Hideki Matsui ensured a Yankee win, clubbing a long solo home run off Jays’ ace Roy Halladay in the top half of the ninth. It was Matsui’s 16th homer of the season, a shot that bounced off the camera behind the center field wall.
The Yanks touched up Halladay twice more in the previous inning, receiving back-to-back solo home runs from Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira. With the round-trippers, Damon now has 18 for the season while Teixeira has 27.
“It always feels good when you can get a few runs off Roy,” Damon told the YES Network after the game.
“He’s been the best pitcher in the majors these last six years, and I just tried to keep the ball in play.”
Damon now has 32 career hits off Halladay, the most among any Major Leaguer.
Alex Rodriguez knocked in Damon in the top of the first with an RBI double, and scored later in the inning on an error, completing the Yankee offense in the game.
The Blue Jays saw run production from Alex Rios, who hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth to score Aaron Hill, and Vernon Wells, who wrapped a two-run double in the bottom of the eighth.
Andy Pettitte took the ball for the Yankees tonight and turned in a good outing. He lasted 6.2 innings and gave up one earned run on four hits. He walked four and struck out six.
“Andy was great; he picked up where he was since the All-Star break,” Yankees skipper Joe Girardi said to the press.
“He started making pitches he feels great and he gives us a chance every time he goes out. One of the differences has been his cutter. He gets strikeouts with that pitch.”
Pettitte now has 29 strikeouts over his last four games, and tonight marked his first win since July 1. His record now stands at 9-6 for the year.
On the other side of the field, Halladay took the loss and drops to 11-5, but also turned in a great game. He tossed all nine innings while allowing five runs on 10 hits. He walked none and struck out five.
Phil Hughes notched his 10th hold of the year while Mariano Rivera recorded a four-out save. He has now slammed the door 31 times this season.
Tomorrow night, the Yanks will look for a sweep of the two-game set before the huge, four-game series against the Red Sox at home starting Thursday.
Sergio Mitre (1-0, 7.90 ERA) will start for the Yanks against Marc Rzepczynski (1-2, 3.25 ERA).
Media Credit: YES Network