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Yanks win over Jays aided by controvsial play

The SportsXchange

New York -- The New York Yankees think they are better positioned to make a run at the postseason than they were two weeks ago.

As for what happened when Vernon Wells had a controversial go-ahead fielder's choice with one out in the fifth inning of a 5-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday, they had little idea.

Wells' disputed liner scored Eduardo Nunez with the go-ahead run and the Yankees continued their surge that left them 3 1/2 games out of the second wild card spot.

The Yankees waited three-and-a-half hours for the first pitch due to heavy rains and the threat of rain in the area. Then the Yankees were getting shut out by Toronto starter J.A. Happ (3-3) through four innings before the bizarre sequence that led to the go-ahead run in its fifth straight victory and 11th in 14 games.

"We're making up ground and that's what we need to continue to do," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We need to continue to win series like we've been doing and continue to pitch well and swing the bats but obviously each day you're able to make up a little ground, it seems more attainable and that's good for the guys in that room.

"We feel like we put ourselves in position now where we can do that," New York starter Andy Pettitte said. "It's going to be hard. The main thing is to keep winning series. We're playing well. Guys are swinging the bats well. We're feeling good about ourselves and you knew this was going to happen. It was just a matter of when and you hope it's not too late. It's not too late and we got a good club here."

The odd play began when Wells appeared to have hit a sacrifice fly as center fielder Rajai Davis made a sliding catch. Umpires ruled Davis dropped the ball on the transfer and Wells was originally credited with a single before the call was changed to a fielder's choice.

"I had no idea." Girardi said. "I was basically looking at the umpires and that's probably one of the most difficult things to figure out in a game. It's difficult to see. The runners don't know what to do. There's not a call right away and I don't blame them. I couldn't tell if he caught it or not. So it's just a tough play all around."

"I couldn't tell," Wells said. "I was looking for answer and couldn't really find one. Guys were kind of in the same boat as I was. It looked like he caught it on the replay from what I gathered but it didn't really matter at that point."

Davis threw to second base as Ichiro Suzuki advanced from first. Suzuki avoided the tag by second baseman Munenori Kawasaki but Chris Stewart returned to second thinking the catch had been made.

"I'm not sure why they called it a trap," Davis said. "I'm not sure who actually made the call but I caught the ball."

Stewart was called out trying to advance to third while Nunez scored the go-ahead run before the play at second was made.

Toronto manager John Gibbons raced out of the dugout to argue. After a few heated minutes, he was tossed by first base umpire Scott Barry.

"We looked at the replay and it looked to us like it bounced but probably inside his glove," crew chief Ted Barrett said to a pool reporter. "So on replay, (it) probably would have been ruled a catch."

That play gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead and came after Curtis Granderson led off the fifth with a home run into the second deck in right field. New York added three runs in the sixth on a two-run double by Nunez and a run-scoring groundout by Stewart while stretching its home winning streak over the Blue Jays to 13 games.

Pettitte (9-9) allowed one run and five hits over six innings. He issued three walks and struck out three.

Shawn Kelley allowed two runs in the seventh before Boone Logan struck out pinch hitter Adam Lind for the final out. Preston Claiborne pitched a scoreless eighth and David Robertson did the same in the ninth for his second save.

J.P Arencibia hit a solo home run and Kawasaki added an RBI single for the Blue Jays, who lost their fifth straight and eighth in 11 games. Edwin Encarnacion also had an RBI.

Happ lasted 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs and three hits.

NOTES: Girardi addressed the news that Rodriguez said Wednesday he was no longer going to be discussing any legal topics involving his 211-game suspension for alleged PED use that is being appealed. "I think our team has handled it well with what's been going on," he said. "It's probably easier on Alex and easier just to focus on the game than having to focus on all the other stuff. I commend him for it, just try to put this on the side burner right now and focus on the task at hand. I think it's a good thing." ... The Yankees placed INF Jayson Nix on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured left hand and recalled Claiborne from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. ... Toronto placed INF Maicer Izturis on the 15-day DL with a sprained left ankle and recalled INF Ryan Goins from Triple-A Buffalo. ... Toronto LHP Mark Buehrle was ejected by Barrett on the same play that Gibbons was ejected on.
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