Teixeira homers, Yanks finish sweep of Blue JaysNew York Yankees starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, of Japan, pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
NEW YORK (AP) -- On Wednesday, it was Dewayne Wise. Next time it might be Raul Ibanez or Andruw Jones or Jayson Nix. The New York Yankees are on a roll and a big reason for the success is the contributions of their role players.
And Wise knows why.
''They'd rather face me than (Derek) Jeter, and Curtis (Granderson), Alex (Rodriguez) and (Robinson) Cano,'' Wise said after driving in two runs in the Yankees' 6-0, rain-shortened victory over the Toronto Blue Jays that completed a thorough three-game sweep.
''You got Hall of Famers all through the lineup,'' he said. ''It's just one of those lineups that don't come around that often.''
Hiroki Kuroda pitched four-hit ball for his first shutout since 2008, when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The tarps came out after he pitched the seventh inning and the game was called following a 58-minute rain delay. The complete game was the third of his career.
Mark Teixeira hit a two-run homer in a four-run first inning, lifting the Yankees to their ninth win in 11 games. They are a season high 23 games over .500 (57-34).
New York scored at least three runs for a 42nd straight game, the second-longest streak since 1920. The 1994 Cleveland Indians went 48 games in 1994, the Yankees said based on information provided by the Elias Sports Bureau.
''We've pitched well. We've swung the bats well the last couple of weeks. I mean really, really well,'' manager Joe Girardi said. ''I've been really pleased with how - it's kind of been shared. It hasn't been one or two guys doing all the work. You've gotten contributions from so many different people in this lineup. ... It makes it difficult to get through this lineup and I think it wears on pitchers.
They gave Ricky Romero no time to settle in. He lost a career-worst fifth straight start and beat Toronto for the eighth straight time in the Bronx.
The Blue Jays not only are leaving town two games under .500 for the first time this season, they will be limping into Boston with two injuries. Brett Lawrie bruised his right calf flipping over a railing trying to catch a foul pop in the third inning. All-Star slugger Jose Bautista strained his wrist on a swing Monday night and was put on the 15-day disabled list.
''Well, it was a costly series,'' Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. ''Obviously getting swept, first and foremost, and then the injury to Jose in Game One and then today with Brett going over the railing.''
Lawrie slammed his right leg onto an unpadded railing inside a camera well while somersaulting over the cushioned railing separating the deep well from the field next to the Toronto dugout. The 22-year-old tried standing up but immediately went down after putting weight on his leg. Several members of the Blue Jays' staff ran from the dugout to assist Lawrie.
''I hit it so flush, and it was just a long fall. I felt like I was in the air for like 5 seconds,'' Lawrie said. ''From where the cameras sit behind that, it looks like it kind of cuts off right there but it actually goes down like another 3 1/2 feet. So it's like a 5, 5 1/2 foot drop. It sure felt like it.''
X-rays were negative and he is day to day. Lawrie hopes to play Friday.
Farrell saw this series as a chance help define the Blue Jays' season. Well, the Yankees outscored Toronto 18-4 and outhomered their AL East rival 4-1.
''It's not what we envisioned,'' Farrell said. ''And yet, I thought we came in here and we played well for the first game and three-quarters. (The Yankees are) a very good team that's probably playing their best baseball of the year over the last month or so.''
Headed to Oakland immediately following the game for the start of a six-game trip that begins Thursday, the Yankees wasted no time after a 51-minute delay at the start caused by some dramatic lightning and booming thunder - but no rain.
Jeter led off the first with a double, the first of the four extra-base hits in the inning. Nick Swisher had an RBI single, Teixeira followed with his 19th homer, a two-run shot. With one out, Cano and Jones had consecutive doubles to make it 4-0. Cano has a 21-game hitting streak.
Wise had an RBI double in the fourth and a run-scoring single in the sixth off Romero. He started in center field, giving Granderson a day off. Granderson had started 89 of New York's first 90 games.
''You've got to get contributions from everyone,'' Jeter said.
Kuroda (9-7), meanwhile, allowed a single hit in each of the second, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. He struck out the side in the second.
It was an encouraging outing for Kuroda after he was shelled in his previous two starts, 11 earned runs over 13 innings as his ERA rose from 3.16 to 3.67. Pitching with a big early lead helped.
''You can be aggressive and go inside on righties and lefties,'' Kuroda said through an interpreter.
Romero (8-6) appeared to be emerging from a slump. He had yielded just three runs in 12 innings over his previous two starts - allowing 16 runs in the two outings before that. But he gave up six runs and 12 hits in six innings this time. The losing streak follows a stretch where he lost only once in 15 outings.
NOTES: Injured Yankees closer Mariano Rivera rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday morning. ... Several members of the Wounded Warrior Project rode hand-pedaled bicycles onto the field before the game as part of the Soldier Ride. Swisher greeted the injured troops and fans gave them a warm ovation. ... Following the game, the Yankees recalled RHP David Phelps from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and optioned RHP D.J. Mitchell to their top minor league club.