About the worst thing that can be said about tonight's game is the spot starter Chad Gaudin failed to make it through four innings of work. That's a short outing even when taking the Canadian exchange rate into account. Still, that's not a whole lot to complain about, and even with the Red Sox beating the Rays tonight, the Yankees didn't lose even a metric game off their AL East lead and reduced their magic number to 22.
Pretty much everything else was gravy for the Yankees tonight. They had a 4-0 lead before a Blue Jay even picked up a bat. When the Jays cut the lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the fourth, the Yankees responded with two more in the top of the fifth. When the Jays pulled within two again later on, the Yanks answered with their second ninth inning rally in as many nights, putting things out of reach and making the continued unavailability of Mariano Rivera much easier to stomach.
Jorge Posada was the offensive star of the night, going 4 for 5 with a double, a homer, and four RBI. The longball was his 20th of the year, making him the seventh Yankee to reach that mark this season. Too bad the pitchers all hate throwing to him.
Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera had two hits apiece, with A-Rod adding a homer of his own and a sexual assault on an unsuspecting Toronto police officer. Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui both drew a pair of free passes, and Damon, Mark Teixeira, A-Rod, and Matsui all scored twice.
Gaudin allowed four hits, three walks, two hit batsmen, and three runs in 3.2 innings of work, leaving the bullpen to throw 5.1 innings with Joba Chamberlain and Sergio Mitre pitching two of the next three games, followed by a day-night double dip on Monday. For tonight at least though, the pen was up to the task, allowing just four baserunners and two runs - only one earned - on the night, while whiffing eight Jays.
Both runs were charged to Alfredo Aceves, who recorded three of his seven outs via the K. David Robertson's only baserunner allowed came on an HBP and he added two more Ks to his already impressive total. Brian Bruney worked a perfect eighth inning before walking the leadoff man in the ninth, and Damaso Marte continued his impressive post-DL run by sitting down three in a row - two by strikeout - to finish it out.
It was another satisfying night in Yankeeland. They'll look to keep it going tomorrow night with Joba Chamberlain on the mound. We'll see you in the morning to take you through to the final holiday weekend of the summer.