The New York Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays by a score of 2-1 on Friday night.
Carl Pavano took the ball for just the second time this season. He gave the Yankees a quality start, as he tossed six innings and gave up one earned run on three hits. He walked one and struck out one.
A.J. Burnett pitched for Toronto and also pitched an excellent game. He lasted eight innings, gave up two earned runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out eight.
The Yankees struck first in the bottom of the fourth inning. Bobby Abreu drilled Burnett's offering into left field for an RBI double to score Johnny Damon, yesterday's hero Jason Giambi hit a sacrifice fly to score Abreu, and the Yankees went ahead 2-0.
The Blue Jays came through and scored in the top of the sixth with an RBI single from Marco Scutaro to score Travis Snider, and the Blue Jays cut the lead in half, 2-1.
Toronto missed an opportunity to score in the top of the eighth. With two outs and the tying run on third base, Mariano Rivera was called in to record a five out save. Rivera struck Scutaro out swinging to end the inning and get out of trouble.
In the top of the ninth, Rivera got Lyle Overbay to ground into a 6-3 put out to end the game and give the Yankees a win.
Pavano won his first game at Yankee Stadium since April of 2005, and he is now 2-0 this year.
Burnett takes the loss and is now 16-10.
Brian Bruney, Damaso Marte, and Edwar Ramirez each recorded a hold, and Rivera notched his 32nd save of the campaign.
"It was a must win, we had to win, and thank God we were able to hold the lead," said Rivera after the win.
"He was attacking the zone, he used his fielders, and he pitched an excellent game for us," said Joe Girardi about Pavano. "He worked very hard for us, and Tommy John is not something that's easy to come back from."
"There's been a lot of hard work on this team, and I'm putting the team's goals ahead of mine," said Pavano. "We got the win, and that's the most important thing."
It was important that the Yankees won, as they kept pace with the Boston Red Sox, who won their game tonight against the Chicago White Sox. Going into tomorrow's action, New York remains six games behind Boston in the Wild Card standings.
Tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 ET, the Yankees and Blue Jays will go at it in game two of this three game set.
Darrell Rasner (5-9, 5.03 ERA) is scheduled to pitch against John Parrish (1-0, 4.05 ERA)