NEW YORK (AP) — Mark Teixeira was the one who got the celebratory pie in the face for his game-winning hit. All CC Sabathia did was hold the Blue Jays hitless over the final five innings to give the Yankees a chance to rally.
Sabathia pitched a complete game and Teixeira capped a late comeback from three runs down with a game-ending single in the ninth inning to lift New York to a 5-4 victory over Toronto on Tuesday night.
“CC did everything possible to keep us in the game,” New York’s Jorge Posada said.
Sabathia (5-3) retired the final 16 batters in his first nine-inning complete game at home for the Yankees. He gave up eight hits and four runs in the first four innings. It was the Yankees’ first nine-inning complete game since Sabathia shut down Baltimore on May 18, 2009, an American league-record 341 games in between, according to information provided by the Yankees from the Elias Sports Bureau.
“It’s one of those things — they hadn’t hit the ball hard, but they’re all line drives in the box score,” Sabathia said. “My job is to keep it close and good things are going to happen.”
They sure did.
The Yankees rallied for two runs in the eighth against relievers Casey Janssen and Marc Rzepczynski, and two in the ninth off Frank Francisco (1-2) for their sixth win in eight games — and their second walkoff win of the season.
Robinson Cano had an RBI double in the eighth and Canadian-born Russell Martin followed with a run-scoring single. Slumping Nick Swisher, returning to the lineup after two days off, flied out to right field to end the eighth.
Francisco gave up a one-out double to Posada as a pinch-hitter in the ninth, the fans giving Posada a rousing ovation.
“It’s good to come in the game and see the fans react,” said Posada, who 10 days ago was the centre of controversy when he pulled himself out of the lineup after learning he was batting ninth against Boston.
With the crowd of 41,519 screaming “Lets go Jeter!”, Derek Jeter grounded to shortstop to drop to 0 for 5 for the second straight game. Granderson, who had four hits, singled to score pinch-runner Chris Dickerson to tie it. Teixeira hit a sharp grounder that hit off first baseman Juan Rivera’s glove and shot into right field for his first game-winning hit in the regular season for New York and fourth of his career.
“I didn’t try to walk anybody and when I got behind in the count I still pitched my game, I threw my other pitches I didn’t give in with my fastball,” Francisco said. “It’s going to happen, it’s part of the game.”
Teixeira was chased down by teammates between first and second then was greeted with a pie from A.J. Burnett near the dugout.
Toronto starter Ricky Romero allowed a run and seven hits over seven innings. He has given up just two runs in his last three outings
“As you can see you can never be relaxed with these guys, it doesn’t really matter,” Romero said. “They can be down three runs, down one run, it doesn’t matter, you can’t let off the gas pedal. My job is to go out there and get outs and I did the best I could.”
The Blue Jays slapped the ball all over the field in the fourth, scoring three times on a leadoff double, three singles and two straight sacrifice bunts with a runner on third base — one a successful safety squeeze to take a 4-1 lead.
Rivera doubled and scored on J.P. Arrencibia’s single to start the inning. Aaron Hill flied to right before Edwin Encarnacion and Rajai Davis had consecutive hits, scoring a run and putting runners on first and third. John McDonald bunted and Davis scored when first baseman Teixeira threw to first even though they had a potential play at the plate. Cano dropped the throw for an error.
Yunel Escobar, back in the leadoff spot after bunting as the No. 4 hitter Monday, laid down a sacrifice in front of the mound. Davis took several steps toward home but held at third when Sabathia fielded the ball and threw to first for the second out. Corey Patterson walked to load the bases and bring up Jose Bautista.
The slugger grounded to short, the fielder’s choice ending the inning. Bautista went 0 for 4 against Sabathia and is 0 for 15 in his career against him.
“I just try to move it (the ball) around,” Sabathia said of his success against Bautista.
The Blue Jays used three singles in the third, with Patterson’s hit tying it 1-all after Martin homered to deep left with one out in the second.
NOTES: Yankees setup man Rafael Soriano will see Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., on Wednesday. Soriano, out with right elbow inflammation, had a contrast MRI on Tuesday — his second MRI this month — after feeling soreness while throwing on flat ground a day earlier. The Yankees would not reveal any details of the test until after Andrews consults with team doctors. … Toronto RHP Carlos Villaneuva earned a second start Saturday after limiting the Yankees to a run and two hits over five innings Monday in a spot start. … Yankees manager Joe Girardi tied Buck Showalter for eighth all-time with 313 wins.