Yankees sweep Blue Jays, keep having fun

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Nick Swisher doesn't usually need much reason to display his enthusiastic energy, it's easy to see why after the latest win for his New York Yankees.

The Yankees peppered Toronto Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero for four runs on five hits in the first inning, including a requisite home run, in Wednesday's 6-0 rain-shortened victory at Yankee Stadium.

The victory completed a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays and capped a 5-1 homestand, as the Yankees moved 23 games above .500, improving baseball's best record.

Along with Mark Teixeira's 19th homer of the season, New York got seven shutout innings from Hiroki Kuroda. Robinson Cano improved his career-high hitting streak to 21 games and fill-ins Jayson Nix and Dewayne Wise had two hits apiece as the Yankees prepared for a seven-game West Coast road trip.

"It's a lot of fun coming to the ballpark right now," Swisher said after the Yankees scored three runs or more in their 42nd straight game. "... It's so much fun right now because everything's going our way."

It's not as much fun for the Blue Jays, who had literal wounds to lick for the second time in three games. Third baseman Brett Lawrie was injured two games after Jose Bautista hurt his left wrist -- and one day after Bautista was placed on the disabled list.

Lawrie was listed as day to day after leaving the game in the third, when he tumbled over the railing on the third base side chasing Teixeira's foul pop. The team announced he sustained a bruised right calf.

The third baseman braced by putting his right hand on the railing and nearly made an impressive catch before the ball popped out. But Lawrie's momentum took him over the railing and into a camera well, where he landed awkwardly on his back.

Lawrie got up slowly before he was helped down the tunnel. The Jays said X-rays were negative and manager John Farrell said Lawrie should be able to avoid the disabled list.

"Well, it was a costly series," Farrell said. "Obviously getting swept, first and foremost, and then the injuries to Jose in Game 1 and then today with Brett going over the railing. ... So this was a tough three days here in New York."

There was a 51-minute delay because of reports of lightning and a 58-minute delay due to a thunderstorm before the game was called in the middle of the seventh. But it didn't take the Yankees nearly as long to start once the game got going.

The Yankees pounded away at Romero quickly, building a 4-0 lead in the first. Derek Jeter, used as DH with Nix playing shortstop, led off with a double and Swisher singled him in. Teixeira then lined a 2-2 pitch over the left-field wall to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead before Andruw Jones followed Cano's double with a RBI single.

That was plenty for Kuroda, who pitched seven shutout innings, allowing four hits while striking out five.

Kuroda (9-7) shut down a Jays lineup weakened by the losses of Bautista and, after the third, Lawrie. It also featured rookie speedster Anthony Gose in the leadoff spot in his first major-league start. Gose, one of Toronto's top prospects, went 0-for-3.

The Yankees added runs in the fourth and sixth on RBI hits by Wise, who started in center field for Curtis Granderson, who was given a rare day off. Both hits scored Nix.

"It's been really special what these guys have done for us because it allows us to give guys a day off without worrying about giving them a day off," Girardi said of his bench.

Romero (8-6) exited after the sixth, allowing six runs on 12 hits as the Blue Jays headed to Boston after a humbling stay in New York.

"It's not what we envisioned either," Farrell said. "And yet, we came in here and I thought we played well for the first game and three-quarters. This is a very good team that's probably playing their best baseball of the year over the last month or so."

Girardi agreed that his team has found its groove.

"I thought we really had a good homestand, playing a tough Angels team and a pretty tough Toronto team that's been tough on us in the past," Girardi said. "... It's probably about as good as we've played."

NOTES: Granderson had started all but one of the Yankees' first 90 games this season. ... Injured Yankees closer Mariano Rivera rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. ... Alex Rodriguez played third base after starting as the DH the past two games because of a stiff neck. He made a throwing error on his first chance and later bobbled a grounder that was ruled an infield hit. ... Figurines of Teixeira were given away and the Yankees first baseman said he was impressed by the close resemblance. ... Yunel Escobar replaced Lawrie and played shortstop with Omar Vizquel moving to third.
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