on Friday.

Designated hitter Eric Chavez also hit a two-run homer in the ninth.

Adam Lind salvaged a little pride for the Blue Jays (69-88) in the seventh with a two-run homer to left off Yankees reliever David Phelps.

The Yankees maintain their one-game advantage over the Baltimore Orioles in the race for top spot in the division with the win. The Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox 9-1 on Friday.

Toronto starter Chad Jenkins (0-3) gave up three runs on four hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings to take the loss while Hiroki Kuroda (15-11) gave up two runs and 10 hits in five and a third to get the win.

Martin blew the game open in the sixth with his homer to left that brought in Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano. The Yankees later added fourth run in an inning in which they batted around.

Toronto got one back in their half of the sixth when second baseman Kelly Johnson scored on an Anthony Gose groundout but the Yankees got that run back on their next at-bats on a fielder's choice of their own.

Johnson fielded a grounder by Raul Ibanez and tried to get Swisher at the plate but the throw was off-line.

Jenkins retired the first two batters he faced to start the game but then he gave up back-to-back singles to Alex Rodriguez and Cano before Swisher drove them in with his 34th double of the season to right center field.

Curtis Granderson followed and laced a line drive back at Jenkins. Jenkins threw his gloved hand into the air and caught the ball but the ball was hit hard enough to send the glove flying off his hand. Fortunately for Jenkins, he turned and caught the glove with the ball still inside.

In their next at-bat, the Yankees loaded the bases with nobody out but only managed one run when Ibanez scored when shortstop Derek Jeter grounded into a double play. Ichiro Suzuki grounded out to third base to end the inning.

The Blue Jays had no trouble getting on base but were their own worst enemies with runners in scoring position. Had it not been for mistakes on the basepaths in the first and second innings by Brett Lawrie and Yunel Escobar, they could easily have had some runs.

Colby Rasmus finally got Toronto their first run, leading off the home fifth by taking a 1-1 pitch out to right field for his 23rd homer of the season.

Notes: Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia singled to left in his first at-bat in the first inning to extend his current hitting streak to six games. ... Rodriguez got the start at third base for the first time since fouling a ball off his foot in the Yankees' loss to Minnesota on Tuesday. ... Andy Pettitte (5-3, 2.71 ERA) is scheduled to start for New York on Saturday afternoon in the third of four games with the Blue Jays while Toronto will counter with Ricky Romero (9-14, 5.76).
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