Swisher sparks Yankees

Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston figures it must be time to figure out another way to pitch to Johnny Damon.

New York Yankee Johnny Damon is late to second as Toronto Blue Jay Aaron Hill relays on to first base Wednesday night in Toronto. However

Yankees 8 Blue Jays 4

TORONTO — Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston figures it must be time to figure out another way to pitch to Johnny Damon.

The veteran outfielder had two run-scoring singles and his 19th home run of the season and drove in three runs Wednesday as the Yankees completed a two-game sweep of the Blue Jays with an 8-4 win.

Toronto starter Marc Rzepczynski (1-3) took a 3-2 lead into the seventh inning but grooved a pitch to the first batter, Nick Swisher, who hit his 18th homer of the season to ignite a four-run inning. Rzepczynski was chased from the game one batter later, when Robinson Cano doubled.

Reliever Josh Roenicke, one of the players acquired last week from the Cincinnati Reds for third baseman Scott Rolen, got Melky Cabrera to ground out before surrendering a Hideki Matsui single which brought Cano home for the go-ahead run.

After Jose Molina walked and Derek Jeter struck out, Damon and Mark Teixeira followed with run-scoring singles to build the lead to 7-4.

Damon, whose ninth-inning homer completed the scoring, finished the mini-series 5-for-9 with three runs scored and four RBIs.

“He’s really hit us hard this year, and it’s mostly been off-speed stuff for me,” Gaston said. “He hit a pretty good changeup out of the ballpark (Wednesday). And also (Tuesday) got a curveball up from (Roy Halladay) and hit it out of he ballpark so I think we’d better come up with something else to throw him.”

Gaston doesn’t have much time to figure out an alternate strategy: The Jays open a series at Yankee Stadium on Monday night.

Reliever Alfredo Aceves (7-1) pitched two innings in relief of Sergio Mitre, who gave up three runs in 4 1/3 innings on eight hits — including Adam Lind’s 23rd homer. Marco Scutaro tied a career high with his ninth homer of the season in the eighth inning, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

Rzepczynski allowed just five hits in six-plus innings, while striking out seven. Gaston was impressed with the young right-hander, who made his sixth start of the season for Toronto after beginning the year in double-A.

“He pitched good, one walk,” Gaston said. “I know the inning before I took him out of the ballgame he was starting to get the ball up a little bit. That’s why I had somebody going (in the bullpen). He pitched well enough to win a ballgame that’s for sure.”

Rzepczynski acknowledged he had started to labour.

“The first couple of innings I had my good sinker and in the sixth it came a little bit up,” Rzepczynski said. “I got away with a couple of pitches in the sixth and in the seventh Swisher hit it out, nothing you can do about that they’re going to hit mistakes. It was right down the middle.”

Just Posted

Red Deer ‘champion’ helps hospital by sharing ongoing petition

It’s been about three years since many physicians at Red Deer Regional… Continue reading

Weaker pump prices help inflation cool to 1.7%, the lowest reading in a year

OTTAWA — The annual pace of inflation slowed considerably last month to… Continue reading

Salt Lake City bids for 2nd Olympics in changed climate

SALT LAKE CITY — When Salt Lake City pursued the Winter Olympics… Continue reading

‘Here is my home:’ Refugee whose fingers froze off finds hope in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG — Razak Iyal still wakes up in the middle of the… Continue reading

Trudeau sees 2019 election as choice between positive Liberals, divisive Tories

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau says he’s confident he’ll win re-election next fall… Continue reading

Alberta’s Sundial starts shipping to AGLC this week

Sundial’s Rocky View facility has received the green light from Health Canada… Continue reading

Maple Leafs among NHL teams facing cap crunches next year

There are questions Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock won’t touch with a… Continue reading

MacMaster holiday concert billed as dementia-inclusive

TORONTO — A holiday concert by fiddlers Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy… Continue reading

A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

And the top pop culture moments of 2018 are … Wait. WAS… Continue reading

Elon Musk unveils underground tunnel, offers rides to VIPs

LOS ANGELES — Elon Musk unveiled his underground transportation tunnel on Tuesday,… Continue reading

Penny Marshall dead at 75, best known as TV’s Laverne and director of ‘Big,’ ‘A League of Their Own’

Bronx-born Penny Marshall, who found ’70s sitcom success on “Laverne and Shirley”… Continue reading

Chabot scores overtime winner to lift Senators over Predators 4-3

OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Most Read