In the fifth inning, the Blue Jays beat themselves, making two crucial mistakes.
With the score tied 1-1, Jays starter Brian Tallet gave up a bases loaded walk to Mark Teixeira, allowing Brett Gardner to score. Later in the frame, he tossed a wild pitch, giving Johnny Damon the ability to score from third and the Yankees a 3-1 edge.
The Bronx Bombers scored their first run with a solo home run from Robinson Cano in the bottom of the second; a blast that landed in the Yankee bullpen good for his 13th long ball of the year.
Alex Rodriguez padded the Yankee lead with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the eighth, his 14th round-tripper of the year and 222nd as a member of the Yankees.
Rodriguez has now homered in five of his last eight games and is now tied with Yankees favorite Don Mattingly for ninth place on the all-time Yankee home runs list.
The Blue Jays scraped two runs across the plate, the first with an RBI single off the bat of Alex Rios to score Lyle Overbay in the top of the fourth, and a solo home run from Vernon Wells in the top of the sixth.
Wells’ home run is the 21st he has hit in his career against the Yankees, and is now tied with Joe Carter on the Blue Jays’ list of home runs against New York.
Coming off a brilliant game last Saturday against the Mets, A.J. Burnett started against his former team and tossed yet another gem from the mound.
He went seven strong innings, gave up two earned runs on six hits, walked two, and racked up seven strikeouts.
“He was very good again,” Yankee manager Joe Girardi said to the media of Burnett’s performance.
“He really only made one mistake. His fastball was great and his curveball was great.”
With the win, Burnett has won five of his last seven games and now owns a 7-and-4 record this year.
“I made one mistake all game,” Burnett said to the press.
“Facing the Blue Jays as a Yankee is different. It was a little weird when some of them stepped into the box, but I just went about my business.”
The tandem of Phil Coke and Phil Hughes came out of the bullpen strong in the eighth inning, not allowing a run. Each reliever recorded a hold.
Mariano Rivera shut down the Jays in the ninth, and has slammed the door 21 times this year.
Tomorrow afternoon, the Yankees and Blue Jays will play game two of the four-game wraparound series.
Chien-Ming Wang (1-and-6, 10.06 ERA) will start for the Yankees and face 2003 Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay (10-and-2, 2.56 ERA).