NEW YORK(AP) The
parted ways with popular teammate
in the visitor's clubhouse just before the first pitch Monday night, their task of slowing down the streaking
New York Yankees
made that much more difficult.
The Yankees had won seven straight, and were fresh off their first four-game home sweep of bitter rival Boston in 24 years.
Their pitching had been dominant, their offense explosive.
Leave it to the Toronto bullpen, of all things, to turn the game upside down.
hit solo homers, and the
' gritty relief corps made a meager lead stand up in a 5-4 victory that gave Toronto its first three-game winning streak since
the last week of June.
''We did a good job, got their starter out of there, but their bullpen came in and did a real solid job,'' Yankees manager
said. ''They shut us down.''
And they did it without Rios, a two-time All-Star who was claimed off waivers by the
Chicago White Sox
just before the first pitch.
It was cost-saving moving on the part of the
, who shed the outfielder's hefty salary and now have some financial flexibility for the offseason.
''As I told him, it's not like someone didn't want him,''
said. ''There was a team over there that really wanted him and I'm sure that he will do well.''
(1-5) picked up the win in relief of ineffective starter
, who allowed three homers and didn't make it out of the fourth inning. The
bullpen allowed four hits over 5 2-3 innings, helping Toronto win for just the third time in 10 tries against the Yankees
worked around a single in the ninth by
for his fifth save.
''Pitching did a great job,'' Hill said. ''Frasor's doing his thing. It's always nice to come out with a win, not we have
to come out here and do it again tomorrow.''
The Yankees, who had their lead in the AL East trimmed to 5 1/2 games over Boston, looked for a while as if they would keep
hit a leadoff homer on the third pitch he saw, and
added back-to-back homers in the fourth, before the bats finally went quiet.
(1-1), who could be fighting for his spot in the rotation, committed a costly error that led to two runs and wound up allowing
five total in five innings.
He got into trouble in the third, when Hill homered off the top of the wall in left field for the first run allowed by a New
York starter in more than 24 innings.
took the field again, plate umpire Paul Schrieber quietly ejected Gaston - keeping him from watching the fireworks in person.
The Yankees regained the lead on a sacrifice fly by
, before Toronto scored three times in the fourth inning. Overbay walked and
hit a hot shot at Mitre, who made a nice backhanded snare but threw wide to second. Cano could not gather it in, the ball
trickled away and Overbay scored easily.
''I made three mistakes, two home runs and the bad throw to second base,'' Mitre said. ''The ball was hit hard, so it got
to me quick, so I double-pumped trying to get a grip. If we make that double play, the game is 4-2.''
added a sacrifice fly and
an RBI triple.
''A miscue cost us the game,'' Girardi said flatly.
The homers by Cano and Hairston were the 12th back-to-back for the Yankees this season, and second in as many games, after
did it in the eighth inning of a 5-2 victory over the
on Sunday night.
Overbay's go-ahead homer in the fifth came on a 3-2 count with two outs, and soared over the Yankees bullpen before bouncing
just below the first row of seats in deep right field.
Rzepczynski, who was charged with the loss against the Yankees last week, allowed four runs on seven hits in 3 1-3 innings.
Even though he was long gone, the
managed to win for only the second time in the seven games he's started.
did not get a player for Rios. Rather, the
assume his entire contract. ... Yankees INF
, who was designated for assignment, signed a minor league contract and will go to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.