El Duque pitched two scoreless innings in Toronto last night before he left the game with tightness in his left hamstring. So much for giving the bullpen a breather. While the New York hit the ball hard off of Ted Lilly, they only mustered three hits off the erstwhile Yankee (including a solo home run by Alex Rodriguez on his 29th birthday). The Jays collected plenty of hits but could not manage to break the game open. Gary Sheffield threw Alex Rios out at the plate in the sixth with the Jays leading 2-1, and Toronto could not score in the seventh after starting the inning with runners on the corner and nobody out.
The Yanks finally caught up to the Jays in the eighth. Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter singled. Sheffield walked, and Alex Rodriguez hit a sacrific fly to right which tied the game. Jorge Posada followed with a three-run bomb to right field. In the ninth, Bernie Williams and Gary Sheffield hit solo homers. It was the 400th home run of Sheffield’s career.
Tom Gordon allowed a couple of runs in the ninth, but the Yankees held on for the win. New York is eight games ahead of the Red Sox, who were rained out in Baltimore last night.