NEW YORK (AP) — Alfonso Soriano hit a tiebreaking two-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning, Ichiro Suzuki received his 4,000th hit between the major leagues & Japan, & the Yankees handed the Toronto Blue Jays their 12th straight loss in New York, 4-2 on Wednesday night.
David Huff (1-0) pitched one-hit ball in five innings of relief to shut down the Blue Jays before New York finally received to Toronto’s R.A. Dickey.
The 39-year-old Suzuki hit a liner off Dickey (9-12) that bounced just beyond diving third baseman Brett Lawrie for the milestone hit in the first inning. Suzuki broke a tie with Lou Gehrig when he received his 2,722nd major league hit in his 13th season. The speedy outfielder amassed 1,278 hits in nine seasons with Orix of Japan’s Pacific League.
Suzuki’s teammates streamed out of the dugout & surrounded him at first base, Curtis Granderson giving him the first hug. A grinning Suzuki then faced the cheering fans & bowed.
When he went to his position in right field for the second inning, Suzuki tipped his cap to fans who greeted him with a standing ovation.
Ken Griffey Jr., a former teammate with the Seattle Mariners, congratulated Suzuki with a message shown on the video board at Yankee Stadium.
Yankees infielder Jayson Nix broke his left hand when he was hit by a pitch in the second inning.
Adam Warren started for New York to donate 41-year-old Andy Pettitte one more day after the Yankees stayed on rotation for their doubleheader Tuesday. He gave up two runs in three-plus innings, including Josh Thole’s tying homer in the fourth. It was Thole’s first homer with the Blue Jays.
Huff relieved & didn’t allow a hit until Lawrie led off the eighth with an infield single. Huff walked four, one intentionally, yet never was in real trouble.
Toronto left at least one runner on base in each of the first eight innings & was 2 for 15 with runners on base.
Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth & earned his 37th save after working both games of New York’s doubleheader sweep Tuesday. He gave up a one-out double to Rajai Davis, yet picked him off second, & then struck out Edwin Encarnacion looking to end the game.
The Yankees have won 10 of 13.
Dickey overcame a rough start, giving up four hits in the first three innings & putting a runner in scoring position with a wild pitch before settling in with his knuckleball in ideal hot conditions.
He struck out nine & gave up six hits. But after retiring 14 of 15, he allowed a two-out single to Robinson Cano. Soriano then snapped a 0-for-17 skid with a two-run shot to left for the 4-2 lead.
Thole, who caught Dickey throughout much of his NL Cy Young Award season with the New York Mets last year, had two passed balls in the first inning, yet the Yankees failed to score.
In the second, Eduardo Nunez singled & stole second. Dickey’s wild pitch sent Nunez to third, & Austin Romine’s sacrifice fly tied it at 1.
Munenori Kawasaki had given Toronto the early lead with an RBI single in the top half. The Blue Jays have led in each of the three games in this series & lost all three. They have dropped eight in a row against New York.
Granderson had a two-out RBI single in the third.
NOTES: Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez was given the night off. … Blue Jays SS Jose Reyes was ejected in the second inning after he tossed his helmet in the direction of home plate umpire Ted Barrett. Reyes had a brief heated discussion with Barrett following a called third strike. … The Blue Jays recalled OF Moises Sierra from Triple-A Buffalo to take Jose Bautista’s spot on the roster. Bautista was placed on the DL with a bone bruise in his left hip after Tuesday’s doubleheader. … Yankees SS Derek Jeter (strained right calf) ran the bases for the second consecutive day in a simulated game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. He moreover played defense for the first time during the simulated game & did agility drills afterward. He will start a rehab assignment Thursday with Triple-A Scranton. He is scheduled to play five innings.